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Playing 'Mute/Unmute' With My Suicidal Thoughts

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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.

The monster in my brain has found his voice, again. He’s trying to take over my mind and heart, again. I tried to hide from him for the last 34 hours deep inside my warm, cozy bed, because I can’t seem to hear him in there. But even after shutting him out for more than a day, all it takes is for me to open my eyes and he’s back — and in surround sound. Telling me things like:

“You’re stupid. You’re not good enough. You’ll never be good enough. You’re ugly. No one really likes you. You aren’t made for this earth. You should just give up now. You’d feel better if you just wrote that note and took all those pills. Seriously, why even bother getting up? Why not just call in ‘sick’ again and stay with me all day? I’m your only real friend. I know what you need and it’s that bottle of pills.”

I should tell you we’ve been playing the game of “mute, unmute” for more than 20 years.

The monster isn’t a sweet talker (although sometimes when he says he can make it all better, it’s hard not to listen). The monster is a little black, disgusting thing who’s been in my brain for almost as long as I can remember. We first met when I was about 10. I didn’t like him then and I do not like him now. During our first 10 years together, he was more in control of the mute/unmute switch than I was. In high school, I was at his disposal. Almost like a servant to his every word. At 16, he almost had my complete and total surrender. He told me to try and kill myself and I did. But then something inside me told me that wasn’t right. So I went to the hospital and stayed in the ICU for three nights. That muted him, for awhile.

He would come back, though, screaming at me. Sometimes he found that switch when a tragic thing happened, like a divorce. Sometimes he’d find it when a person I loved died. But more often than not, he’d find the switch whenever his filthy, horrible little heart felt like it, and just like that he’d be working overtime to make me feel completely worthless for no reason at all.

The monster has no tact or care for timing, you see. He has total disregard to how my life is currently going and just seems to enter it at will and with total control. It doesn’t matter how much better I’ve become at muting him thanks to therapy, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs and doctors. He’ll go away for a while, but he always comes back and switches to unmute.

The monster wants to be my friend. I think that’s why he’s so persistent. The only thing is, I don’t want him as a friend. He’s mean. Maybe he thinks we are friends because I give in to him sometimes. It’s just so exhausting fighting him for control over that button.

Sometimes I’m really good at telling the monster to go mute himself. Like today. After I awoke from those 34 hours of hiding, I gathered all my strength and decided to tell him. I called the suicide hotline for the first time — go mute yourself! I called my therapist and set up an appointment for tomorrow — go mute yourself! I called my best friend — go mute yourself! I took my dog for a walk — go mute yourself! I’m writing this little thing — go mute yourself! I’m doing every little thing I can to say go mute yourself because I don’t want to be this monster’s friend. I’m sick of hearing his unhealthy comments. To you, Monster inside my brain, go mute yourself.


I’ll take it. Even if it’s only just for a little while, because the older I get, the stronger I get at telling him — go mute yourself.

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Getty image via CamilaPaez

Originally published: April 1, 2018
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