Sometimes Living Feels Pointless, But I Don't Want To Die

Sometimes Living Feels Pointless, But I Don't Want To Die

Some days I feel worthless, but I'm not suicidal.

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Let me explain.

Do you ever feel like your life has reached the point where you don't know why things are happening the way that they are? You don't want to live, but you don't want to die either.

Living has started to feel pointless, but death proposes too many unknowns and what-ifs. Contrary to popular belief, for someone who thinks about death a lot, I am terrified of dying. What will happen after I die? What happens to my family? Will I go to Heaven? I don't want to die. My life is beautiful. I am so loved. This life that I have been given is a gift that I should be appreciative of, right?

But I'm not.

Simply put: I hate mine.

I know there's someone out there who knows exactly what this feels like.

I can't be the only person to admit that the day-to-day task of merely existing as a functional member of society can seem like a chore. Don't get me wrong. I have a beautiful life and a happy, healthy family; yet, I don't feel like my life is worth living.

I'm not an important figurehead of modern society. I don't turn heads when I walk into a room. I won't be graduating at the top of my class. Besides my close friends, which is like a small group of about three people, no one is interested in what I have to say. I know a lot of people, but a lot of people don't know me.

Most days anxiety holds me back and makes it hard for me to put myself out there and find other people who could understand me. I envy the girls who can so effortlessly walk into a room and demand respect and attention. I wish I could assert myself like that, but I've become so accustomed to being ignored and talked over that I clam up into a corner. I've just never fit in.

If I'm not the most attractive, the top of my class, or the most outgoing, if I'm not making friends, and if I'm not using my voice to spark movements, then why am I even alive? What exactly is my purpose?

Finding my purpose here on this earth has been a struggle. Especially recently. Every day feels like I am stuck in a television series that you throw onto your TV as background noise when you're busy doing other tasks. Anti-climactic, repetitive, an endless cycle of punchlines that continually become less and less funny. But instead of the Netflix box popping up and asking, "are you still watching?" I keep rolling through the anti-climactic episodes of my life that bring no joy, fulfillment, or satisfaction.

I feel like an old sweater. You know the one in the back of your closet that you haven't worn in three years, but that will continue to stay there because it brings your life a sense of security and normalcy. It remains there in the back corner of your closet as an ode to happier times. I am that sweater. I am a shell of a person once filled with motivation, happiness, a sense of purpose, and a drive to change the world.

I don't want to waste the little life that I have been given. I am only 19, almost 20, and I have so many more years left to appreciate the time I've been given and to make memories out of it. I know I will be something someday, however, the journey to becoming that something is exhausting.

I've learned over the past few years that it's quite common to feel this way when trying to navigate the trials of early adulthood. A good friend told me the other day, "some seasons of your life bring more rain, but that doesn't mean there won't be sunny days in the future." There is more to my life than these feelings of worthlessness.

So here I am, continually having to remind myself that while this journey of life is mentally and physically draining, it is worth it. I am learning to accept the fact that I may not have all the answers to what my future holds — accepting that it's okay not to be okay. Permitting myself not to be okay and understanding that I won't always have it together.

Just because I don't know what my future holds doesn't mean that this life is worthless. Just because I may not understand what my purpose here on Earth is now, doesn't mean that I don't have one.

To those who have felt or are feeling like they are stuck without purpose in a scene that never seems to end: It will get better.

You're not alone in how you feel. Trust me; I'm right there with you.

You are beautiful and worthy of life.

If you or someone you know is thinking about hurting themselves, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help is out there. You are not alone.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Fight And Flight, How I Conquer My Emotional Battles

In times of high threat and peril, science says our innate response usually follows one of two paths: fight or flight.

snele1
snele1
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Like almost any other concept related to humans, the idea of "fight or flight" boils down to either/or, one over the other, choice A or choice B. This seems logical, as science also says we can't actually multitask as humans. We may think we can manage multiple tasks simultaneously, but we're inevitably occupied by one thing at a time. Now, depending on each person, the response to any given situation might vary. Someone might feel courageous enough to stay and "fight," while someone else may deem it wiser to make like a bird and take "flight."

Regardless, this concept revolves around a definitive choice, a choice of just one response, not both.

While I agree with this concept as it is, I've come to think that, in some areas of life, we can manage both. We can fight, but we can also take flight. Although fight or flight generally refers to physical threats/obstacles, I think the fight and flight apply on an emotional/mental front.

This past weekend was quite a whirlwind, blowing my emotions in all kinds of directions, which is really what prompted me to think about my emotional response to the weekend as a whole. As a bit of important background, I'm not a crier by nature. I just don't cry in public/ in front of others. Don't get me wrong, I don't see anything wrong with crying in public. It's a perfectly human response. No book, movie, song, or the like has ever moved me to tears. (Well actually, the movie "The Last Song" with Miley Cyrus did cause a stream of tears, but that's literally one out of a decade.)

Enough about that for now, though, I'll make mention of it again later.

I think this past weekend's deluge was an unassuming foreboding of the flood of emotions that came pouring in on Sunday. The day began like any other Mother's Day, we opened gifts with my mother before heading to my aunt's for a family lunch. Only once we arrived, I was informed that my other aunt, who's like a second mom to me, lost her beloved Shih Tzu of 14 years, Coco. We all knew that Coco's time was likely limited, but it still seemed sudden. I was a bit rocked by the news, but ultimately knew she had given life a run for its money. After all, I like to joke that if I come back, it'd ideally be as a house dog.

Needless to say, the suddenness of it all wouldn't really hit me till later that afternoon.

Fast-forwarding to the evening, we decided visiting my other grandmother would be a nice gesture on Mother's Day. Although she was still out and about, my house-ridden grandfather was there, and so we decided it'd be nice to stay and visit with him. A bit more background, my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago, so we've unfortunately watched him slowly decline since the diagnosis. As such, this is where things went on a steep downhill slide. We arrived mid-nap, which subsequently meant waking him from his nap to visit. In hindsight, it seemed like a very poor choice, as when he awoke he seemed completely disoriented and largely still asleep.

It was as if his eyes were awake, but most everything else about his body remained asleep.

We stayed only but 12 or 15 minutes, as it didn't prove useful to stick around any longer. Enter the flight of my emotions. I've known my grandfather wouldn't be the same every single time I visited. I've dreaded but prepared for the time when he wouldn't remember us, or wouldn't be able to communicate with us the same. As much as I thought I'd be unphased when it happened, I wasn't. At the time, I tried to shuffle through other thoughts. I tried to jump to the upcoming things for the week and what I needed to take care of next. I wanted my mind to float off till my emotions wouldn't be so strong.

That's where I believe the flight response happens for me. When I'm face to face with an emotion-laden experience, whether it's sadness, frustration, or whatever, I try to shift my thoughts away from what's stirring them up. My mind takes flight. Maybe, that's why I don't cry in public. I don't allow my mind to focus long enough to conjure up a physical response.

My mind never stays in flight for long, though. I wouldn't say I'm scared of the emotions, rather I just need them to calm down or settle before I can pick them apart. I tend to process my feelings internally, but they never go unchecked or un-analyzed. That's why, even though I typically don't show my emotions in public, my throat still tightens up and my eyes still become glassy behind closed doors.

Nevertheless, this is where the fight response shows up. Except, I wouldn't say this is so much a fight, even if the situation can be a sort of emotional battle. It's more of a coming-to-terms. I know that I can't outrun my feelings, and I don't ever intend to. At some point, I let them catch up to me, and then the sorting process can begin. It's usually not that tumultuous like a real fight would be, but it doesn't mean that the emotions don't present a challenge at times.

snele1
snele1

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