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The Question I Struggle With When I'm Feeling Suicidal

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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.

Do I stay or do I go?

I grapple with this question constantly in what I’ve come to call my fight between hope and hopelessness.

I fear what’s ahead. What has often kept me on this earth alive is the hope the future will somehow be good, so good, and make up for the trauma from my childhood. But what if it’s not? What if the good doesn’t outweigh the bad in the end? What if I never reach my goals? Or travel? Or find love — be in my “tribe” or find my other half? What if I never feel OK, and whole, and free? What if I settle? What if? What if I don’t make it there and all I ever experience is this crappy set of circumstances? But then, what if I do? What if I make peace with myself and feel confident, strong and healthy one day? What if I marry? Someone truly great and it lasts for 50 years and counting? What if I have a wonderful kid who loves me to the moon and back? What if I have two? The good, the bad, I just can’t know. But I know that as long as my heart is still beating, I’m closer and closer with every passing second to a future filled with potentially amazing things.

So this too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass nonetheless. Then, the sunshine that only seems to reach others will reach me too and renew. Is it cheesy to have hope? Maybe. Sometimes I certainly think so. OK, most times. But right now it means my survival. Something inside of me is scared and refuses to loosen its grip on life because I could miss out on the complete 360 that could happen.

I see now the only way past is through. My family won’t change. The damage is done. I just have to survive this now and get to the other side of it. Simple as that… in theory. In practice, this leaves me feeling shattered. Over and over again, I am shattered, trying to get to the other side of this. And I bleed trying to put my pieces back together into one. It is hard work finding me again, the me before I learned to be afraid and make myself small, insecure and soft spoken. But this is not all of who I am. There is a whole person buried within. You sometimes hear of beautiful, entire cities that lie submerged by the sea. That’s what it’s like. There is a whole person buried within. A beautiful person. A caring person. A patient person. A worthy person. A person. Worthy.

The hardest part about depression is feeling like all that remains is a shell of that person. Not being able to connect deeply with others anymore, and worse, not being able to connect with yourself. It is a pain that you can taste like blood in your mouth. And it can’t fully be comprehended unless you’ve experienced it yourself. But I’m in here and I’m absolutely worth the time and trial and error it is taking to feel whole again.

Every single second of it.

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 brickrena.

Originally published: September 28, 2017
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