Mental illness is more talked about now then ever before, however we often still dance around the subject in order not to delve too deep into it. While there are often portrayals of characters with mental health issues in movies and TV shows and many celebrities discuss it in the media, this does not typically put the viewer in the shoes of someone with a mental illness. Books are typically the best way to feel fully immersed in the life of someone else, so in order to fully understand a mental illness if you don't have one--or to feel understood if you do--reading a book about them is the best option.
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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
Generally, once an author has been dead for over 70 years, his or her work becomes public domain. You might think about it like a sitcom getting syndication. When a book becomes public domain, it may be sold by any publishing house in need of some extra cash. This is why, for example, you can find a copy of the Great Gatsby from Penguin, Random House, and Harper Collins, even though it was originally published through Scribner.
This has lead to an enormous amount of creative freedom cover-wise. We've had more than a few mishaps.
I mean, what the hell even is that? This looks like a "Big Eyes" painting if it got left in the sun for too long.
Of all the sins I've witnessed in the name of literacy, I never thought I'd stumble upon something so laughably God-awful, so lazily slapped together as this:
If you're thinking, "something's off here," you're not alone. Say hello to "Wordsworth Classics", a division of a minor British publishing house whose main goal seems to be getting the original authors to roll over in their graves (70+ years on). I've compiled the worst of their collection for your viewing (dis)pleasure.
This is bad. I mean, I don't know what they were going for here, but thank God for that conveniently placed smoke.
I have a hard time believing Tom's Disney channel haircut was all too common back in the 1800s.
Man. 300 looks worse than I remember.
Everything about this is bad. The borderline copyright infringement Cheshire Cat, Alice's "Victorian" getup, not to mention the Mad Hatter, who is clearly the first man in Wonderland to receive a face transplant via photoshop.
Ah, yes. Moby Dick. Origin of the proverbial "White Whale", who apparently, was not actually white.
Why does "Dorian Gray" look like he's about to lecture me on how to brew the perfect IPA?
Robinson Cru-NO! This looks more like a bad porno than classic english lit...
Little known fact: when this book cover was sent into the publishers, Notre Dame spontaneously burst into flames.
This is not Dracula. Clearly, this is a photo of Oscar Wilde, who, after smoking an enormous quantity of marijuana at a Halloween party, believes that he is Dracula.
Even Harlequin Romance wouldn't sink to this level. Look how they're leaning against the fence! Is that even physically possible?