Content warning: Depression and suicidal thoughts
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255
The other day, I had an excruciating day. I'm not going to give the details as to why since it's personal matters, but nonetheless, my depression was horrific that day. Honestly, I was so depressed that it was making me anxious... to the point that I began having a panic attack mixed with a bad depressive episode. When I felt it coming on, I went and hid in my room, locking the door. Right when I locked the door, my thoughts began to dive to unfathomable depths. The following thoughts and variations of them crossed my mind as I sat on my bed with tears streaming down my face:
"You know... the pain would end if I just ended my life."
"It's not like anyone would care if I died any way."
With each thought, I felt me sinking into a mental quicksand. The true me, not the depressed me, was hidden deep among the dark storm cloud formed by my depression, and I could hear her fighting, Every suicidal thought that arose, I felt the true me screaming at me, telling me that it wasn't true, none of it was true. I felt true me trying to make it out of the storm clouds with a flashlight, but this all being said, I felt depressed me fighting back as well. Two versions of me were at war, and I was frozen on my bed with fear that the depressed me was going to win,
You see, depressed me made quite a bold move. If you've ever seen the movie It, there is this one scene where Pennywise manipulates a projector to attack all of the kids (photo below for reference).
The projector starts whirring through images at an alarming rate, making the pictures seem like a video (and eventually revealing Pennywise). Depressed me started doing this, but with all the different ways that I could commit suicide (I don't want to list what came to mind as I do not want to possibly give someone a method for their suicide). This was the first time that something like this has happened to such an extreme, and it genuinely terrified me. I want to live, more than you could possibly believe, but it's hard when you have a brain that is hard-wired to tell you otherwise.
Right after this terrifying slideshow brought to you by my depression, true me found its way out of the depression's storm cloud. True me had me lift my right index and middle finger to my pulse residing between my jaw and my neck. I felt the bum bum, bum bum, bum bum of my heartbeat, and said aloud to myself:
"Katherine Lucy, feel that heartbeat. Feel its rhythm, feel how it fills you with life. This, this right here is your purpose. As long as this heart is beating, you have a purpose here on this earth. Let each beat remind you that you are loved and you are wanted. We are not leaving this earth until God takes us from it, okay? So we're gonna keep fighting because we are not done yet."
This was the first time that I have used this coping mechanism to fight suicidal thoughts, and I was surprised at how effective it was. I actually picked it up from a show on Netflix called Girls Incarcerated, which is about teenage girls in prison (I've been fascinated by shows about what life is like in prison recently... couldn't tell you why). I think it's so effective, at least for me, because my heartbeat is tangible. It's not solely someone telling me that I have a purpose on this earth, but it's me. It's me telling myself that I am here for a reason. I can't escape the feeling of my heartbeat like I can escape the words coming from someone else's mouth.
Now, I'm no medical professional or psychologist, but I am a normal person with a terrifying mental illness. And for my fellow people suffering from this terror, I really suggest trying this out:
1. Find your pulse
2. Let yourself feel that heartbeat for about one or two minutes.
3. Say the following, out loud, to yourself: "You feel that? That heartbeat is your purpose. As long as this heart is beating, you have a purpose here in this world. Each beat tells me that I am loved and that I am wanted, despite what my depression may tell me."
4. Repeat one-three times, or as many times as needed.
Keep fighting, fighter. You're not done yet.