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The Hardest Days That Don't Seem Like They Should Be the Hardest

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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 741-741.

The hardest days do not seem like they should be the hardest days. They are not the days when my head hurts beyond words. They are not the days when sleep only comes with tears. They are not the days when hysterics flare up from nothing. Those days are fleeting. They are transient. I have learned to live with that pain. I have adjusted to finding solace in sobbing sleep. My hysterics can always be talked down with a soothing tone or quiet logic.

The hardest days are the days when the math seems most simple. The days when the obvious answer is the most drastic one; you could just be done with everything. They are the times when suicide is as certain as the sum of two plus two being four. It is not an escape. It is not abandonment. It is not giving in. It is simply the solution that makes the most sense. It’s logical. It’s detached. It’s a no-brainer.

These are the days I pause to take my pocket knife, which I have carried since I was a teenager, out of my pocket and place it in a drawer. I wait a little longer before taking turns when driving. I stop a little sooner. I don’t take risks I would normally take because I do not trust that I won’t give in halfway through.

On these days, on the worst of them at any rate, I do not live for me. I do not live for anyone else. I live because when my thoughts and feelings are the darkest I don’t feel I deserve to have the pain go away. The idea of suicide is a succor. I am not jarred from action by the realization of the harm I would do to those I love, because ideation tells me that it is all an illusion; a carefully crafted lie molded to make me vulnerable. It is a balm that the hurt convinces me I don’t deserve. Whoever thought depression could be a lifeline?

Years ago I would’ve said that on those days I lived for the wrong reasons. I was convinced that making the right choice for the wrong reasons was as bad as making the wrong choice in the first place. Now, with years of therapy to help hold me up, I recognize that any reason to live is a good reason. Anything that prevents the harshest of choices has its place and purpose. I take no pride in these days… as I do when I am able to cling to positive things to beat back the compulsions… but I do find victory in them.

Today is one of the hardest days. The simplicity of escape has gnawed at me since I woke. My instincts tell me to shut down. To close off. To isolate myself from those I love to spare them the burden of how ugly these feelings are. But my training tells me that is exactly the wrong thing to do. So I will try to reach out. I will hope to be reached out to. I will keep my mind at bay by dancing with words and conversations. And I will pray that tomorrow the math is different.

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 image via George Doyle

Originally published: February 28, 2017
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