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What Suicidal Thoughts Really Feel Like

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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.

When I first sought help for depression, I often felt like my therapists and psychiatrists had confused me with someone else. Reasoning that therapy and medications would work better if my providers understood what they were dealing with, I wrote this essay describing what depression is like for me. I am sharing it because I refer to my experiences with it often in my other writings here, and believe it might assist the reader to know what I mean when I say that I am “depressed.”

My heart is a forest, my hopes and dreams the trees, but the life of the forest bleeds away, the trees blackened and withering. Hope shines faintly, like a star in the overcast sky, but dark storm clouds descend around me, cloaking me like a funeral shroud; the light from Hope shines only in my memory now, growing dimmer with every heartbeat.

I can’t concentrate. It’s as if stone walls erupt from the ground around me, entombing me alive. I feel disconnected, sometimes to the extent that I feel like I’m dwelling on another plane of existence. There can be people with me, or tasks before me that must be done, but I can’t focus on them, and they seem so distant.

The dark storm clouds around me are woven from Sorrow itself, and I drink deeply of intense sadness with every breath. The sadness solidifies; the storm clouds freeze, both inside me and out, so that I’m battered and shredded by a storm of icy anguish, and my soul freezes to the core.

The wind screams around me, ripping me with icy knives, and it seems the sorrow isn’t entirely my own anymore. I’m being spoken to, but the communication takes place with dark, intense emotion, not words.

The miserable events of the past (week month year)  act as the key that unlocks a gate beneath me, and I’m mired in the ground and sinking. The depression takes a new turn. When I’m depressed badly enough, I feel like it’s sunk its fangs into my throat, shaking me hard enough to snap my neck and drag me to Hell with it. The storm annihilates all traces of my forest. Nothing remains but ice and agony.

The talons of one hand inject venomous guilt into the wound. As intense sorrow rips my soul into pieces, I’m wracked with extreme guilt over the fact that I exist. My existence is some kind of blasphemy, and I have no right to be here, or anywhere.

As the other clawed hand tears me, I want to die. Suicidal urges like this do not rise out of a desire for attention, or vengeance against people who hurt me, or manipulation to get what I want.

The longing for death is primal, like thirst, or the desire that many people have to love someone; Death itself wrote a song in my blood that only my soul can hear, and my soul longs for death, the way others long to be with those they love.

I’m filled with the urge to sleep; I want to sleep forever. It’s not because when I’m awake I have to do things I don’t like. When I’m awake I have to live, to exist, to be.

I don’t know when the tears started falling. I don’t know if they’ll ever stop. God must want me dead. I know this to be true. Later, I will be shocked at the intensity with which I believed this. The thought had a different color than most thoughts I have, like it was distorted through mutation, or not even native to my mind. But right now, I believe God wants me dead. As I lie crying, I beg Him to kill me, to strike me dead. He does not respond. He is punishing me for existing. My existence is blasphemy.

The soul is a crystalline shard at the core of being. When my crystal froze in Sorrow’s ice storm, it shattered. My soul flew free of my body, and orbits my heart, tethered to it by a rusty iron chain. When my heart stops beating, the chain will shatter, releasing my soul to the Hell waiting on the other side of Agony. I’m little more than a zombie, truly dead. I’m just waiting for my body to die.

Photo by Alin Rusu on Unsplash

Originally published: July 17, 2018
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