When Suicide Is An Option

When Suicide Is An Option

Though suicidal thoughts are something I've struggled with half my life, I cannot allow myself to commit it.
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I've had suicidal thoughts since I was 12 years old.

Let that sink in.

I've been suicidal since I was just entering puberty in the seventh grade. I've been suicidal almost half of my life. And it's only gotten worse as I've gotten older.

I'll never forget coming homing one day from school, at the end of seventh grade, and my mom came into my room crying, tipped off by someone that I was suicidal. She was sobbing, asking what she and my father had done wrong, begging me not to kill myself. I remember thinking there was nothing they could do--nothing they had done either, it was just a part of me.

I remember how indifferent I felt watching my mother cry in front of me, when she was afraid that a parent's worst nightmare would be coming true. But to me, the thoughts and feelings were natural, and I didn't understand why people would think otherwise.

As I got older, I went through phases of feeling and being more suicidal than other times. I remember the thoughts coming like waves here and there, sometimes crashing over me on repeat, sometimes just barely grazing the shore. I remember thinking that, as I got older, something maybe was wrong with me. No one else would talk about suicide, and if they did, they demeaned it, said it was cowardly and selfish, that is was wrong and a shameful thing.

It was a big talk in town when someone we knew or had a connection to committed suicide. But no one praised it, no one said they understood why the person did it, no one addressed the aspects of the person and what drove them to do it. Instead, suicide was an excuse to gossip; it wasn't actually taken seriously.

It was talking to fill the time, as long as you didn't bring it up in a more serious, curious light. You didn't ask questions about suicide, you just shook your head and brushed it off.

So as I grew older, I began to realize I couldn't openly share my suicidal thoughts, that I couldn't really reach out to others for help or talk out how I was feeling. I couldn't reach out for assurance that I wasn't alone in my thoughts, that maybe I had reason to keep living, that someone understood how I felt and why I kept feeling this way.

When I became anorexic, I think that, in hindsight, it was just another way to kill myself. It was slow, long, painful, but it was working with enough time. I should've been hospitalized on three different occasions, but I was stubborn and refused. I didn't want to get better because it meant I'd have to live, really live, and I wasn't ready or wanting that. I wanted to disappear; I wanted to die.

And when I finally did start to recover after years of waiting for death to take me in my anorexic form, in either a heart attack, kidney failure, or my heart stopping in my sleep, I still wasn't ready to live. It's been just over a year since then, and so many other drastic things have happened in my life this past year (for better and for, definitely, worse).

In the past year, though, I've attempted suicide twice, and prepared for two more attempts.

Before that, I would only plan here and there, but never before have I actually attempted or planned as thoroughly as I have, especially in a span of just less than a year.

Living with these thoughts is complete and utter hell. They may come and go in their severity, but they never leave. I'm stuck with them, and at this point, I always will be.

To me, suicide is an option. Why? Because I live with the thoughts every day. I've rationalized out every reason I should do it and no one can tell me otherwise. To me, suicide just makes sense. It's kind of frightening to think about and acknowledge sometimes, but I just can't help it. Suicide is an option for me.

Stopping suicidal thoughts isn't easy. There is no magic switch. People can tell me all they want to "stop thinking that way" or to "think more positive." But it's not that easy. The thoughts won't stop; it's been basically half my life I've had them, and if I could stop them, trust me, I would have a long time ago.

Also, in a sense, idealizing my own suicide is a positive way of thinking. It means no more suffering; it means no more stress, responsibility, pain, anger, heartache, embarrassment, regret, guilt, shame, sadness, tears, etc. etc. So thinking about it sometimes brings me peace.

Suicide is an option for me, and for so many others because it's something that is reoccurring, something that seems rational. It's something that is a last resort, but ever clearer and more important as time passes.

But even though I understand that suicide is an option for me as an individual, I cannot commit it.

I can't commit it because I do still have goals and dreams and opportunities for a future, better life. I will say though, that I haven't really planned on anything past the age of 40, afraid that I may not even make it to that point, but I do recognize the impact I am having on my life and others' that can lead to greater opportunities than I ever imagined in my life. I have aspirations I want to achieve, but my suicidal thoughts hold me back.

I can't commit it because I have SO many people who would be tremendously affected by it. My family--parents and brother especially--would be utterly broken. I'm not sure my mom could cope; I know my father and brother could cope, but pieces of them would be broken and missing forever if I killed myself.

I can't begin to imagine the pain they'd all suffer, and extended family too, especially after all the time, energy, money, and sacrifices they've made for me my whole life. The times they stayed with me or came over to check on me or called me because they were afraid I'd do something, it would all be for nothing if I died. Because I love and care for them so much, and because they do for me as well, I have to keep fighting my suicidal thoughts. I have to.

The same goes for every one of my friends that stop what they're doing to call or see me when they're afraid I could do something. For all the time and energy and money they've spent on me to help me feel okay, it would be a waste if I died. My friends have been a tremendous support in helping me stay alive and acknowledge reasons for living and fighting for.

But all the support in the world can't stop my thoughts or the thoughts that others have.

Suicidal thoughts are often very, very serious, and often cover a variety of problems the person has. They should be taken seriously; they should be confronted and helped.

If I didn't have friends and family who cared so much about me, I may not be here today.

If I didn't take the initiative to call the doctor the morning after my first suicide attempt to get help, if I hadn't reached out to friends just a few months later during my second suicide attempt, and if they hadn't come or called to help me--one even reporting me to my university so I could get medical help--, I may not be here.

If I hadn't openly talked about my struggles and thoughts and plans months after the second attempt, and even just a few weeks ago, I may not be here.

But because I acknowledge and accept these thoughts are a part of me, and I am not afraid to reach out when things get serious or to have family and friends sacrifice for me to make sure I stay alive.

Suicide is very real. Suicide is an option to so many people, including me. But it shouldn't be.

Suicide needs to be addressed and talked about more. There are ways to cope and fight the thoughts and tendencies and actions, but it takes help and support from others.

There are ALWAYS reasons worth living and fighting for. Always. Even if they're hard to recognize, they're there.

It may seem impossible right now, but you always have reasons to stay alive. There is always, always, always a reason to live, even when you feel like suicide is an option.

-

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

Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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