When Suicidal Thoughts Leave You Wondering What Your Purpose Is


I suppose it’s a little ironic how much I look forward to World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10). Back when I needed it most, I didn’t even know such a day existed. Now I wait around all August for the announcement of To Write Love On Her Arms’ theme. This year, much to my delight, the theme is Stay. Find out what you were made for. That struck a chord with me.

The first time I seriously considered ending my life, that was the question I pondered. What was my purpose? As many people do, I turned to the internet, trying to find someone who understood. I saw little blurbs about how time passes and you become a different person — someone you never could have imagined. A little flicker of hope made me take a pause in my plans and contemplate just what my future might be.

Fastforward 10 years or so, and I am a completely different person. Never would I have imagined the strength I found inside myself so many times over. I’ve faced demons, battled the darkness and I’ve changed my mind about where I’m going plenty of times.

I know that out there somewhere is a person who is where I was then. Someone is thinking about what their life might be — if their life is worth it. I’ve been there a couple of times, and I always kept fighting. I can’t tell them what their life will end up being, but I can tell them that there’s something out there. If you can tap into the pain and suffering and give it a purpose in your life, you’ll find out what your purpose is.

There are a million decisions to make, some of them are small and some are huge. Making the choice to keep going, even when the way is dark and you don’t see any options, is the biggest decision you can make. It will force you to keep making that decision over and over until you finally make a habit of living. It’s in that hindsight that you find little rainbows peeping out. You’ll find your purpose — even if you don’t believe it yet.

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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Unsplash photo via Samuel Zeller 


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