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I Wanted to Die This Morning, but I Didn't

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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.

I wanted to die this morning.

More specifically, I wanted to kill myself.

I lay in bed for two hours contemplating everything — the presentation I was supposed to give in my oral interpretation of literature class, the speedwalk I have to take from oral interp to my next class — abnormal psychology — and then the advising session I would have later to plan out the next three terrifying years of my life. Also the stressful bus ride I’d have to take to find the building the advising session would be in. I also pondered the possibility of being late to said appointment, being yelled at by adviser, screwing up my presentation, receiving a failing grade in any of my classes, getting kicked out of school, not getting kicked out of school; the tragic possibilities seemed endless.

But if I’m honest, I wasn’t really scared of any of that. I’m a fairly reasonable person (if you don’t ask my sister) and I knew none of these tragedies would be the end of the world. People have yelled at me before, I’ve been lost before, I’ve screwed up presentations before — and came out on the other side only slightly scathed. I know it’s really OK. I’m only human and I’m learning to give myself the same grace I give other people and which other people give me. After all, we all mess up.

So why did I want to kill myself this morning?

I don’t know.

I guess it’s like when you exercise and eat healthy food but still end up getting sick around flu season. It just happens. I don’t need a reason to back up my statement, “I want to kill myself.” It’s like my brain has a slight malfunction I’m working on fixing, but it’s currently still glitching sometimes and telling me life isn’t worth it. There isn’t a real reason. Nothing has gone wrong. My boyfriend didn’t break up with me, I haven’t been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the barista didn’t spell my name wrong on my Starbucks cup and ruin my Instagram post (some people think Generation X-ers are that silly).

I don’t need a reason to say my joints hurt worse today than they did yesterday if I have a physical illness. They just do. And sometimes, my brain aches.

We have painkillers for the body and the brain. I take one of each every morning.

It takes a lot to get out of bed when your brain is trying to kill you. I called my mom and she talked to me, encouraging me to get out of bed to do some simple things like pee and eat a cereal bar. She didn’t ask me to go to class (which felt like Everest then). She just asked me to do a few simple things that would make me feel better. Even though I was crying from the pain I did as she suggested, crawling back into bed when I was done.

But oddly, I felt better and the bed wasn’t so necessary afterward. I got up a few minutes later, Mom still on the phone, and started to get dressed. The day continued with sporadic calls from or to my mother, to whom I would update my mental health status, and accomplishing the three major things on my to-do list. None of them went horribly — or even minorly — wrong.

I even got a warm chocolate chip cookie.

Writing this, I’m sitting on my bed in my dorm room, listening to music, ignoring homework and being a typical college student. But I also have a single thought lingering at the back of my mind — will I wake up tomorrow wanting to kill myself? The answer is simple.


But as I have learned and continue to learn, it’s OK to feel like that sometimes. I know how to handle it. It sucks. It’s hard. But it’s worth it.

I wanted to die this morning.

But I didn’t.

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 text “START” to 741-741.

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Originally published: May 8, 2017
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