I have thought about suicide since I’m thirteen years old. Maybe even before that. I’ve never attempted suicide but at times not a day went by that I didn’t fantasize about it. As the years have passed, the ideas have subsided. It’s not that I never think about it, but it’s less. Maybe only once a week instead of multiple times a day.
I’m writing this not as a survivor or expert or even advocate. I write this as a statement that not everyone needs to be seeing a shrink in order to be suicidal. Not everyone needs to be depressed, or in a horrible life moment. Some people just have these thoughts.
But it’s what we do with them that matters. Overcoming the urges is not easy. Succumbing to them is not either. It is often said that a person that commits suicide is selfish because they don’t think about the aftermath of their actions. They don’t think about the people they’re leaving behind.
I argue that they are completely selfless in their actions. They feel as if their existence in this world doesn’t matter. Their lives are meaningless and dragging down their loved ones. They are a burden to the world around them. They are, in fact, killing themselves to save those they care for.
Feeling insignificant is probably one of the worst feelings any person can experience. It’s dreading the day before it’s arrived. It’s hoping that no one will talk to you because you’ll just bore them, or worse, disgust them. Or not even being noticed as if you didn’t exist.
Can you imagine that feeling? Can you imagine having that weight on your shoulders every waking moment? Being haunted by it in your dreams?
I write this as a person that understands. A person that often thinks about what would happen if I just drove into oncoming traffic or too close to the edge of a metal barrier protecting me from a horrid demise off a cliff. A person that stared down the barrel of a 410 bolt action shotgun in the middle of the woods, completely alone save for the bits of nature bustling around me.
I face my demons and told them no. I am not stronger than the person that couldn’t. I am simply different than them. My demons are different. I have a different outlook. We are all just people and until we begin treating each other with basic human respect, there is no hope for us.
You are important. Your life is important. You have something that no one else has. You have a story. Your story. Your experience. Your life. You are significant.
We are all strong. We are all capable of greatness. And it’s achievable when we help each other.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) 1.800.273.8255