We lost two icons from suicide this week. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both of whom were successful, loved and "had it all." I've never struggled so deeply with mental health that I thought the only escape was to end my life. I've been blessed. I didn't work for it. I was born with a healthy disposition and take little credit for it.
That said, I've had many friends in my lifetime, starting in junior high, that have been suicidal. I'm a terrible listener so I'm not quite sure how I ever seem like an empathetic person to talk to about going through mental trauma, but I do appreciate being able to learn what it feels and looks like to be tortured by your own mind. This article really isn't about me though. A friend, who's long felt like suicide was the only viable option, has started writing about her journey and I want to lend whatever platform I have to it.
Here is her latest:
Today’s been a rough day. I couldn’t stop crying all morning and had to step away from my desk at work several times. I called my therapist, and she recommended I take myself to the hospital if I didn’t feel safe, but fuck if I’m gonna take on another expensive hospital bill. She urged me to use the DBT skills that I have worked so hard to learn and asked me to check in with her so she’d know I was okay.
I’ve never attempted suicide in my life, but I’ve fantasized about it plenty, and I’ve been hospitalized twice for suicidal thoughts. There’s a part of me deep down inside that feels terrified of attempting suicide- to fail would be absolute misery. Having to face everyone in my life after that, how shameful that would be. Possible lifelong injuries I may get as a result of messing up my body. Hospital bills from recovering. Failing suicide seems like a nightmare.
Yet there are times when I feel like I need to overcome my fear and just do it already. That if I could do it, I would finally be free from this misery. No matter how many activities I fill my life with, no matter how much quality time I spend with my family, no matter what goals I achieve, no matter how amazing my boyfriend is- I always hit a point where I think, “no, suicide is REALLY what I ought to be doing, I’m just too much of a pussy to do it.” That only adds to my already intense hatred towards myself.
I put a lot of effort into building a life worth living. I try to stay optimistic, and even in creating this blog I try to be a positive inspiration to others who are struggling. I fight desperately to stay alive. But then there are days like today when none of that matters, and all I want to do is kill myself. It’s exhausting going up and down like this. What do I really want? Do I want to live or do I want to die? When I keep going back and forth, it’s really hard for me to know who the true me is.
These are the thoughts that go through my head when I want to kill myself:
- I’m a worthless fuck-up, a liability to the world
- The world and everyone in my life would be so much better off without me
- If I killed myself, I would spare the world the misery of having to deal with me
- I’m just a big phony anyway, I’m completely full of shit
- I’m incapable of doing anything worthwhile or good
- I’m broken and there is no hope of fixing me
- Nothing can help me no matter how hard I try
- I am so fucked up, why waste the world’s resources when I can just disappear?
I’m sure that if I heard a friend saying these things, I would find it absurd and do everything in my power to convince that friend otherwise. But when I’m the one thinking it, there’s nothing anyone can say to convince me that it’s not true.
Of course, if I truly felt this way, I don’t think I would have worked so hard to make my life better. As my therapist pointed out- “Yes, there is a part of you that truly wants to kill yourself. But I think there’s another part of you fighting that, a part of you who really wants to live.”
That’s confusing as fuck.
And it makes me hate myself when I have to spend my whole day calming myself down and stopping myself from crying, unable to do a million other productive things that I would like to do. But some days it’s just like that. When you have mental issues, part of what you have to accept that some days will just have to center around managing your emotions. I’m thankful for the days when I have more control, and I’m able to pursue my hobbies and passions. Today is not one of those days.
My friend told me about a free text crisis line. I’m finding it to be way more helpful than calling the crisis hotline (though my personal experience with the crisis hotline has not been good- they lied and sent the cops to take me to the hospital after telling me they were sending me a mobile therapist…trust broken forever). I’m having a conversation on it right now, and the person I’m talking to is giving me some really good insights. You just have to text “SIGNS” to 741-741.
I don’t have any optimism or inspiration to offer today. Just the raw honesty of what I’m experiencing. But for anyone out there who struggles with suicidal ideation, I hope you can take a look at the thoughts going through your head, and remember that thoughts are not facts, many thoughts are actually thought errors, and tomorrow is a new day…
I'm a storyteller by nature; I like to talk/write about life lessons and daily wisdoms I pick up through mundane, everyday observations. I'm a marketer by trade and a podcast host by... what's the word for not trade? Check out my new video podcast at TwerkingontheTopics.com and my book "No [...]