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What It's Like to Wish You'd 'Never Been Born'

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Many people don’t naturally cope with distressing feelings very well, but we can learn better ways. When people say, “I wish I had never been born,” they can mean a number of things. Oftentimes, they are letting themselves feel. Sometimes a situation may seem too big for someone, so they may be protecting themselves by numbing a bit. Sometimes it’s anger turned inward.

When you are ready, you can find more productive ways to go through the distressing parts of humanity. Who could you get to help you? There are people who are good at helping others in distress.  They often find it is a privilege to hear someone’s truth and use the skills and insights they have worked on. It allows them to re-examine life through another person’s eyes and reaffirm their values. So don’t think you are being a burden.

“I wish I had never been born” is a way people express that they feel unsupported and are angry about that, but turn their anger inwards. Admitting what you are angry about can be scary but it can empower you to make a change. It’s a signal to do two things: take better care of yourself and to problem solve.

Imagine a small child or someone else you like (or even a pet), was in pain, and saying he or she wishes to never have existed. What would you say to that and how would you feel hearing that? Usually it is something kind. Now you should try to say kind things to yourself because you need more support and courage.

Do things that nurture yourself even if you don’t feel like it, because they can help in time. But please be mindful that you may need medical help too. Notice every week how many times you think, “I wish I was never born,” and take note of it. Finding the right treatment for you will help.

If you’ve thought in the past, “I wish I had never been born,” take a moment to acknowledge that you are still here and that you’ve gotten through.

Recognize that “I wish I was never born” can become a signal for us to take action. Sometimes that action is to rest, or get out of commitments or other things that are weighing us down, so we may use our resources to build ourselves back up.

Originally published: August 30, 2018
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