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Why I Say I Want to Die by Suicide, and Reasons Why I Don’t


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 741741.

I want to die.

I don’t honestly know if I mean that literally or figuratively. I want to die because it is the only way I can think of the pain that plagues me nearly every day — not the kind of physical pain of stubbing my toe or skinning my knee, but the pain of the intense pressure inside that comes from depression and sadness. The pressure has nowhere to go unless you explode.

I have yet to come up with a remedy to relieve that pain. I can scream, yell, jump up and down or throw something but it only gives me temporary relief; the pressure always returns. If it isn’t that, it is the burning in my throat from holding back tears and when they inevitably come, they come so hard and fast, it is hard to breathe because the sobbing won’t allow me to. This is the pain I feel. When this pain strikes, generally out of nowhere and for no reason at all, there are thoughts that enter my mind. The first, always, is that I just want to die to make the pain go away. The second is that I wish I had my mom, my grandparents or someone who has been there forever and will never go away. Someone who loves me unconditionally because they raised me and have been by my side through everything. The third is that I wish I had someone who could tell me how to fix the chaos in my mind.

I have people in my life whom I know love me unconditionally. I have people who are willing to listen and talk. However, it hurts so much more to admit and express the pain that is inside. I can’t explain the hurt; it makes me feel it more, it is exhausting to try to put it into words. It is unbearable to articulate the emotional chaos in my head. I know when people see me this way, they want to help, they want to fix me and I am thankful for that, but the words they say are sometimes brutal:

“You will be OK.”

“Everyone has days like this.”

“We love you.”

“We need you.”

“You are strong.”

“You are important.”

The reason these words hurt is because everything inside me is telling me differently. Saying these things makes me feel I am wrong or that they are appeasing me. Either one is equally hurtful. I know people don’t mean it; I know they are not doing it intentionally. I know, if you see someone hurting, by nature you want to help. When someone wants to hug or hold me, I panic; I don’t want to be touched. It simply inflames the hurt and causes more anxiety. I need to deal with this by myself, in my own way. Every time it may be different, I don’t know, and I don’t expect anyone else to know. Sometimes, one of the only ways I feel I can deal with it is by ending it. So far, I have been able to find a way to avoid that option.

My kids are generally my reason. I would miss them so much. However, they bring an additional amount of guilt. All three of my children deal with mental illness — all of them getting it genetically from me. There is nothing in this world that I feel more guilty about. Sometimes I think if I had known then what I know now, I shouldn’t have had kids. I have passed on a life of mental illness.

I do have good days, and I have days when I can put on a fake smile and gut my way through. I learned that a long time ago. But, out of every 10 days, I spend five apathetic to not waking up, two hoping I don’t wake up, one thinking of how to end it and a couple thinking it is getting better. The “getting better” days are the hardest because it always gives me a sense of false hope. It doesn’t and won’t last.

So, that is my reason for wanting to die, and my reason for not wanting to. I can’t promise I won’t end up succumbing to mental illness, no more than a cancer patient can promise they won’t; no more than someone can promise they won’t die from a heart attack. I continue to seek treatment, to get help, but so far I haven’t found a solution. It is frustrating and hard to keep trying.

Please know I am not looking for attention, seeking sympathy or trying to worry people. I am writing this to enlighten you to what mental illness and depression really look like. It’s not trendy or fun. Suicide is not selfish. If someone who has taken their own life could have thought of a different solution, they would have. It is always a last resort. So remember, when you ask why someone would die by suicide, the answer is this: the pain was just too unbearable.

Photo by Jon Chambers on Unsplash