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When You Wake Up Already Wanting to Die by Suicide

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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.

“No. Come on, please, no. I can’t. Not today.”

My chest is heavy. My head hurts. As I groggily turn off my alarm, I ask myself, “Why am I still alive?”

It’s not uncommon for me to have these thoughts — I’ve lived with daily suicidal thoughts for years. But, suicidal thoughts as soon as I wake up are rather rare for me. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly thrilled to open my eyes every morning — it’s not like I’m waking up excited to face another day — but, I don’t wake up actively wanting to die often.

My brain typically lets me drink a cup of coffee, wake up a little, get a bit of work done and then the suicidal thoughts get loud. They’re loudest at night, but they typically start in the afternoon.

Waking up like that, though, is a whole different ball game. It’s like I’m knocked down before I even have a chance to get up. I rarely get out of bed those days. I get little to no work done. I might reach out to a crisis line, but even then, it doesn’t feel like enough those days. Sometimes, I don’t feel safe, but I feel too much like a burden to reach out to anyone. I just want the day to end. I want my life to end. I know I’ll keep myself safe, but that just makes me feel even more trapped in this world, in this life.

Today is one of those days. From the second I woke up, my body was heavy with depression. I contemplated taking the day off, but there’s too much that needs to be done. It’s like every fiber of my being doesn’t want to be here anymore. But there’s nowhere to go. I isolate myself in my room while my brain screams at me how much better everyone’s lives would be if I wasn’t here. I try to block it out, but I’m too tired to fight today. I don’t have it in me.

It’s been a couple of days since that day. Things are a little lighter. They’re not great, but I’m managing. When I look back on days like that, though, I truly don’t know what would help me. I’m too tired to do anything to help myself. But, I guess now that I’m a few days removed from that one, this can serve as a reminder those days always pass. They eventually end. They’re not forever.

I can’t promise myself I won’t have suicidal thoughts forever or depression to some extent forever — I have no way of truly knowing that. I need something tangible I know is true. Something with proof. And that’s what these days are. They’re proof that even if my “normal” right now is still daily suicidal thoughts, I won’t always wake up with them. I won’t always start my day feeling like I’ve already lost. My suicidal thoughts are so much stronger those days because that pain is so incredibly intense. But that intensity lessens. Maybe not as much as I would like, but it does. It always does.

So, if you’re in the thick of it right now, if things feel like they’re the worst they’ve ever been and it will never get better, this message is for you. I can’t promise things will get better overall or in the way you want them to, but I can promise the level of pain you are feeling right now will lessen. It will get lighter. Maybe for a few weeks, a few days, maybe just a few hours — but it will. And I know if this is something you’ve been dealing with for a while, it can feel so disheartening and maybe you question if it’s worth it.

I know I question that sometimes, but I think it is worth it. I think you have to hold those lighter moments close, and it may not feel like enough. I know sometimes I have to go back years to find moments that do feel like enough. And if I can’t find any, I have to make what I can find enough. When people ask me what makes day-to-day life worth living, I have a standard answer, I have a list of little things — like coffee or sunsets or my faith. But in those moments, they don’t feel like nearly enough, nothing does. But we have to make them enough. Because if those lighter moments come, which they always do, I have to believe even lighter ones are coming.

We’ll get there — together. And in the meantime, thank you for staying.

Photo by Lux Graves on Unsplash

Originally published: October 22, 2021
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