What I Learned About Life When I Wanted To Die

What I Learned About Life When I Wanted To Die

Some stories and thoughts from darker times.
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What I learned about life when I wanted to die is that I don’t.

I do not want to die in the most unapologetic way. I cannot ring out my sadness like an old mop, but I can be at peace in the foggy water.

In the moments between vibrant life and absolute death, I feel like a ghost. The weight of grief sits on my chest like a rock weighing me underwater. Sometimes grief makes it hard to breathe. The hardest moments are when your grief has no attachment. When there is no sad story to be caught up in, it feels like you have no need to be sad. Even still, it sits on top of your lungs, cutting off your breath.

Sometimes it’s the moments of brief passing from waterlogged lungs to open vocal chords that you realize that clearing your throat is as holy as a ship docked in harbor after a long, long storm. Even with broken boards it still returns home.

A broken person is still a person. My body may be composed of chipped bones and untold stories but it is a body just the same.

I want to live in this body. I want to live.

~

My grandmother is a lemonade connoisseur. In endless July months she freezes lemonade in ice cube trays and wraps them in paper towels. My sister and I lick them like popsicles.

I think being sad is a lot like being frozen.

I've lived with depression most of my life, but the diagnosis was perhaps the turning point. Putting a name on what haunts me has helped me to face it with less fear.

When I was a child I had hair long enough to touch the crevices of my hips. It was thick and curly, almost impossible to get detangled. My mother would brush it and put it in braids. How beautiful it is to have your mother brush your hair. Healing is a lot of the same feeling. Sometimes you cannot brush out the knots alone.

~

People don't like to talk about mental health. For some reason, mental illness is an unspoken story sitting on everyone's tongue. Medication bottles in bathroom cabinets often reveal the truth that many are hiding. I do not understand why sickness is a cause for shame. If your brain is ill, you don't live with it like a broken knee. Shattered bones are not as painful as a shattered mind.

~

I love black coffee. Deluding caffeine with sugar or milk lessens it's affect. When I was first prescribed medication to aid my depression, I felt black coffee was injected in the hollow of my forearm. I felt a marathon in my brain where there had once been a funeral procession. Electric joy pulsing through my nervous system. I'm not sure if this was how I was always supposed to feel.

~

I am a poet. Poetic release has always been cheaper than therapy. I feel, I write. I ache, I write. I ache, I ache, I ache.

My grandmother was a librarian and my mother is a school teacher. Literature is written into my bones. Several years ago I learned that my father, a business man and musician, was a writer as well. Sometimes he writes poems that are so profound that they echo the sounds of the ocean. He shares them with me, but does not let anyone else read them.

Sometimes the lines in between are prayers, asking me to stop scratching skin with nails and build houses instead. I think it is beautiful to share something with someone.

We humans are never given a survivor's manual on how to get through the dark times. I think we are meant to write it ourselves. I've spent many days chained to twin beds of sadness, I've forgotten to fall asleep. I have not forgotten to write.

~

I was once in a dysfunctional relationship that I did not realize was dysfunctional until it was long over with. Her body was so hollow that I tried to fill it with mine, but in turn, turned hollow myself.

Princess Aurora pricked her finger on a spindle and fell into a deep sleep. I pricked my finger on my lover and I could not wake up.

~

My little sister is a dancer. She is liquid poetry. Artists come to paint her but she spins too fast for paper. Paint her with watercolors and stick around to watch her dry. This is not the time to die. I have so many boats to bring home.

When I was five, the doctor told my mother I had leukemia. My grandfather, distraught, prayed to God to heal me. He promised he would go to church every day until he died. The next day, the doctor told my mother there was a mistake. I did not have leukemia. I am nineteen years old. My grandfather still goes to church.

When I was younger, I tried to find a million ways to empty my bones. I learned that sometimes the heavy feeling is better than the lightness. Sometimes the heavy feeling weighs you down and commands you to stay. Stay, stay, stay.

~

I am sitting in my mother's car. The road ruptures beneath us, breaking stilled silence like cold milk in July. Headlights appear behind us. A motorcycle drives by, the speed of an ambulance in a hurricane.

My mother looks at me and whispers "That's how God makes angels".

I don't think it works that way.

I think the angels are the ones who wanted to die but didn’t. The ones who wanted to live but couldn’t. Who thought of suicide but wouldn’t.

I think living is a bravery that demands the most.

~

What I learned about life when I wanted to die, was that I don't.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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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.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Goodbye To The Boy Who Sexually Assaulted Me, You Can Never Hurt Me Again

In 30 minutes you turned my life around.

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views

*Content Warning: Sexual Assault*

You destroyed me.

You took away my innocence.

You were able to take away my dreams and aspirations.

You were able to shut me down in ways I didn't know to be possible.

In 30 minutes you turned my life around.

Broken trust, that is what you left me with. A broken sense of stability and love. Sometimes I sit and wonder why you thought it was okay to take advantage of me? Why it was okay to hit, and belittle me? You had me left feeling foreign to my own body.

But then I realize it is not my fault, it is yours. This is not a cry for help or an avenue to get attention this is me raising awareness that not only did you hurt me but others are experiencing the same thing you put me through.

My innocence was taken by you without consent. I sat in my room for hours after that night thinking of ways to end the life I was given. I spent countless nights waking up screaming with tears rushing down my face. I spent the majority of my future relationships scared of ever letting myself feel again. I was forced to take avenues of help like therapy appointments and trying different depression medicines. All of this resulted from the 30 minutes you could not control yourself.

Yes, you destroyed me. But now I'm stronger than ever, you will never be able to hurt me again.

With all of the pain and endless nights of contemplating my reason to live, I found strength, I found a way to share my voice and help others experiencing this pain. I am stronger now than I ever thought possible.

I wake up every day now appreciating the things in life that matter most to me, like the love my boyfriend has for me, the amazing family I am blessed with, and the amazing friends that helped me through this experience. I have learned that fighting for my life was worth it and I was not going to let you take that away from me.

I will not stop sharing my story, I have learned that sharing my experiences of sexual assault has let others feel less alone in the scary process that you, unfortunately, put me through. What you did to me was not okay. But through this, I have understood and realized my worth in this crazy rollercoaster we call life.

I found strength in the moments you made me the weakest, and I'm no longer looking back.

I have hope that other survivors will understand that their life is just as valuable. There is a bigger fight for happiness and finding it is not always the easiest but the journey getting there is worth it.

You ARE strong.

You ARE worth it.

It's NOT your fault.

You're NOT alone.

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

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