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

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’re thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The People-Rating App, 'Peeple,' Is A Gateway For Bullying In Modern Society

Is this app an entrance for online bullies?
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If you’re a Gen Z’er, like me, you probably have stressed over why your Instagram post didn’t get enough likes, worried that your Twitter feed isn’t witty enough or even faked a smile in a photo to give other people the idea that you actually have it all together.

Here’s a new app to try for understanding your online persona: Peeple. The app was created by Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough. Cordray is a marketing professional and McCullough is a stay-at-home mom.

The app was created for parents interested in knowing who their children are interacting with online, single people trying to get information on their blind date or professionals looking at qualities of prospective employees.

Although the co-founders were thinking the app would be like an Angie’s List or Care.com, skeptics are calling it a “Yelp for people." The app’s Facebook page was flooded with backlash and Twitter users attacked the app’s premise before it was even scheduled to launch in November 2015.

Supermodel Chrissy Teigen expressed her disgust over the app on Twitter, claiming it provided grounds for cyberbullying.

It seems like the Peeple app is the premise of an episode of the television series "Black Mirror." The episode “Nosedive” uses a five-point scale, like the creators of Peeple originally planned. The episode follows a woman named Lacie Pound who lives in a world where your online rating dictates every decision you make in the hopes of a five-star review.

The rating is visible to everyone through a digital retinal implant. She is trying to earn a spot in an expensive neighborhood, but she will get a 20 percent discount if she raises from a subpar 4.2 to a 4.5. She is encouraged to seek out high-rated friends, and when she reconnects with an old friend with a 4.8 rating, she is asked to be the maid of honor at her wedding.

A good rating can get you a discount on a house, but a bad rating can leave you homeless. In the Peeple app, it’s not as simple as Lacie’s world.

Good reviews require three stars to be posted instantly. Bad reviews are left on the site for a full 48 hours for the reviewer and the reviewed “to work something out." People can be reviewed without their knowledge or consent. Users had the option of writing a recommendation for the person and inviting them to use the app.

However, the user must claim they know the person on a professional, personal or romantic level. The app requires the user to be at least 21 with a Facebook account and include the person’s cell phone number they are reviewing. Users can delete a recommendation that they don’t like, but it will still be on their profile until they delete it.

The developers responded to the backlash, but rather than shutting down the site, they gave it a few tweaks. Now, users will get full control of what goes on their profile, profiles can be deactivated, the five-point scale was removed and instead based the rating on the number of recommendations received. The backlash pushed back the launch date from November 2015 to March 2016.

Despite the criticism, 10,000 people volunteered to test the app. Those who want to use the app now will have to pay $1 per month. In spite of the major changes, Peeple was still faced with hatred. The critics started the hashtag #PeopleNotPeeple.

Cordray and McCullough claim the site doesn’t tolerate bullying of any kind. However, in the app store, Peeple is only rated 1.7 with 89 reviews. Most comments are from those who seem to not even use the app themselves but are rather insulting its integrity.

While Peeple is a people-rating app like the creators intended, it can unintentionally cause online shaming, which can have fatal consequences.

According to the Center of Generational Kinetics, 42 percent of the youngest generation claims social media has an impact on how they feel about themselves. 18-year-old Brandy Vela from Texas City was cyberbullied for her weight. She was so distraught that she shot herself in front of her family.

13-year-old Izzy Laxamana from Tacoma, Washington was the victim of her own father.

Her father posted a video on YouTube chopping off all her hair in response to the promiscuous pictures she sent to boys. Izzy then jumped off a bridge because of the cyberbullying she received.

Sites like RateMyProfessors.com show bias on both sides, and the reviews aren’t always genuine. Peeple can easily do the same. Those who have a vendetta against someone may use the app to just criticize those they hate. If this happens, Peeple wouldn’t be so truthful anymore.

If you really are sick of your usual social media sites and want to live straight out of a "Black Mirror" episode, check out Peeple on the app store.

Cover Image Credit: Wall Street Journal / YouTube

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Forget The Stigma: Let's Talk About Suicide

Saying something is better than saying nothing at all.
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Suicide is a sensitive topic. Most people avoid it because it makes them uncomfortable or they are worried about saying the wrong thing.

It is better to say the wrong thing than to not say anything at all. Talking about suicide does not make somebody more likely to think about doing it.

When somebody is asking for help, do not leave them in silence. Imagine how you would feel if you told somebody something personal and they responded with silence.

Talk about suicide. If you see something or feel like something is not right, say something. Ask your friends if they are thinking about suicide. This is hard to do but you are showing that you are willing to talk about such a tough subject.

Don’t let them feel alone. There is a reason your friend has decided to talk to you or show you indirect signs about how they are feeling. Remember to be yourself around them. There is a reason they trust you.

Many things accumulate and make a person think about suicide. Some things are beyond our control and some comments are simply stress-speaking. But sometimes they are not. It is better to ask somebody than assume it is nothing.

Be aware of the signs. If you do not know them, take a suicide prevention class in person or online. Most importantly, if somebody is acting extremely out of character, check on them. It may not be suicidal thoughts, but there is a reason they are not acting like their old self.

If you ask your friend about suicide and they say no, check on them. They may be completely fine, but they may not feel comfortable telling you. It is better to check up on them and risk them being mad at you than losing them.

If things are really bad and they tell you they are thinking about suicide, offer your support and help them find the resources they need. Guide them to the assistance, and offer to make appointments for them or go with them if that is something they are struggling with doing.

Nobody wants to die. They want the pain to end.

Need to talk to somebody? Call the National Suicide Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255).

Don't feel like talking? Text 4HOPE to 741-74.

In an emergency, it is best to call 911.

Inspired by the OSU R.E.A.C.H training program.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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