When It Feels Inevitable You Will Die by Suicide
If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
My favorite artist, a handsome indie crooner from British Columbia, Dan Mangan, recently released a rather sad song “In Your Corner” dedicated to Scott Hutchison, a performer who tragically died by suicide a few years ago. While the piece I think is supposed to perhaps provide some hope to those who share similar feelings of despair, I found my own grievous meaning behind the lyrics:
“What leads the best of us to suffer?
Do they know their pain and write it down
To help the rest of us recover?
We’re crying in the shower
Crying in the carpark
Crying in the office towers
Yeah, we were trying not to get dark
Trying hard to fight that darkness
Trying not to count the hours
So come find us if you can
We’ll be unified and sad
We’ll be in your corner
Leave a light on when it’s bad
We will congregate and make a plan
And we’ll be in your corner
We’ll all be in your corner.”
I have plenty of people in my corner, and feel fortunate enough for each of them. My concern is that one day those people won’t be enough. I don’t have a people problem — I have a me problem. You see, I am resigned to the fact that I will inevitably die by the same fate Scott Hutchison did: suicide.
I don’t have any concrete evidence of this, but I’ve believed it for a long time. Maybe it will become an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy. At this point, I feel it so deeply in my gut that I’d have the same reaction if someone told me that the sky was blue today. It’s just part of life. This is really my deepest fear. That I will someday lose control and will choose to end it all instead of bearing with the inexplicable pain that having a severe lifelong mental illness can bring.
So, I’m consciously choosing to accept this fate as fact instead of living whatever time I have left in complete fear. I have expressed this ultimate fear in therapy many times, and have a few thoughts of where it came from. I have come close to killing myself many times before, even being seconds away from completion. Those experiences are extremely traumatizing alone. I’m almost more fearful of getting to that low point and somehow surviving than the dying part itself. I don’t think I have the capacity to make it if I were to have to come back from that brink again. It is far too difficult and painful to fight that battle.
So, in a way, I am treating my mental illness as if it’s terminal because it very well may be (the statistics for people with borderline personality disorder aren’t great). It’s hard to describe these thoughts. It almost feels like a twisted sort of mindfulness. I don’t know how or when it will happen. I just have a feeling that it eventually will.
Now I’ve never been one for hoping or dreaming for the future, even as a child. And once I was exposed to a string of suicides as a teen, I came to the dark realization there were others feeling at least somewhat like me. Believe me, this is not a club you want to join. I have spent the majority of my life feeling suicidal in one way or another. I’m not sure what to do about all of this. Likely, I will continue to tiptoe on the eggshells that make up my fractured mind and avoid any possible emotional triggers in a naïve effort to prolong my existence.
I’m not currently actively suicidal — I don’t have a plan and do not harm myself intentionally anymore. I don’t even really want to die, I just have mixed feelings on life itself. This piece may evoke strong feelings to you, reader, and for that I apologize. While its darkness may be heartbreaking, I felt it was important to give others a perspective of what passive suicidality looks like to me. Feeling suicidal isn’t all crisis hotlines and emergency rooms — it can be a quiet yet unrelenting gnawing from the inside. I will continue to unpack this core belief with trusted professionals, with the desire to chip away at its certainty. If you feel triggered by what you’ve read, please reach out to someone available to help.
Unsplash image by Ali Karimiboroujeni