A Letter to My Suicidal Thoughts


To My Suicidal Thoughts:

You’ve been in my head for the past few years, as a constant thought and stream of consciousness. You are a part of me. I spend so much time talking about you and what you do to me, that I’ve never actually addressed you.

I’m angry with you. Of course there’s obvious reasons why I’m upset with you. You don’t make me feel good. You make me question myself. You put a shadow over my happiness, and you torment me with myself. But that’s just the surface. I’m angry because there’s apart of you that provides me with comfort. You’re a warm blanket on rainy days in bed. You’re a cup of coffee in the middle of the night. You’re not good for me, but I still have a soft spot for you.

I don’t know how it’s comforting to have you around. I think part of it is because I’ve made you my truth. You’ve infected me with thinking there’s no other way out. You’ve caused me to think you’re the only answer; that I’m destined to follow through with you. I fantasize about you. You’re a dark day dream.

But as I grow older, I’ve come to realize you don’t love me back. You’re abusive. You’re mean. You don’t want me to enjoy my family, or friends, or follow through with my passions. You want me to stay with you, drown with you, be engulfed in you. That’s not love. That’s control. All these years I looked at you for an answer, but all you wanted was to be the dominating thought in my brain. You want to win, and that’s your end game. You want me to die. And that’s not the kind of love I’m searching for from myself. I don’t want to take my life; I want to live it… even if you try to tell me differently.

I want to leave you; but the truth is you will always be part of me. You will come back in dark times, and you will float through my head even on wondrous days. I don’t know if I will ever be free entirely from you. You have grown roots within me, and I will have to do a lot of work to have you gone. You’re not something I can just shut off. Even though you infect me, you’re not an infection. You’re chronic, and I don’t have much control over when you come. I would banish you if I could. That’s just not how you work. You’re an unwelcome permanent guest.

MIGHTY PARTNER RESOURCES

I’m sure you’ve noticed me drifting away. I’ve noticed you trying to come back to me stronger than ever. Yes, I can hear you, but I’m choosing to ignore you. And it’s hard, because you try to reel me in with such sweet words. You entice me with empty promises. But I’ve fallen in love with something else; life. Life doesn’t provide me with comfort; it pushes me outside to dance in the rain instead. Life makes me think hard about the future, and all the destinations I will reach, not just my last stop. Life is scary, because it’s unpredictable; but I’d rather take the gamble than succumb to your darkness again. Life will be my secret weapon to live long, and happy. Life is the reason I will win against mental illness. I know even though my choice is Life, you will still come back to haunt me. And I know someday you may take over again, and I may lose briefly. But you’ll never defeat me. You will never fully have me.

You are tempting; but you won’t take me. And I’ll spend the rest of my life fighting against you, if that’s what it takes. 

-A Mental Warrior

Follow this journey on Taylor’s site.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

RELATED VIDEOS

rainbow heart

When the Suicide Statistics Are Stacked Against You


As a transgender person, I have a 41 percent chance of attempting suicide. As a youth transgender guy, my changes are even higher. As a high school student, I have an increased chance of attempting suicide; one in six high school students seriously consider suicide, one in 12 attempt suicide. All of the odds are stacked against me, yet I’m still here.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t imagine my dog going to my bedroom door and me not being there to let him in.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t put my parents through that pain. I couldn’t imagine how they would live without their only son.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t let him be the last person who talked to me, leaving him wondering what he missed. Leaving him wondering how he didn’t see I was at my breaking point.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t leave them up at 2 a.m. every morning, wishing for a text. Their phone would never buzz.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t leave her alone, without a best friend. No one should have to lose their best friend. Not like that.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t have him questioning every day how “Are you OK?” wasn’t enough to say, “I need help. I need help staying alive.” I couldn’t let him regret caring.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t let God let her down. Leave her without a friend who helped her keep an open mind and an open heart. I couldn’t let her think God had failed her. God makes no mistakes.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t let the younger transgender kid at my school think that’s just the way the world works. Some of us live, some of us don’t.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t miss out on my infinite opportunities despite my situation.

And so I kept living.

I couldn’t turn my dreams into ashes.

And so I kept living.

And so I kept living.

And so I’ll keep living.

If you’re thinking about suicide, you deserve immediate help—please call the Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Scenic twilight sky

If You're Unsure If You 'Deserve' to Participate in World Suicide Prevention Day


A few years ago, on September 10, I messaged a friend to tell him I was glad he was still alive. I did this because this friend had survived an attempt to end his life, and September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day – I thought if there was ever a day I wanted this survivor friend of mine to know he was loved, it was today. I hadn’t known him yet when he attempted and I never would have known him if he hadn’t survived. I wanted him to know my life was better because he was still alive to be in it.

My friend responded quickly and told me he didn’t know about the day’s significance, but he was really appreciative that I’d reached out. I smiled, glad to have encouraged him, but as I went about the rest of my day I had an anxiety nagging at me. Was it OK for me to celebrate my own life on this day, too?

I hadn’t (and haven’t) ever attempted to end my life, but I have spent entire years wrestling with the Liar that is Depression, and that Liar has displayed what seems like boundless energy and cruel creativity in talking me towards giving up. I hadn’t ever attempted, but suicide was a demon I had faced down with alarming frequency. I hadn’t taken any tangible action to end my life, but I had overcome persistent pushes toward a permanent ending.

But if I’m honest, I don’t think I was really wondering whether my struggle had earned me the title of Survivor or not. The issue wasn’t really whether my life had been sufficiently threatened, but whether my life was sufficiently valuable – whether the breath in my lungs was worth being grateful for. If September 10 were a day for us to acknowledge the struggling, to rally around them and tell them their continued existence was a precious, worthwhile thing, I wasn’t sure whether I belonged in either camp, the ones of the supporters or those worth supporting.

Thankfully, my life looks a lot different now than it did back then. I still wrestle with lies sometimes, but most days, I experience wellness. I even often experience health, and on days when I don’t, I think I see my struggle more clearly – as something that is not my fault and which is not a reflection of my heart, and as something I am far from alone in. September 10 doesn’t bring painful questions for me anymore, and I’m thankful for that. This letter is for those who are still unsure.

MIGHTY PARTNER RESOURCES

If you experience depression, if your depression has tried to undermine your sense of safety or told you that you are better off dead, this day is for you.

If you have acted on those thoughts, this day is for you, but if you haven’t, this day is for you, too. Whether you are finally in a healthy space, struggling towards wellness, or just trying to keep the earth below your feet, this day is yours.

Whether you have people to acknowledge this day with, or if nobody knows your story, if you haven’t been able to open up yet: you are worth celebrating. You deserve to be known. You are loved. If nobody else has said this to you, allow me: this day is for you.

My hope is that the lie of loneliness will have less hold, year after year, until one September you are able to know without question your worth, and join those of us who are already grateful you are still alive.

If you notice money going to campaigns, hear conversations being had, if you see people sharing their stories, and you feel as though you are on the outside, or you wonder your place: the very reason this is happening is because your pain matters.

People are giving their money, time and words because your struggle matters. We are moving together to make hope and help known because your story matters and
we need it to continue.

Whether you feel a sense of triumph, or have mixed feelings about still being here, if you are not sure whether it’s a good thing that you are still around to see this day: this day is still for you. It is good that you are here to see it. You are not alone. You don’t have to feel a certain way about being alive for your life to be worth celebrating. Whether you are a victor in the clear, a warrior still in the fray, whether you can see the battle with clarity or if it’s impossibly dark, this day is yours.

There is no mold to fit. There is no prerequisite. Your life matters, and we say with greater intention on September 10 the things we feel just as much on every single day on the calendar. It is good that you are still breathing. Please keep being alive. The fight is always worth it. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

woman with her eyes closed

When You're Angry at Yourself for Having Suicidal Thoughts


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.

“I want to die.”

I don’t remember the first time I said those words, but I do remember the feeling of wanting everything to disappear, wanting everything to end. I was small the first time I wanted to die, too small to even understand that what I was experiencing were suicidal thoughts.

Suicide is a scary word, and there is so much taboo in our society about what it means to want to take your own life. The words “weak” and “selfish” are thrown around so easily, online, in the hospital waiting room, by terrified friends. I think words like these are used by people to protect themselves — if someone who’s suicidal is someone who is weak and selfish, unable to cope with daily life, then it cannot possibly be them. There was a time when suicidal thoughts were my normal because for a large part of my life, I wanted to die more than I wanted to live. But then things changed for me, my life improved, and I was happy. I still struggled in the battle against my mental illness, but for several years I was winning.

After the birth of my second child, everything changed. I found myself wanting to die again. I was in the depths of therapy opening up some of my most painful wounds, and suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. My thoughts were consumed by the desire to die. However, this time it was not my “normal.” I found myself using those horrible words like “weak” and “selfish” about myself for struggling with such thoughts. I was cruel to myself. I told myself it was pathetic and I needed to get over it. Those horrible thoughts about myself came from a place of anger because I couldn’t comprehend how I could possibly want to die when my life was filled with so much joy.

Rather than acknowledge my pain and deal with it, I pushed it down and hid what was
happening… until I found myself standing on a bridge looking down, ready to let go. I stared at the photos of my children on my phone and I willed myself not to do it, but the thoughts were overwhelming. I used my phone in that moment to call a crisis line. I couldn’t speak because I was too afraid, but the kind voice on the other end talking to me, she saved my life.

MIGHTY PARTNER RESOURCES

From that one phone call I was able to reach out to others around me. I went from counting how many more minutes I could keep myself alive to counting the days… and then eventually, the weeks. The thoughts do not go away easily and I know there is a long road ahead of me, but I believe that if I can focus on keeping myself alive just one day at a time, everything has to get better eventually.

It would have been  easy to succumb to the thoughts that tell me I am weak and selfish for the way I feel, but those thoughts will isolate and shame me into silence once more. So instead I choose to speak and to acknowledge my pain in the hopes that just one person reading this with suicidal thoughts will think to reach out for help. Then maybe, I can use my pain to achieve something good.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Photo via Thinkstock

radio on a table

When Calling Into 'Dawson Radio' Saved My Life


I know what it feels like to have no one. To feel all alone. To feel like no one cares about you or how you feel. I am a survivor of suicidal thoughts and depression.

When I was at my lowest point in life, when I thought the only thing I could do was end my life because I was just a “troublemaker” who wouldn’t amount to anything, I was listening to the radio. Suddenly, this talk show came on. It was The Hope Line’s radio show, Dawson Radio.

This guy comes on and says he accepts calls from anyone who may need help. He says he’s not a licensed therapist, but he does all he can to help those who call. They also have licensed therapists and counselors waiting to talk to you.

I remember sitting in my room just crying. Trying to figure out what the point of my life was anymore. I ended up calling the show and just breaking down. I talked to a trained professional about everything that was on my mind for over four hours.

I never expected anyone to actually listen or talk me through what I was going through. But they did. After four hours I hung up the phone and just cried as I realized how close I had come to ending it all over things that seemed so big at the time.

I know it’s kind of a cheesy thing to say, but this radio show saved my life.

I honestly don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t heard that show that night. I am how five years older and I couldn’t be happier. I feel so blessed some days it’s unreal. My life feels almost like a dream.

Please, if you feel like there is no hope, like everything is falling apart, please talk to someone. Anyone. Your friend, family, your priest or bishop. Your old grade school teacher. Someone. I’m always here as well.

Just know there is hope. Things will get better.

I know because I have been there. I struggled with suicidal thoughts and depression for years before I realized how much life had to offer. Sometimes it knocks you down, but eventually you get up, you dust yourself off and you walk away stronger than you were.

MIGHTY PARTNER RESOURCES

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Girl in red dress with umbrella in the rain

The 'Other Girl' Who Told Me the World Would Be Better Off Without Me


There is a girl I know, a girl who is closer to me than anyone else in the whole world. She talks to me all day long, in a familiar and cajoling voice.

She never fails to respond when I feel rejected or alone; she encourages me and puts her arm around my shoulder.

“You really shouldn’t be friends with that person anymore,” she whispers. “They will only hurt you again and again. Better off without them.”

“Rejection is too painful to risk,” she says. “And you’re sure to be rejected if you put yourself out there. I mean, really, look at you. You’re far too crazy to be accepted. Let’s retreat and stay safe.”

She especially likes it when I’m feeling manic.

“Let’s have a great time!” she urges. “Forget everybody else, let loose a little and be free!”

“You only live once!” she cries.

The thing about the Other Girl, however, is that she is always, inevitably, dead wrong.

She got me into trouble, this Other Girl. She caused me to question people’s motives, to mistrust even the closest of friends, to push my husband far away. She tempted me to commit reckless acts that would leave a wake of devastation in my path.

In order to contain her, I found within my psyche a secret place, a sort of sewer deep within the recesses of my being, where I could shove her, along with all my disappointments and fears and worries and anguish.

She didn’t like it in there. It was dark, and she raged to get free. I could always feel her there, pushing and straining at the manhole cover. I stood on it with all my strength to keep her contained.

One day, she overpowered me.

She exploded out of the sewer, scattering the accumulated sh*t of a lifetime as she went.

She screamed at me that I was worthless, that I would never be whole, that the world would be a better place without me.

I believed her. She was so strong, and so convinced, and so angry. I could not withstand her onslaught.

I tried to take my life.

MIGHTY PARTNER RESOURCES

The Other Girl told me it was my only option, and I listened.

In the hospital later, The Other Girl told me to wait, and when we got out, we’d do it again, but properly this time, so no one could intervene.

She was so emphatic, and I was too weary to stuff her back into the sewer. I looked around and the mess we had made together, and felt utterly defeated.

Fortunately, there were people in the hospital who knew how to help me. They knew about the Other Girl, and they weren’t afraid of her. They knew how to quiet her voice, how to render her impotent. They helped me clean up the mess; they let me know that now that it was out in the open, it could be dealt with.

They taught me not to stuff my emotions into the sewer, they taught me how to deal with them in healthy ways.

The Other Girl still exists. She is a part of me and always will be. But I know the feeling of her hand on my shoulder, and I know how to release its grip.

Perhaps you know the Other Girl, too. Perhaps she is even now telling you that the world would be better off without you.

I am here to tell you that she is a liar. Don’t let her get the best of you.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Real People. Real Stories.

8,000
CONTRIBUTORS
150 Million
READERS

We face disability, disease and mental illness together.