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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

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


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Gen Z Can And Will Change The World, Just Look At The Enactus Campus Expo

Making a difference is easier than you think, and it starts right on your college campus.

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Most of you reading this are likely in Generation Z. We get mocked for being addicted to technology, being lazy and for just being young in general.

I think that's entirely false, and so do thousands of students across the world.

I'm a member of my school's Enactus chapter, one of the thousands around the world. Enactus is an international organization composed of students using their skills for social entrepreneurship, bringing their classroom schools to real-world problems and creating real solutions.

Earlier this month, Enactus teams from the United States met in Kansas City for the National Exposition to present what they've been working on this school year.

While my small team focuses largely on issues in our local community due to our minimal resources, many schools around the country are bringing change to those in need worldwide. The top four teams were working in countries like Kenya and the Philippines to help entrepreneurs there get businesses up and running and make life better for them and their communities.

I was blown away by the work students my age are doing. It made me think about how bad of a reputation Gen Z gets and how people don't realize just how much work we are doing to improve our world.

Enactus is committed to furthering the United Nations' Global Goals initiative, which works to eliminate what the UN lists as the number one problem in the world: poverty. Enactus teams do this through community and worldwide projects that help to give others the opportunities they need to succeed.

Oh, and did I mention we work these projects on less than a shoestring budget? College kids are basically professionals at working with little funds.

The National Expo really opens eyes to how much young people are capable of. We are ending poverty, reducing pollution, bringing education to children, and basically saving the world - with or without an Enactus team behind us.

If there's an Enactus team on your campus, I urge you to check it out! If there's not, check out their website for resources to get one started on your campus!

I know that Gen Z will change the world - because we're already saving it. Everyone should stop sleeping on us, we have a lot to say if you would all just listen.

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