Remembering Those Who Love Me Kept Me From Acting On My Suicidal Thoughts

Remembering Those Who Love Me Kept Me From Acting On My Suicidal Thoughts

I couldn't hurt them like that.

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In honor of National Suicide Awareness Month, I'm finally talking openly about my experiences. And this is...so hard for me to write.

And not just because it's hard to write about these things. In fact, I'm worrying more about my various family members and their reactions to this, because no one knew I was going through this. Feeling this way. And I know they'll blame themselves for not being there more or making me feel like I could come to them, when the complete opposite is true.

At one point in my life, I felt suicidal.

I don't exactly recall when the suicidal thoughts started. At best, the first time I remember having a suicidal thought was senior year of high school. It always began as a spiral, tipped off by some anxious line of thinking, usually ending like this:

I can't talk to anyone about these feelings. They'll freak out.
I can't go back to therapy again.
God I'm so broken.
I don't want to keep living anymore.

I always felt inadequate compared to those around me. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, while all my friends had even an idea, enough to declare a major in college. They knew what they were good at, while I floundered and failed.

I never felt like I could truly talk to my friends, not even my best friend at the time. I knew she and my other friends had their own mental things to deal with, and I didn't want to become a burden to them. Another thing they had to worry about on top of themselves. I felt that I had to be the strong one for them...but didn't have anyone to do the same for me.

I certainly couldn't talk to my parents. We just didn't have that kind of relationship back then. It would be a long time before we did.

I was scared to return to therapy. I had a negative association with therapy from past experiences attending it, and refused to go back. It would take a long time--and more negative experiences--before I conceded to returning to therapy.

I constantly felt weak and broken. My happy-go-lucky attitude around my friends, the persona I put up around everyone at school always felt as fake as it was. But I clearly did a good enough job at acting like I was okay, since no one ever checked in on me. No one realized how badly I was struggling. I didn't even write about any of what I was experiencing in a journal, as if writing it down somewhere would make it that much more real. As if writing it down would make me officially broken and crazy, unable to handle things on my own like everyone else did.

It all added up to a point where, in my lowest depressed moments, that last thought would pop into my head:

I don't want to keep living anymore.

I'd get so tired of pretending that things were okay. I'd feel so tired of not having a clue about my life and what I wanted to do with it. Of not living up to everyone's expectations, real or imagined. I'd get so tired of constantly pushing through day-to-day life, feeling all alone, like no one cared about me.

It became all too easy to want to just die. To stop feeling everything at once.

The funniest thing is, I didn't want to actually kill myself. I simply wanted numbness, to stop feeling so much, so intensely. Death, to my troubled mind, just naturally seemed like the perfect way for all those thoughts to just stop. For all the mental damage I was dealing with to simply end.

I couldn't picture myself physically doing the act. Not to mention, I knew that my death would bring so much pain to those who loved me, that I couldn't possibly bring myself to hurt them like that. To bring such a horrible thing upon them. I couldn't do that to my parents, my sisters, who didn't deserve to lose a daughter, a sister. My boyfriend, who was staying by my side through it all--who wasn't and somehow still hasn't been pushed away by my mental struggles--and clearly cared about me, who clearly wanted me to stay in his life.

The biggest person I couldn't do it to was my grandma. She was always my biggest supporter, a best friend when I had no other friends in my life. She got me through so much and was the biggest constant in my life. My grandma always knew just what to say, or not say, when I was upset. She meant the world to me, and vice versa. I was her first grandbaby, and have a special place in her heart. I could never, ever hurt her in such a way. Even as I write this now, long after I've stopped having those thoughts, it makes me to cry to think I could ever hurt my grandmother that way.

In those moments, when I'd feel so low those suicidal thoughts appeared in my mind, I'd also remember all those who loved me--even though it would feel like no one actually cared about me.

After four years of having these thoughts, I finally hit rock bottom mentally. Not in the sense that I finally felt like I would do it--but I finally realized I couldn't go on feeling these things, dealing with my anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts without help.

It's been a long time since I last wished I could just die. I'm getting help, and starting antidepressants helped significantly in stopping my brain from tossing those negative thoughts around.

To my family, Grandma, Josh:

Thank you. You became my light at the end of a tunnel, even when I couldn't see that light. Even when I didn't even realize it was there. I LOVE YOU.

Thank you.

To those who continue to struggle everyday:

YOU ARE LOVED.

YOU ARE IMPORTANT.

YOU ARE WORTHY OF LIVING.

YOU MEAN SOMETHING TO SOMEONE, EVEN ONE PERSON, IN THIS WORLD.

You are all of these things and so much more. This will pass, and you will be okay. I know it can feel impossible that you'll ever feel okay again, but I promise you, you will.

Reach out to someone.

I know this can be one of the hardest things to do. You may feel like no one will understand, or that people will judge you for feeling as you do. It's true, they may not fully understand. But do your best to help them understand, by explaining as much as you can. Whatever amount you can explain to them will make a difference. It will help them, help you.

If you don't have someone in your life that you feel you can talk to, I highly recommend calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. I know this can feel impersonal and like they're only saying things because it's their job to, and maybe that's mildly true. But this is a whole organization of people who work tirelessly to help people like us realize we have things to live for. That WE are worth living for. If that doesn't say "we care," I don't know what does.

You are worth living for. And I love you, whoever you are, even though we don't know each other. I love you because I know how hard this is, and we all need to know someone out there cares. I'm proud of you for making it this far.

You will be okay.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW ARE STRUGGLING WITH SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND/OR TENDENCIES, REACH OUT IMMEDIATELY. NO ONE SHOULD GO THROUGH THIS ALONE. SUICIDE IS SERIOUS.

National Suicide Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255 - available 24/7

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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.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. 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 that people live in between 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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Depression Is A Balancing Act That Is And Isn't In Our Control

Managing depression can sometimes feel overwhelming.

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*Warning: Before reading any further is that this article will be talking about heavy topics such as depression and suicide.*

Depression in this day and age is a very sticky topic to talk about. Yes, we are becoming more aware and accepting of the issue, but we still have a long ways to go in terms of really know how we can be there for people in a way that's most effective and where they don't feel judged because of it.

I have dealt with depression most of my life and especially going through college. It didn't become a big thing for me till I came to college, and then having to navigate my issue of it. Whether that's talking about it friends vaguely about it, bottling it all in, going for professional help, etc. It's one of the many reasons why I'm afraid of meeting someone new, or wanting to be in a relationship, I was afraid of the judgment and feeling that if I told someone they either might not want to do anything with me, say it's too much for them, etc.

Now some of those fears, in my opinion, were unjustified in a sense that yes even though it is important for people to be there for me in my time of need, I need to be conscious of how much I share and whether they can take that piece of me I shared. It's a balancing act that is hard to manage, but it allows me for a much-needed look into myself of what actually makes me happy, what doesn't, what triggers my depression and going out of my way to make sure I don't let it take control of me.

The depression took me to places, very dark places that I'm happy to have push through, with my depression it made my thoughts go into suicidal ideation, and even hurting myself, an act that I never thought I would ever do but thankfully I had people in my life that helped me overcome that and going to talk to a professional.

Depression is a mental health issue that most everyone struggles with regardless of where they're at in life, it can come like a tidal wave, or not at all. It's an internal struggle with ourselves, and we do our best trying to get through it. I know that I'm not alone in this, and if you're reading this you're not alone either.

Don't be afraid to talk about it, but be mindful of other people and how much you can share in order for them to be able to process it, go for professional help, exercise, hang out with friends. Don't let depression fully control your life, it won't go away but if we can manage it in a way that helps us be able to keep it under control then that's a win.

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

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