What to do when you’re at the very, very end of your rope
by Wendy Keller, author, speaker, survivor
If you’ve never seriously considered committing suicide, chances are high you’ll judge this article as “bad” or “wrong.” That’s OK. It’s not written for you. It’s written for the thousands of people all over the world – including someone you know – who are considering or even plotting the end of their own life right now.
The first time I made careful plans to kill myself I was 11. My family was going through a terrible time and I couldn’t devise any other way of escape. Then, when my children died when I was 26, I was in such unfathomable emotional, physical and spiritual pain that I made quite a few suicide attempts – all thwarted by the fact that I was handicapped, in a hospital bed and monitored by nurses 24/7. Those are my credentials for writing this, but this article isn’t about me. It’s about you.
It’s about you if you’re making active plans to kill yourself; if you’re constantly evaluating what would happen if you went through with it; if you’ve tried and failed; if at this very moment you believe things are so bad, so painful, so hopeless, that they can never get better no matter how much longer you live.
What do you do if you’re counting the days until your last:
My moral responsibility (and probably legal, too) is to tell you to seek immediate counseling. Call the nice people at the Suicide Prevention Hotline. They are trained professionals and you really ought to at least hear what they’ve got to say. The rest of what I’m about to write is stuff that eventually convinced me not to die. Maybe it will help you, too. I was on the fence about the matter for years. I would lie to my therapists if they asked me. Secretly, I had all the Goodbye Notes, the method, everything organized, instructions for my remains, I was ready to check out at a moment’s notice. So far, it’s been almost 22 years since my kids died and I haven’t done it. Here’s how I figured out life is better lived:
1. I got real. It’s easy when you’re at The End to think no one cares and no one will miss you when you’re gone, but the truth is, yes, people will. When I was a teen, a guy I barely knew died in a motorcycle accident a short distance from where I was waiting for him. I still get queasy when I think about it and it wasn’t even a suicide. Suicide is one of those things that has a ripple effect much, much bigger than you imagine. Lots of people will be affected, hurt or permanently damaged if you kill yourself. (PS – Suicide is NOT revenge on anyone! It doesn’t prove anything, and even if it did, you won’t be around to gloat over your victory.)
2. I decided to give myself 90 days to change my life. This sounds stupid, I know. But I decided that if I couldn’t pull it off in 90 days, I’d have given life my best shot. But I expected more from myself than anyone else could ever have expected of a bereaved mother. I got my hands on the “Personal Power” program by motivational speaker Tony Robbins. It saved my life – and changed my life. I’m grateful to this day. It’s not about whether you listen to Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, The Secret or Robert Schuller. It’s that you find someone who seems to have some tools and you give it your 100% best shot for a period of time – long enough to see if it really works. 90 days is a good number. If you still want to kill yourself in 90 days of flat-out 100% effort to improve your life, well, no one can blame you. But you MUST do your best for those 90 days. (What have you got to lose, right?)
3. I kept a journal. Not like “Dear Diary, I want to die today.” Instead, I bought one of those small comb-bound notebooks that fit in a pocket or purse and every hour or two, I’d rate how depressed I was at that very minute, what I was doing and who I was with. I looked for positive patterns. The little things that helped me get through a couple of hours. I’ve never used drugs or alcohol, so I’m not talking about substances. I’m talking about nice things, like walking in the park or listening to birds in the morning or the smell of freshly baked bread, stuff like that. Then I tried to do more of those things, just as an experiment.
4. I stopped hanging out with negative people. We all know someone who thinks that their life is so bad and it’s all a rip-off. You know someone who thinks it’s never been worse in society or the economy. These people will go on for half an hour about their alleged proof that things are so debauched, we’re all going to hell in a hand basket. Well, here’s a news flash: plenty of writers in ancient Rome a couple thousand years ago were writing and saying the same things. “No, no, but THIS time really IS the worst in human history…” Tell them to get over it already! Get away from people (and television programs) that suck your brain cells out, decrease your energy, make you feel worse. If you see someone coming and you feel dread, it’s a warning that they’re not good for you. If you hang out with them and you feel MORE sad and hopeless, it’s a sign they’re not good for you. So for now until you’re stronger or until you die, get away. Get far, far away.
5. I cut myself some slack. People who are contemplating suicide are hard on themselves, on the world, on the people around them. We see everything black and sad and bad. This isn’t a game. Being suicidal isn’t a way to get attention (except from a mortician!) You’re sick in the head. You need help – I hope you get it. But even if you blow off seeking professional help, cut yourself some slack. Be nicer to yourself today than you were yesterday. Say something nice to yourself, even if you have to lie and grit your teeth to say it. When the whole world sucks, there’s one person who should be your ally: yourself.
6. Find something to hope for. It doesn’t matter what it is. Maybe it’s the coming of Spring. Maybe it’s the last day of school. Maybe it’s seeing a friend on the weekend, the next episode of your favorite show, or the next Harry Potter book. Just think about something, someone, somewhere you really love. Go ahead and hope for it. Pretend if you have to for now, but let yourself hope. If someone you love is dead, can you hope that your life could be a noble testament to the love you shared? If someone has left the relationship, can you hope to love someone else that much – or more – someday? If you’re in chronic pain, can you hope for a cure, a method, a painkiller, or even that you may be able to eventually manage it and still live a productive, happier life? If you weren’t depressed, what could you hope for? Time may not heal all wounds, but things pretty much move in a cycle here on Earth. What goes down eventually comes back up. It gets dark and then it gets light. Life gets hard and then it eases up a bit, or even gets good. Maybe your hope could be just seeing what happens down the road. You might be curious about what happens next as if your life was a movie. It’s possible the best is yet to come.
7. I gave up. I’m still annoyed by this fact, but giving up for me was accepting that I am NOT the Grand Mistress of the Universe. I’m just a normal, average woman who went through some really bad stuff. Lots of other normal, average women have also gone through bad stuff. We all lack the power to make things perfect in our lives. About the time I gave up trying to rationalize, negotiate, wheedle, beg, plead and whine with the Universe/God/Jesus/Buddha/Allah/the Great Pumpkin to intervene and fix my miserable life; around the time I gave up struggling against What Is, well, that’s when I realized that “You’re here, you may as well make the best of it.” I told my brain to shut up when it started down the suicide planning path. I re-read and then shredded all my Goodbye Letters to family and friends. I committed 100% to those 90 days, no matter what. I stopped talking, thinking and researching “painless” suicide techniques. I gave up on control, on trying to make things perfect, and started working on just being present in my life. Being half in and half out of your own life is literally half-a$$ed, if you think about it. Give up on changing stuff that can’t be changed. Figure out how to deal with the reality of your life – put your energy in that. You might surprise yourself at what you can achieve when you stop wasting energy plotting your own demise or fighting What Is.
I hope some or all these strategies will work for you. Seems like it would be a shame to lose you. You’re stronger than you think you are; you have more power to change your life for the better than you think you do; you have less power to change What Is than you think you do; but you’ve also got a whole lot more to live for than you think you do. Stick around – you never know. The next chapter in the story of your life might be the best one so far! (Really! I’m living proof!)
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36 thoughts on “Suicide Prevention: How to Not Give Up On Your Life”
Thanks so much for this article. I felt it was just for me. I also had the wanting of suicide when I was very young due to my family situation. Then 2 years ago, when I was going through what I am considering now is my crisis–the two loves of my life left me–the one I love and my baby die when I even couldn’t see her (but I am sure my point of view would be change in the future, just not know when), there were many times I wanted to kill myself, but I could do, I knew what I did would hurt my family. But there were times I was too tired to keep going on. But thank God for His strength that sustained me.
I even cut myself to relieve the pain inside me, to feel safe (weirded???).
Everyday I have to find something to hope for to get through each day.
Everyday, seems so hard for me but I promised to my baby in Heaven I wont give up. I dont know but the feeling is so stuffy, I could not even breathe, prayer is what I do every moments during days to have strength from the Lord, to switch my negative thoughts to something else more uplifting.
Anyway, I am so thankful for your sharing, Wendy.
And pray for those who are going through the same. Remeber we are loved and we are here for the purpose. It’s hard to believe right now, but we need to keep reminding ourself even though we dont feel it. Just need to be stubborn right now. Keep hanging on. We are not alone.
Mercy, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you lost your baby – that must be so hard to deal with. I admire your commitment go on.
Wishing you love, peace and joy,
I am so sorry about your situation and especially about your baby. I know how you must feel. However my baby was born and was very severly handicapped. She was our first born, but never developed and never smiled at me. She died 27 years later never knowing who I was or knowing anything about the world around her. She spent a good portion of her life in a hospital bed. She had sesiures and almost died with pneumonia about three or four times a year. Believe me, it was not fun. I loved her but there were times when i could not take her crying, she cried at the touch. I guess what I am trying to say that it was a blessing in desquise. Stay strong, it will get better!
Oh, Mariann, your story curdled my stomach! When my son was on life support, they initially told us that from his current age (4 yrs) until whenever he died, he would be a vegetable, not conscious of us or able to speak or communicate in any way if he came out of his coma. As it turned out, even that wasn’t possible. No brain stem activity at all. I have a friend whose child is buried right beside my children – her son never sat up in his whole life, was not conscious of the world around him either. She nursed him from birth til death – I just can’t even begin to guess what that kind of parenting is like. I send you my deepest and most profound sympathy.
Wishing you a strong recovery – love joy and peace.
Thank you Wendy.I have had periods of wishing I was dead, and have thought of how I would arrange for my death. My grandchildren keep me alive, as well as my 2 daughters. My husband died in sept., my father died a week later, and about a month ago, my therapist told me he’s retiring. I’m on a roller coaster – very up one day, very down the next. I have friends who check on me. You are amazing, and I want to stay tuned. Thanks.
Melanie, I’m so sorry to hear it. The roller coaster seems to be a good sign, though, oddly enough. As long as SOME days are up days, you can eventually get it managed so that it swings to 51/49, then 60/40, then 70/30…and who knows from there? My gentle suggestion? Watch what you are doing/where you are/how you’re thinking on the “Good Days” and do more of that.
Laura Crawford says:
Thank you, Wendy. I’ve been completely overwhelmed with a lot of things these last few weeks. Even though I am not in the mindset of thinking of suicide, I have in the past, I got a lot of inspiration from this post. thanks. I needed that.
Thank YOU, Laura. Isn’t it funny how in times of overwhelm, for some of us, that pops into our minds as a viable option. I suppose scientists could research why it does for some but not others. Anyway, glad you’re feeling better. I wish you a live overflowing with love, joy and peace.
Thanks for your suggestions. But, I can blow holes in everyone of them… negative state of mind. I have lived on my own since 16, attempted suicide 3 times over 30+ yrs. All kinds of Docs, thru most all meds, shock therapy, inpatient, etc… No where to turn anymore. I was very successful, put myself thru 2 colleges, etc. Then disabled 2005. Broke back, osteoporosis. Now what am I ? Memory shot from ECT, physically impaired & oh Depression. Doc says, double MDD with extreme anxiety.
Oh, Melanie, my doc is 70 & the best! But found he’s stopping & best counselor ever is retiring too. I need them most and their leaving.
I gave a son up for adoption at 16, won’t talk to me. Can’t have anymore. My father died 5 mths ago, sexually abused me, but he was my Daddy…
Saturday, May 19, 2008 my sister/best friend killed herself. So I think it’s time to just stop. Stop the pain, stop “hoping”… and follow the footsteps to my sister.
I can’t find God, I’ve tried, I just don’t get it. Don’t feel it. I don’t think I’m on his radar.
I don’t have the energy to hope anymore.
Thanks for listening… Jul
Re-read Wendy’s post. I think she has some really positive suggestions. I too, suffer from depression. Suicide has been on my radar screen many times throughout my life, but I will not do it because of the people it will hurt. I also beleive in Karma and reincarnation and that if I check-out early, I will have to learn the “lessons” for this life again. I believe that what you focus on is what you get. Your thoughts create how you feel. I am prone to negative thinking and when I catch myself starting down that road I tell myself, No! Focus on what you DO have to be thankful for. That is what I am doing now. I just lost my 3rd job in a row. I feel like I’m a loser or stupid and a failure. I am afraid for my next job. I do not now if I can take it another failure. I am actaully carrying a notebook around that has two columns. One column is for things that I am thankful for and the other is for keeping track of how I GIVE to others. I think we all tend to focus too much on ourselves. Focus on the good things in life and there really are good things! A sunny day, a good friend, your pets. Be thankful for what is good and more good will come your way. Focus on giving to others. Even if it is just a smile. What you give will come back to you. Read self help books or listen to books on tape. Norman Vincent Peale is the best! The power of positive thinking! I recommned it to everyone.
Take Care- Even if you do not feel it, God Loves You.
I understand your pain. I was in a car accident in the fall of 2009. Since then I have had neck surgery and on-going pain from my head to my lumbar. Before the accident, I was an aerobics instructor for 10+ years and a teacher. My whole life has changed. I’m still teaching students but the exercise is basically gone. I have been going to counseling, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, physical therapy, have had abltions on my nerves and I still have chronic, agonizing pain. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to have been blown out. I am going to church and trying to find peace. So far, I am not finsing the answers. No one around me understands the pain that we feel. I know many look at me on the outside and do not understand what it’s like on the inside. I put on a happy face as often as I can and do not want to burden others with my problems. There’s only one thing that keeps me from losing my life…that’s hope. I have the word all over my home and I try to not give up. There are many people who have it worse off than I do so I will not be a coward and hurt others by taking my life. I have to hope that the best is yet to come…some how some way. I HOPE you too can try to see that there has to be hope and possibilities. We can’t give up to save ourselves. It won’t work. Please try to look around and find beauty in the littlest things. A warm cup of coffee, a bird singing, a soothing shower or bath, a cat’s meow or dog’s bark. I don’t know… just try and remember those around you that love having you here. Try…
Hope and Love,
Sounds like you’ve been through and are going through a LOT in your life right now! It also sounds like you’re handling it well. I know how much you want to console Julie, and I truly appreciate your empathy. But I must protest! You actually do NOT – cannot – it is impossible for you to “understand” her pain! None of us can truly read minds. None of us can guess what it’s like to lose your ability to teach aerobics anymore because of an accident, even if we taught aerobics (I did, in college!) and were in a car accident (I was!) That still doesn’t qualify me to impute my emotional response to a crisis on another person.
You are suffering, so you are naturally thrust into the role of helping/comforting other people. That’s just how it goes. May I offer you a blog post to read? https://wendykeller.com/featured/comfort-someone-else/
Sending you wishes for a life filled with love, joy and peace from here forward,
More than anything, your post speaks to me of a woman who is pushing herself so incredibly hard. You have a lot to handle. Are you taking time to love and comfort yourself? Especially if your childhood home wasn’t filled with love, you have a duty first and foremost to love yourself. You’re the only one who can give yourself what you need, Jul. “Finding” God or not, it has to start with your own self-care. Please, rest. Take care of yourself. Make a promise to yourself to do 3 nice things for yourself every day, and then DO THEM! You need to be cared for. For those who do not have anyone else who is willing or able to provide care to us, we must decide firmly that we are worthy of care and love, and give it to ourselves first.
Sounds to me like you need to give yourself a break, Jul.
Wishing you peace, love and joy,
That was such a nice thought and a blog On Suicide Prevention.
I would like to let you know that I volunteer at a Suicide Prevention Helpline.
And of course would have loved to drop in to chat with you but am in INDIA.
I think that this is such a nice concept for people to come chat with you /share their emotional distress / vent their feelings.
And that absolutely works for people feeling suicidal / all they want is for someone to listen to them in an absolutely non judgemental / non advisory way
Cheers wendy !
Thank you for your inspirational message ~ I have contemplated sucide many times and even now keep myself well away from the side of bridges going over motorways ~ it would all be so easy to end the emotional pain I am in every day ~ it all seems like a farce every time I smile ~ it is only the thought of the pain that I would cause my family has stopped me ~ I am still trying to go on every day and waiting for something good to happen ~ every thing seems so pointless and meaningless ~ but I choose to go on ….
Lynn Witkowski says:
Thoughts of suicide have not plagued me, however, my son often threatens this. I recently read a book, Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. This book gave me insight on finding meaning for my life. It’s effect on me was profound.
Dr Frankl is a survivor of concentration camps and his book is a testament to the strength of the human spirit! He suffered unimaginable losses but kept his spirit alive by his understanding of his meaning of life. One study showed that approx. 90% of people who tried suicide felt their lives had no meaning. Interesting, almost 100% of people who suffer from drug addiction also felt their lives had no meaning. Dr Frankl developed a therapy called Meaning Therapy which has helped many people through their deepest lows to overcome their suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Knowing that no matter who you are, no matter what you have gone through, your life has meaning and purpose. Knowing this can bring comfort and the desire to go on. Your life is like a story and you need to live it and see it to its natural conclusion. You may not know your purpose till near the end of your life but there is a meaning and purpose!
Ah, we are kindred spirits! I often talk about Frankl’s book in my blogs, speeches and workshops. Wonderful story, isn’t it? So inspiring!
I have friends who daughter repeatedly threatened suicide when she was in her late teens. Their prominent child therapist told the parents, “Next time she does, sit her down and say, “We’re taking this very seriously. This isn’t something people threaten lightly. If you do it again, we will believe you mean it.”
She did. They immediately put her in the local hospital psych ward for two days. She never threatened again – and now she’s a thriving college junior with straight As and a brilliant career ahead of her.
Lynn Witkowski says:
It is amazing that sometimes the right approach makes all the difference. I heard a song a few years ago called Same Mistake by James Blunt… I think the lyrics can be interpreted in different ways but for me it was screaming about my son. It was the start of me coming out of denial regarding our personal situation. Our problems are not solved but we are so far ahead of where we were, and I finally see more positives than negatives. I’ve learned that finding answers often involves many different approaches. I learned that I needed to look after myself too. I got to the point of emotional collapse, being depressed and anxiety ridden. Counselling, self help reading, and family groups etc really helped. But you have to open that door first!
What you do is wonderful. I look for positive things and that is how I learned about your work. Thanks for doing what you do.
Thank you so much Wendy!! I have been suicidal for years and just never followed through with it because I had hope that something would eventually change, then my only sibling committed suicide out of the blue on Sept 28, 2009. My depression has spiraled out of control since then and I have thought many times to join him but the pain that he left me with is something that I would never want to put on anyone. I have struggled so much since he passed away but I try to help anyone I can to see that life is truly beautiful and there is so much to live for. You have such an amazing outlook on life and I appreciate your website!
I read that statistically, once someone in the family commits suicide, the others are more likely to consider it a viable option. I’m certain your courage in staying alive is providing a good example for others in your family – young and old – who may be secretly assessing copying your brother’s decision. Stay strong, Bobbie! Sounds like you’re doing that – wishing you love, joy and peace.
Mars , Tuffy , Reno says:
Hi Wendy , i enjoyed reading your stories , i have tried sucicide i dont know how many times , been in an out of mental hospitals , i believe in god , i dont got to church , my little sister killed herself , my niece tried , i never had no kids , but there is a whole bunch of kids that look up to me , i still think about it , i wont just to keep hurting my friends . YOURS TRUELY M.T.R.
You know, I think that focusing on the devastation suicide causes to the family and friends of the people who kill themselves is a major factor in keeping those of us who have thought about it strong. When I even begin to think about how much pain I was in when my children died in the car accident, I think about what it would have done to my poor mother if I committed suicide myself. She’d be burying a child just like I buried two. For all the challenges I’ve had with my mom, I just couldn’t do that to her – or anyone else. I know it’s hard sometimes to stay alive. I know life can seem so bleak and overwhelming and sad. But your loss would cause more pain to the world than your life does to you. With the application of intention, it IS possible to improve your own life, bit by tiny bit. I encourage you to make that decisions, Mars.
Wishing you love, peace and joy,
“But your loss would cause more pain to the world than your life does to you.” This one line just says it all and saved me!!! Thank you!
Isn’t that the truth?!? I believe it is the irreparable damage we know it will cause to the living that prevents most people from taking that last step.
Wishing you love, joy and peace
7 months ago, my beautiful son took his own life. I was the last person he talked to or I should say texted and he gave no clue as to what he was about to do. He was and forever will be the most precious love of my life and I struggle daily with missing my heart and soul. We were two peas in a pod. The only thing that keeps me here and not going to be with him is that I couldn’t bare to cause anyone else the pain and suffering that I feel every day without him. My son’s name is Brandon and he was 18 yrs old. Thank you for writing this, my only wish Brandon had read this, he’d be here today. Xo
There aren’t even words for the pain you must be experiencing! I can’t begin to imagine. I’m so terribly sorry Brandon is gone. I know how right you are about the suffering suicide causes others who must live on in its wake.
Sending you a huge hug and sharing in your tears,
I read your story and was touched by it. I am so very sorry for the loss of your son, Brandon.
Maria, your sympathy is touching. I am always moved by how many good, caring, loving total strangers there are in the world!
Love, joy and peace to you,
I was looking for reply from Wendy but I didn’t happen to see one. I know exactly how you feel, even if you can’t imagine how any one can understand…trust me I DO! I am still in the battle for my own life. I have had moments of quiet desperation where I feel completely abandoned by God, friends, family. Simply because my pain is so severe that no matter how hard I pray or get a call from a friend…it’s hopeless. For me, out of Love, Faith and Hope the greatest has to be hope. With it light can live, without it it’s so terribly dark that you can never see your way out. Even if every doctor, friend, loved one or even God could bring it into view.
Hang on…literally. Place your feet firmly on the floor, close your eyes and hold on to whatever is physically within reach. Hold on tight. Wait and breath deep. Count to 10. With each breath feel it from down deep in your belly. Think of nothing but that one moment. When you are a bit more stable, open your eyes and try to smile. Be grateful (that’s the hard part) that you are in that one moment. Look around and find one item, one picture or photo that brings the slightest of joy. Try and focus on it. You might just start sobbing, but that’s okay. You are not numb, you are feeling.
My father committed suicide on my 7th birthday. I became psychotic after a full blown manic episode which landed me in a psych unit for 10 days. Traumatized my kids and husband. You do some strange stuff when you’re psychotic. My daughter was raped and bullied without me knowing. She now suffers from PTSD, Anxiety and Depression. My Grandmother was left to die in “HealthCare” facility and I have carried the guilt of everything that has ever happened to anyone who I ever love/loved. it was all my fault. If I wasn’t here then they would all be okay and alive.
My husband and I just started a small business with everything we had and now after 2 years we still can’t afford to take a pay. I basically have no income. My sister-in-law is currently dying from ALS. A brutal and ruthless disease. She lives with no hope…literally. I do my part and bring her wine, she’s a great listener and we try to make each other smile. That’s it. If you just can’t smile because of the daunting, overwhelming pain. Smile at someone else. You might just save them…above all else, when you hear laughter (TV, movies, kids playing, friends and family) LAUGH! Even more important when you don’t feel like it!!
I lost my spirituality for a long time after being VERY devote…that too is reawakening…slowly but I can see a tiny light and in total darkness it looks mighty bright 🙂 Sending lots of love, prayers and warm wishes to you! I don’t know if any of helps but it makes me feel better to think I may have helped someone else feel a tiny little bit better too <3
How nice of you to share so openly, and to offer so much encouragement to Jul and others who will read this. My “silent following” for these blogs is in the hundreds of thousands of people!! A lot of people will be comforted by your courage and your inspiring story.
Wishing you love, joy and peace, Debi
Brenda Martin-Shimokochi says:
It was good to hear that so many others understand and can talk honestly about suicide. I was grabbed at the last second from a very high bridge by six policemen. people kept saying what a miracle it was since I was only there for thirty seconds with nobody in sight. I still haven’t seen it as a miracle yet, but I know and felt God stopping me. Maybe someday I will have hope again. I still think about the bridge, but it’s futile to fight God. I now have the serenaty prayer on my wall and I am trying to learn to live by it. Thank you for shareing.
Thank you for sharing your sobering story. I’m glad you didn’t jump! Yes, the part of the Serenity Prayer that strikes me most is “Accept the things I cannot change.” There are so many things we’d each like to change, but accepting What Is is really the path to peace.
Sending you love,
Some of these things actually sort of make it worse. If, when you think about who would be hurt, you can’t think of anyone, it seems to encourage the thoughts.
The only ones that would most likely even notice if I was gone are my pets, and they are all getting older. I have stopped myself on a number of occasions only because people don’t take on elderly pets, and they deserve the best life they can have while they are here. After they go, all bets are off.
I will add that the knowledge that if I really can’t stand it anymore, it is an option, has helped me. I hang on one more day knowing that if it gets unbearable, I can do it tomorrow. So far, I have made it through hundreds of “one more day”s.
Thanks though for the post. There are some helpful tips for people in there.
This is reality 100% real life and to think I was told that I was stupid…NO ONE PLANS, WRITES LETTERS WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO KILL THEMSELVES. I 1st attempted suicide at 12 yrs old my aunt found me in time to revive me but due to the situation of why I tried my mom had me committed to a mental hospital to shut me up from the family. I spent months in a place full of very sick women grown women who seen bugs coming out of the walls etc… I was abused, molested but not crazy, very unloved by the whole family. Ran away lived on the streets forced from 1 foster home after another because I was just to much for these Christian homes to deal with the term “it’s just not working out” became my normal especially in relationships I was constantly self destructing always trying to end it. i had my kids, loved being a mom but my marriages would fall apart and I did the single parent thing for years and each year my “goodbye letters” would update, my plan on the ending of my life would get different due to my childrens ages. The depression and want to die has never left me not once since I was 12 I am now 47. Last year I had it ALL planned I even actually voiced to my husband that I was doing this time sat him down forced him to read instructions on accounts, bills, school stuff, appointments etc… he was in denial I had a few friends that took me and my cries as serious and set out with prayer it helped but then a friend selfishly couldn’t get past herself and went out and destroyed me openly to my employees, other friends, people went in a panic not for me but for themselfs what about their lives???? It was heartbreaking not helpful. I get that no one can blame someone else for their reactions we all react differently to things but this is a gossiping person to begin with so it was HUGE betrayal. I got help from a different friend who helped me get my business closed (so one less pressure). I owned a carehome for the elderly so I had 10 residents lives, 6 employees & their families lives, my 4 kids & husband lives, I have a separate full time job so those co-workers lives & then ME the responsiblity was to GREAT I can’t do it, I can’t. I have tried the I will see what the next 30 days hold etc… and for a while I will be ok but then the thoughts of worthlessness sets in the thoughts of how can I keep doing it all?? How can I always be left on the outside looking in with extended family never invited never included because of the trouble I caused when I was younger & TELLING what happened to me. So I started therapy again & I just prayed it helps keep the “PLANNING AT BAY”. Thanks for your article of what US people feel and it is normal it is happening to so many and we aren’t horrible people because of our feelings.
You raise some very interesting points in your note. I wonder if the rut of thinking about suicide as “my Plan B” is a comfort to those who think but do not actually do it? I also wonder if it becomes habituated, the idea that “If all else fails, I’ll check out early.” What do you think?
I read recently (by someone who may not know what we’re talking about here) that “People who TALK about suicide but don’t do it are the people who think the world owes them something. Those with a genuine desire do it.” I felt like writing the author of that book and saying, “I don’t think you get it, pal. Those who don’t do it don’t know how to fix their lives and/or they don’t want to hurt people who love them.” At least, that’s my perspective. What’s yours?
I also think that there’s a LOT of biochemical stuff that happens to make someone get close to the edge.
I’d be interested in your perspective- and that of any of you others who read this and want to chime in…
Yes Wendy all those things are points to consider.. but in my case I am not one who voices these desires I have sat silent for years and years with the thoughts, it’s not about when life gets hard I want out, not a plan B but the hurt of I just can’t go on it is too great and then I will get “checked out” and told just get over it, your attention seeking etc this isn’t normal if you were going to do it you would have just done it already…but the healing has stayed unhealed the scab keeps opening up with constant rejection from family, just when I think I have the strength to co-exist with them again they make sure I feel all the pain over again, if God can forgive us for unspeakable acts why can not a mother forgive a child of something the child didn’t even ask to happen? I am not making excuses or putting the blame anywhere I have given back to society for the times I did have a good counselor or my last foster mom who showed me love & taught me about God’s love and No matter how you word a goodbye letter it still will always leave that 1 person/loved one wondering how they could have saved you and carry that weight possibly to an early death themselves. Thats what grabs me at the last second. But sometimes it isn’t about being saved it is about no longer having pain. I feel people can’t judge eachother or simple say it’s not that bad. There will always be a more horrific story of others and their situations, there is always going to be those miracles of human perseverance and I commend those who are able to rise above and survive life!