What I Want You to Know About My Suicidal Thoughts

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

I want you to know how hard this is for me.

I want you to know how hard a small conservation is.

I want you to know how hard it is for me to try, so it’s even harder when I mess up.

I want you to know how hard it is to want to be able to be happy, but not even having the strength.

I want you to know how hard it is for me to pull the corners of my mouth into a smile, let alone exert every ounce of energy I may have into one, full-blown hour of class.

I want you to know how hard it is for me to stand at the back of the room, watching everyone ease through being themselves.

I want you to know how hard it is for me to put all my willpower into being extremely healthy every day, all because I feel the need to unhealthily self-medicate with alcohol in the mornings.

I want you to know this is hard for me.

I want you to know without me having to explain it. Because if I were to explain this, I would tell you it’s too hard for me to be here. I would tell you that it’s a daily thing for me to think about not being here anymore. Thinking about suicide is not hard for me. It’s hard to think about what it would do to the people who love me. It’s hard for me to think about my parents.

It’s hard for me to tell this to anyone because I believe they’d only think I wanted attention.

It’s hard because it’s an either/or kind of thing. If I tell someone, I want attention. If I actually do it, I should’ve told someone.

It’s like being hungry, but not being able to eat anything to satisfy the hunger.

Let me make it harder for you.

It’s like letting your children eat because you can’t bear to see them starve, so you starve yourself and you bear the pain.

Not for yourself.

For them.

And it’s hard.

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Marjan_Apostolovic

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I Didn't Want to Die, but I Wanted to End My Pain

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering because it discusses a suicide attempt. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

The rain-slicked street flashes in and out of the night as a steady trickle of headlights pass over the bridge. With a desperate need, I walk, frantically, calmly, each step driven by a wretched determination. My backpack, protecting my miserable attempt at a suicide note, is the only thing I want to survive the night.

Some people think suicide is a cowardly or selfish act, but carrying it out is far from easy. Forming the foundations of all life is the urge to survive. Something catastrophic must happen to rob someone of their will to live, convincing them that death is the only thing that can end their torment.

As I tread farther up the bridge, the river sinks below. Part of me screams, Stop! But I continue on. I am 22 years old.

Depression is not a feeling, it is an illness. I was filled with a level of self-hate and emotional pain I didn’t know could exist. My body was slow, tired and weak. All the happy and joyful memories of my life were cut off like they never existed.

When I reach the top of the bridge, I drop my bag. My heart races. My stomach twists. I feel excruciatingly sad and beaten. I don’t want to die. I turn my back on the water and try to breathe. Stop now! Go back! No one will know I came this far. But I’ve tried to get better. I’ve tried counseling. I’ve tried medication. I’ve done everything I can. Recovery hasn’t happened. I am stuck. I just want to end my pain. There is nothing else to do.

When a break in the headlights comes, I turn and leap over the railing.

Years before, I had fantasized about suicide, never thinking I would one day act on those thoughts. Suicide was a weapon within my dreams, a way for me to say “fuck you” to the world and those who hurt me. Bullied and harassed in high school, I comforted myself by imagining my funeral, where a note would be read out exposing those who caused me such misery.

As my feet leave the ground, I close my eyes. The river rushes towards me. The sound of the wind whirling past is the last voice I will ever hear. I hit the water, but I do not die.

When I finally tried to end my life, suicide was no longer a sheltering fantasy. Suicide was my last compassionate act of pity and misguided love.

When I come to in the water, I am surprised to be alive. Instantly, I am filled with devastating sadness and anger. I feel hopeless and abandoned, but above all, I feel fear. The impulse to survive I had overcome above on the bridge now takes control. With broken bones, I begin to swim.

Suicides are not peaceful deaths. They destroy lives, families and communities, leaving wounds that take generations to never fully heal. We say: “He was sad,” “She lost her job,” “His wife left him,” “Her father just passed away,” but when we do, we dismiss the complexities of the challenges in people’s lives and do them an injustice. We often fail to acknowledge the extent to which mental illness and depression can drive people toward suicide, and subsequently the extent to which suicides are, in fact, often preventable.

I was lucky to survive that fateful night seven years ago. Lucky to be able to recover from my injuries, lucky to have a second chance to recover from depression, and lucky to learn I was wrong.

Wherever you are, there are good people working to prevent suicide. Take meaningful action to support them; make a donation, volunteer; help spread the message that suicide is preventable. Recently, Sept 10th, 2017 was World Suicide Prevention Day, these organizations and your friends and family affected by depression need your support year-round. 

– Joshua R. Beharry, Project Coordinator, HeadsUpGuys

This article was originally published on HeadsUpGuys.org.

Men account for 75 percent of all suicides.

 HeadsUpGuys is an online resource developed to support men in their fight against depression and suicide by providing tips, tools, information about professional services, and stories of success. HeadsUpGuys is a free online resource and depends on the support and generosity of public and private partners, as we work together to improve the health of men in communities across the world.

Further resources/services:

Groups/Services

For local groups: Search “suicide prevention” in your area.

International Association for Suicide Prevention

More on World Suicide Prevention Day.

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Steve Aoki Made a Linkin Park Mash-Up to Honor Chester Bennington

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In honor of Chester Bennington, who died by suicide in July, DJ and electro house musician Steve Aoki released a new song called “Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds,” a mash-up of his previous collaborations with Linkin Park, “Darker Than Blood” and “The Light That Never Comes.”

Aoki told TMZ there’s been a great response to the song so far.

“I love seeing the crowds sing along to Chester’s lyrics, his voice” he said.

All proceeds from the song are going to the One More Light fund, which was started by Music for Relief, the nonprofit organization Linkin Park founded. In a moving post on Twitter, Aoki wrote:

Chester Bennington was my favorite singer of all time. I feel so incredibly honored to not only have worked with him on these two songs but am so deeply touched to have gotten to know him as a friend. I’m still shattered by this tragic loss. It’s hard to realize he is not coming back. Chester was such an invaluable human being that bled out the pain and passion though Linkin Park, touching so many people’s lives. He helped so many people that have felt those similar feelings around the world scream out and feel like they are not alone. Life can be incredible trying and tough. Nothing can bring more consolation than knowing that there are others going through this same pain. Chester was such a beautiful human being. I will never forget our conversations and moments shared together in the studio, on the state, and in life. We now have Chester in our hearts and minds forever. Keep his inspiration and passion alive and play Linkin Park fucking loud. Scream the lyrics fucking loud. Live in these moments fucking loud. I miss you dear friend. You are in our hearts and minds forever. Chester Forever.

He also posted a video on Facebook featuring him and Bennington performing together. Using the hashtag #ChesterForever he wrote, “My tribute to Chester Bennington.”

To listen to and purchase the song, click here

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Lead photo via Steve Aoki’s Facebook page.

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To My Suicidal Self Who Needs a Reminder to Stay

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As I sat on the blue patterned couch in my therapist’s office, nestled in the middle of the soft couch cushions and white plush pillows, I twirled my ponytail holder around my wrist over and over again until I had successfully zoned out.

“Where did you go just now?” she asked.

“No where. I just got distracted.” I answered, as I stared at the sun beams dancing across the window sill.

But that was far from the truth. I had been thinking about life and death, the meaning of my human existence, my excruciating level of hopelessness and how I so badly wanted to end the pain, and ultimately end my life.

I’ve thought about that a lot lately. So today, when my therapist gave me the homework assignment to write letters to myself that I can read during difficult or hopeless times, I thought: what better letter to write than a reminder to stay.

Here it is — my reminder letter to stick around, at least for now:

To the me that needs reminding,

I know things have not been easy lately and the pain often feels like it is too much to bear. Death seems like a more palatable option than sticking around and hoping that things will get better or become easier. You tell yourself that you are broken, chronic and inherently flawed — messages that you truly believe define the very core of your being. You can’t see past the darkness that encircles you day in and day out. The coveted light at the end of the tunnel? It is nothing more than an elusive carrot you are always chasing.

You grow weary from fighting a relentless battle with mental illness. Anyone could understand why you’d be exhausted. It makes sense — just like wanting an end to the pain makes sense. Depression has a way of shrinking your world down to a single, solitary room. You exist within the four walls of your bedroom, barely able to make it out of bed. What you don’t realize is that there is a world behind the dark, drawn curtains that is big and bright and waiting to be discovered. Although it seems terrifying right now to think about embracing the noise, and the chaos, and the light — I promise you it won’t always feel so overwhelming. You just have to hold on and stick around long enough to see that for yourself.

Stay.

Stay when you feel like giving in. Stay when everything in you is screaming for relief. Stay long enough to see the sparks ignite into flames as hope burns within you once again. Stay one more day. Stay to see another person smile. Maybe, one day, it will be you who smiles. Stay to watch another sunset and breathe deep as you take in the cotton candy hues covering the vastness of the sky. Stay awhile, until you get the chance to make your voice heard. You have so much to say and can be a powerful force if you allow your words to carry. Stay so that you can experience one more bad cup of coffee. At least you will know that you have feelings about something. Stay so that you can take one more trip and collect photographs in the form of memories. Stay until you cry one more time. You will be reminded that you are human, and that being human is messy and painful, and occasionally beautiful. Stay so that you can hold someone’s hand. Stay to see the changes happening all around you. Stay when your heart is full and you feel alive, but aren’t sure those feelings will last. Stay to see them through. I urge you to please stay. The world needs more of you, even if you can’t believe that right now. You are worthy and loved and deserve to take up space.

sunset and ocean

So, stick around a little while longer.

Own your space.

Use your voice.

Experience life in all of its messy and broken beauty.

Leave your mark on this world by being around to impact it, no matter how small you may feel your impact can be.

You will be OK. Maybe not today or even tomorrow, but if you choose to stay; then you get to see firsthand, the incredible strength, power and bravery you possess. You, my dear, are a brave one.

Stay.

See you tomorrow,

The me that makes it

Leaving often feels like the safer choice. It would mean relief, finality and an ending to a story I never wanted to own. It is vital, especially when those thoughts feel all encompassing, to have reminders to stay; to remember what it is I show up for, no matter how ridiculous or silly it might sound to someone on the outside. My reasons to stay may look different than yours, and that is OK. Create your own reasons, keep them close and access them when you believe that leaving sounds more appealing than staying. As my therapist once told me, “The world would take a hit if you weren’t here, because you are inherently worthy.” The world needs us, even if we can’t believe it just yet. Stick around a little while longer.

Follow this journey here.

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Ewelina Karezona

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How to Help a Friend Who Is Feeling Suicidal

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

This is a hard post to write. This topic is something really close to my heart, but it’s also something that needs to be talked about. You see, September 10th to September 16th is World Suicide Prevention Week, and according to statistics and research, The World Health Organization estimates that close to 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. That is a scary huge number of lives lost each year and a number that needs to be lowered. And one of the way to help lower this number is to bring this subject into light, to talk about it, to break the stigma around it.

From someone who has dealt with suicidal thoughts, I can tell you how hard they are to live with. It takes every power and strength in one person to not act when these lies are constantly in your head. And yes, I know the voice and the thoughts of “it’s easier to just end your life,” or “this is not worth it,” “this is too hard and it hurts too much,” etc. They are all lies and none of it is true. But the thing is, when you’re in that moment, you start believing it and you can’t tell what is truth or lies anymore. It consumes your mind and it just takes over. So I just want to say, if you are struggling at the moment with suicidal thoughts, let me tell you that it does get better; maybe not easier straight away, but you have the strength in you to get through this. You are braver and stronger than you think you are. Please don’t give up. Reach out and let someone know what’s happening. You don’t have to go through this alone. And please please please know you are worth fighting for. Your life matters.

For those who are on the other end of the conversation, where you are listening to someone telling you about their suicidal thoughts, or you sense something is up and you are unsure what to do, here are some thoughts and tips I would like to share with you. I hope they will help you.

1. Please just start a conversation with them. Ask them: “Are you OK and is everything going OK?” Genuinely ask them and don’t accept “I’m OK” or “I’m fine” as an answer if you sense something is wrong. Ask further, try to get them to talk. Also, please make sure you don’t ask when you’re passing by in the corridor or in a group setting. They’re not going to be able to open up and share when there’s no privacy. Instead, pull them aside and get them one on one so they are more comfortable with you. This will help them and allow them to share with you if something is up.

2. Do not make them feel bad for feeling suicidal or having suicidal thoughts. Trust me, they do not want to be feeling like this, so you judging them does not help at all and it actually only makes it worse.

3. Don’t try to fix them. In that moment, they most probably not wanting someone to answer them, but just need someone to listen to them and let them know they’re not alone. So be that person. Be their listening ear, their shoulder to cry on.

4. Please don’t jump to conclusions. Let them fully express their thoughts and don’t bring your perceptions or thoughts into the conversation and where you think they’re at. As the listener, don’t label them or what they’re feeling; instead, allow them to word it themselves.

5. Don’t leave the conversation until they’re feeling better, and both you and the person are assured and believe the person is safe and won’t cause harm to themselves.

These five things have helped me to be where I am today — alive and writing this. So, if you are on the listening end, I hope this helps you to help those in your world.

If you are reading this and you are currently struggling with suicidal thoughts, I hope you know you are not alone in this and your story is not over. There is hope for you.

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via MargaretW

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Why I'm So Glad I Didn't End My Life by Suicide

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

There have been many times in my life where I’ve been ready to die by suicide. Sometimes the world gets to be a little too loud for me. The walls seem to be closing in and it feels as though ending my life may be the only option. Here’s why I’m so glad I fought through those suicidal thoughts.

If I had ended my life all the times I wanted to, there are so many things I wouldn’t have gotten to experience. Like meeting my husband, whom I adore. Or meeting my dog, who I’ve found is my soulmate. Or meeting my best friend, who makes me laugh like no other. I would have missed out on my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary, which gives me hope love can last forever. Love. How important love is. Without it, what would we, as humans, have to live for? I would have missed out on the cool wind on my face on a beautiful fall day. I wouldn’t have been able to say goodbye to a dog that changed my life, when her life so suddenly ended. I wouldn’t have been hospitalized and realized I needed to change my way of life and my way of thinking. I would have missed so much.

Don’t get me wrong. There are still so many days, (too many days), where I wish my life would end. Sometimes it’s hard to see the point in continuing on. Paying bills, stressing about work, worrying about money. But then I hear a song I find so beautiful, it makes me cry. Or I wake up to a beautiful sunrise and listen to the birds singing their morning song. Or I see my husband smile, simply because he is seeing me after a long day at work. Or I watch my dog stick his head out the window in the car and I realize how little he has to care about. I think to myself: there’s no reason I can’t be as happy as he is with his head out the window and the wind in his face.

If I had ended my life all the times I wanted to, I wouldn’t be here right now  I wouldn’t be able to share my story with other people who struggle with depression, bipolar disorderanxiety, etc. I would be somewhere I’m not even sure exists.

What lies ahead is what keeps me going the most. Knowing that one day I will have a child, or knowing I get to grow old with my husband and some day meet our grandchildren. All the dogs I will get to own. All the beautiful sunsets I will get to see. But most importantly, seeing the person I will grow to be. Seeing the person who will fight tooth and nail to beat this mental illness. I am stronger than my suicidal thoughts. And I will continue to fight those feelings for, I’m sure, the rest of my life.

To anyone struggling, please think of all the things you will leave behind. Every beautiful day with perfect weather, every person you have yet to meet. The jobs you could have that may change your life, like mine has. I have met so many wonderful people I wouldn’t have met had I ended my life all the times I wanted to. There is hope. There is always hope. Please remember that.

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo by Jurica Koletić on Unsplash

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