3 Phrases I Said When I Was Suicidal That Actually Meant 'I Want to Die'
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.
Suicide has been in the media a lot over the past few years, particularly very recently with some amazing, talented, seemingly “happy” celebrities taking their own lives. But suicide is still hugely misunderstood.
Suicidal thoughts aren’t just simply saying “I want to die” and it certainly isn’t “the easy way out” or selfish as many people still believe it to be.
Having had suicidal thoughts and made several serious attempts in my life, I can assure you it is not a spur of the moment thought or something to be taken lightly. In my case, it was when I had reached a point where I felt nothing. I was numb. Not sad. Not upset. I was completely void of feeling and that is the scariest place to be.
I had lost all hope. All of it. Can you even imagine what that’s like?
I had a lovely home. Family, friends, an amazing husband and beautiful son, but depression hid all that from me. Told me I didn’t deserve it. It told me my husband would leave me soon anyway and my son was going to end up broken and alone if I continued to be his mother. It told me everyone hated me. It made me believe my friends weren’t my friends — not really, because they talked about me behind my back and my family wanted me dead, too.
Depression made me believe that killing myself was the best option for everyone else around me. If I truly loved them, then I would need to be gone. Gone forever.
So you see in this case, and so many others, suicide had little to do with your own feelings. It was me doing what was best for people I cared about. Or so depression made me believe.
Suicide also isn’t just someone moping around being miserable telling everyone, “I want to die” or “I want to kill myself.” This is something people find difficult to understand. Yes the majority of people who take their own lives struggled with depression, so they may have appeared depressed a lot of the times. While this is true in a lot of cases, for me, when I made the decision to end my life, I almost began to feel a little “better.” For example, I had planned my attempt and knew when I was doing it, how I was doing it and it started to make me feel lighter. I knew it wouldn’t be long until everyone I loved would be free of me and the pain I was bringing to their lives.
This is a major warning sign, so I would urge anyone who is experiencing this or caring for someone who changes rapidly from being at rock bottom to seemingly “OK” to take this seriously. This might mean they have made their plans. Sometimes, a change like this won’t mean anything serious. Sometimes it might just be things improving, but if it is a rapid change, then I would still remain vigilant.
Another important part of suicide is not simply someone declaring they want to die. We will often say other things. I few of the things I would often say were:
1. “I just want it to stop.”
This for me was something I remember saying a lot. I remember saying it to my husband and him looking back at me with such helplessness. I wanted the debilitating internal pain to stop. I wanted the invasive and frightening thoughts to stop. I wanted to stop feeling so overwhelmed by everything. I wanted people to stop looking after me and let me die.
2. “I don’t want to be here anymore.”
Again this was something I remember saying a lot. I remember saying it to many professionals and family members. Their response always being, “You don’t want to be here, at this place or you don’t want to be here at all?” The latter was almost always what I meant. I just couldn’t face saying the words, “I want to die” out loud.
3. “I just can’t do this anymore.”
I remember saying this many times through hysterical tears to my husband. He would always reply, “Yes, yes you can. I believe in you…” But it would fall on unhearing ears. He had no idea the pain I was feeling. Physically and emotionally I felt I could not cope another minute with this pain or the pain I was inflicting on others.
I think it is important to say that everyone who has suicidal thoughts and/or tendencies will struggle differently.
Not everyone will want to die as I did on many occasions. It might be for them that they can’t cope with the overwhelming thoughts they are having or the pain they are feeling and they are desperately asking for help in the only ways they know how or feel comfortable with.
I guess it’s about staying vigilant and being open. Do not judge. Do not assume you know how they might be feeling. Do not assume it’s “just for attention.” We all have a responsibility to remove this awful stigma and we can only do that by talking and sharing our experiences in a nonjudgmental way.
Take care of yourselves and others.
Be kind always, you never know what battles people might be facing.
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 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Thinkstock photo via Grandfailure.