It happens just like this.
Thoughts, seemingly out of nowhere, that reach into the dark places and try to manifest the very worst of me.
I ask you, no, I beg of you, please read this linked article. The author so eloquently explains what happens when logical thoughts become irrational. What seems unthinkable – killing oneself – suddenly and without warning seems like the right thing to do.
It’s exhausting, living like this. Medication and therapy help, but they aren’t a cure-all. There are always moments of doubt, of criticism, of flat-out failure. And those are the times when people like me are most at risk of harming ourselves.
For me, and for many others that I know, it’s not about wanting to die. It’s about wanting whatever negative feeling is happening in the moment to just stop. And death appears as a solution to all the troubles on my shoulder.
To be clear, I am fully aware of the risk I face. So I work hard to inoculate myself against such feelings. They are inevitable, but drastic consequences to them are not. I have done everything I can think of to protect myself.
I am honest with myself about my own feelings. I am honest with others, letting them know when I feel myself drawn to the darkness. I surround myself with good, strong people who remind me daily that I matter to them.
In other words, I have tried to proactively protect myself against thoughts of suicide. And so far, I’ve been successful. But part of me fears that it will only be a matter of time until the dark feelings prove to be too much for me.
Think that’s scary to read? Imagine being me and writing those words. They terrify me. And they should.
I will continue to reach out for help. I will continue to work with my therapist and my psychiatrist to find the right medications. And I will continue to write and share my struggle openly. Because I don’t want to be just another statistic, someone with so many reasons to live who just gave up.
I’m alive. And I plan to stay that way.
And if any of this rings true for you, talk to me. Talk to someone else. Talk to a counselor or a therapist or a hotline. Raise your hand and say, “I need help!”
Because you matter. You are loved. And we need you to stay.