I've Experienced Suicidal Thoughts, But Now I'm Finally Happy to Be Alive
A couple of weeks ago I got lucky enough to work closely with one of my heroes. They not only inspired me to follow my career path, their music has been instrumental in helping me deal with my mental illnesses. I was completely elated — so excited I couldn’t even sleep the night before. The next morning came around and we meet up. We got right to work, having small talk as we went from location to location. As the morning rolled on, conversation went from polite small talk toward celebrity gossip. The subject of the day was a musician that struggled with depression and ended up dying by suicide. The rapper in my car had a hard time comprehending why they would do that. “They had so much to live for. They had six kids. What about the kids?” I wanted to explain how it feels when you hit that point. I just couldn’t.
How do you explain being in that position, feeling like you possibly couldn’t contribute anything positive to the world? How do you explain feeling like a burden to someone who proclaims themselves as a voice for the voiceless? Someone whose music is about it never being too late and making something out of nothing. For a few days I felt like I shit the bed with the lame explanation of “sometimes things just get overwhelming.” However, the more I think about it, I’m relieved that I didn’t have more words to say.
I had the words at one point. I’ve wrote more suicide notes than I care to count. I more than understand the action behind attempts. I’ve been there. I’ve been hospitalized and I didn’t even get a stupid T-shirt saying “I survived.” I’m not proud of those times.
I am proud that I couldn’t explain it, because to me that signifies a big step in recovery. I still get those feelings. I just have better techniques to manage them now. As terrible as things can get, I’m happy to be alive.
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 Will Broomfield