To Anyone Who Wants to Stop Existing
Editor’s note: If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
To the one who wants to give up,
I know. I’ve been where you are. I’ve been to the depths of hell and back again. I know what it feels like when the mania rages into the racing sky and when the depression plagues your mind into the depths of nothingness.
I know what it feels like to have life stripped from you and to barely hang onto the current day, dreading the day after. If only it would end. You don’t necessarily want to die, but it seems to be the only way to stop existing. That is what you crave so desperately, for it all just to stop.
Believe me, I have been there. I’ve stood on the edge of the roof. I’ve held the gun in my hands. I’ve thought of overdosing, I’ve thought of slitting my wrists in the bathtub. But, I didn’t. And I’ll tell you why.
The first time I had a plan to end my life, I came across a note from my little brother. I was 17, at the time, and he was 14. In his messy penmanship, on a Days Inn hotel notepad from a family vacation long ago, he wrote me this and left it on my bed:
Mom and Dad said you wanted to kill yourself.
I’ve never been more scared in my life.
Please don’t. Please don’t do it.
I don’t know what I’d do without you.
You’re my best friend.
I love you.
Your brother Nate
It stopped me in my tracks. It made me think. For the first time in months, I was able to see something clearly and logically, when my mind hadn’t let me before. That is one of the hard things about mental illness. It distorts your ability to think in rationality.
It wasn’t necessarily the fact that my brother was more important than my desperate need to end it all. It wasn’t the “Please, don’t” or the “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” It was the, “I love you.” He loved me. He was telling me I mattered. I mattered. And, I’m here to say you matter, too.
I know it may not feel like it right now. I know that you may feel worthless, chaotic, desperate and alone. I know people may call you “crazy,” “insane” or “weird.” I know this. I’ve been called all of those things by people who didn’t understand. But, you need to know something: You matter. You matter more than you could ever know.
Sometimes I read different comments on bipolar disorder blogs and websites. I see the desperation. I see the struggle, and I see the hopelessness in people’s comments. I can almost see their faces and their eyes. I see them throwing in the towel on medications and hanging up the cleats on psychiatrists. I see them give in to the subsequent eating disorders and substance abuses.
I want to shake them. I want to cry with them. I want to beg them to not quit because I know what it is like. I know what it is like to want to stop existing so many god forsaken times. I went through what felt like dozens of wrong medications until I found the right mix for me. I went through four psychiatrists until I found the right one. I struggled, struggled and struggled, but it was all worth it in the end.
It takes the right medications and the right doctors. It takes the right therapy and the right support. I’m begging you to believe me when I tell you it works. You just can’t give up.
You are valuable to your core, every fiber in you is worth more than any material thing in the entire world. You are a beautiful creation and a gorgeous soul. I know I don’t know you, and I know you may never actually speak with me, but you matter. As high as the sun rises, you matter. Don’t ever doubt this. You matter.
To all the struggling, the helpless, the hopeless. To all who have ever felt alone. To the ones who have mania raging inside of them or depression threatening to drown them. Don’t give up. It gets better if you stick with the recovery. The madness does subside.
You will live again and life will be calm. A love for the world will come back to you. I promise you. I know it is hard, impossibly so, but I promise it is worth it in the end. You matter in this world. Don’t ever stop telling yourself that.
With all the love and hugs I could ever give,