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Why Resisting Suicidal Thoughts Doesn't Make Them Less Real

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

I’ve felt like the world would be so much better off without me more times than I can even count over the past six months. I’ve cycled in and out of depression for all of my adult life, and I have contemplated suicide here and there throughout those years. However, these past few months, it’s not like I’ve contemplated suicide nonchalantly, it just being a thought that runs through my mind. No, I have very seriously thought about what it would be like to die. I have researched the ways I could do it. I’ve written out suicide letters to the two people in my life I’d want the closure for. I’ve carried around a tool I could use if I ever “needed too.” It’s been a very real, very big “decision” I’ve been saying to myself I could act on if I “needed too.”

But despite all this, I have never acted on it. I’ve wanted to; oh my god, I have been so close to it, but I haven’t. I’m not sure why I haven’t; fear of it hurting, fear of who may find me, fear of it affecting people around me more than I’d like it to, or maybe it’s the fact I know, deep down, that I don’t want to die. But it’s a very real, very loud thought process in my head that is always there lately.

I assumed, because I haven’t tried to kill myself, that it wasn’t “serious enough to mention.” I mean, if I wanted to die then I would’ve done it already, right? So, this must be an “attention thing,” like many people hear others say, or not serious enough to get help for. But the truth is, suicide is so deadly because no one talks about it in the “early stages.” People are afraid to talk about these feelings because they’re not “that bad” if they aren’t acting on the urges. But if that is the case, then when is it serious enough to mention? When you’ve attempted but thankfully survived? When you’ve completed a suicide attempt, at which point there is no more help? No. It’s time to get help when you start imagining the method of your suicide attempt. It’s time to get help when you start preparing for it. It’s time to get help when you’re writing letters saying goodbye to people who should never receive those words. It’s time to get help the minute you feel like it’s an option to end your life.

You don’t have to have attempted suicide in your lifetime for it to be taken seriously, and you sure as hell don’t have to prove you need help by acting on it. Talk about it. Express your feelings to people you trust. Suicide urges feed on secrecy, and they are impulsive. If you’re feeling those unsafe feelings and you try and rationally, calmly discuss them with trusted people, you’d be surprised at how fast you back away from acting on those thoughts. I can only speak for myself, but I do think that deep down, past the feelings not mattering, or the world being better off without you, or your friends being better off without you; you don’t really want to die. Which is why so many of us hold on for so long without attempting. But that’s also the scary part… so many of us are silently struggling. And by talking about it, you make connections with people who may have felt the same feelings you have and gotten through it. You find hope; in others, within yourself, and it all comes from taking that step realizing it is never “not bad enough to talk about.”

If you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, please talk about it with someone; a family member, a close friend, a therapist. It really is about finding the help and having people who will be there for you and who will help you find the right help. Because you belong here, even if you think you don’t. You do.

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 reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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Photo by Michelle Spencer on Unsplash

Originally published: January 5, 2017
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