Sometimes we kill ourselves.
And despite the path that made have lead us to that point, I’ve learnt throughout the years of my own experience and speaking to others about theirs that there are ultimately just 2.5 simple reasons why everyone kills themselves no matter the circumstances that brought about the decision…
We believe it’s the only way out
Suicide is a painfully unique place for our minds to go to. Some of us get to that point far sooner or later than others but we get there nonetheless and even for those of us who suffer, we still don’t necessarily understand how or why we get to that point but we inevitably get there.
We don’t think we can be loved with a mind that struggles so much to exist. Don’t believe that we deserve to be happy. Don’t feel as though we will ever achieve the dreams that we want to chase.
And it’s harrowing. And gut-wrenching. And physically exhausting.
When I stood on the Bondi shoreline last October attempting to be done with life, I absolutely, 100% believed it was the right decision. I was in physical pain brought about by the mental anguish I was suffering and believed I would never, for one moment, be anything but depressed in life.
I feared I would never have a family of my own (that’s still my biggest fear), that I was chasing a life halfway around the world not knowing what I was really doing with my life (a fact that remains true today), had no assets or real money to speak of despite my age (another fact that remains true) and not a single person in this world who could take all of that pain away from me (also still true). [Editor: whilst all of these facts remain the same as they did in October, I currently feel strong enough to burden them; that is the difference between then and now]. I could not find a single reason on this green and blue planet to keep myself alive.
And that leads to the ‘half’ a reason…
Because we see it as the only way out, we don’t want to be talked out of it.
That’s a harsh truth but it’s something that needs to be said and it might help you to accept the determination that some people have.
If we believe that suicide is the only solution to our problem, why would we want to be talked out of it? That’s a shockingly logical way of thinking about it isn’t it?! But please think about it. If you knew that the only way to fix your car brakes was to take it into the garage, why would you ask us to talk you out of getting it fixed?
Essentially that’s what you’re asking us to do.
I’m not saying that that logic is right, I’m simply saying that is the only logic that our minds allow us to see however skewed it may be to those of you who don’t suffer.
Think of it as us being colour blind but not knowing we are. You are absolutely trying to convince us that the sun is yellow but to us we are absolutely convinced it is blue. We are simultaneously right and wrong in our argument and unless you manage to help us see it from a different angle or take us to the doctor to convince us there is something is wrong, we will believe that the sun is still blue.
The second reason we don’t talk about it is…
Guilt/being a burden
Imagine how you would feel if I rang you begging to be talked out of walking into the ocean but you didn’t answer because you were busy having fun with your friends or relaxing with your other half and a day later you discovered I had died. You’d likely be heartbroken with guilt.
You’d wonder if the phone call between us could have saved my life. You’d kick yourself that you left your phone in the other room instead of answering it. You’d spend your life wondering if you could have saved me never knowing the answer. That’s tortuous and it’s not something I’d ever wish upon anyone.
So invariably we keep quiet because we don’t want to burden you with the task of saving us in case it fails despite the severe level of guilt you will feel regardless. We are trying to protect you however illogical that may seem when we are on deaths’ door.
But we do want to call you. We want to shout from the rooftops that we are suicidal, not to be talked out of it necessarily but for something far great than that; acknowledgement of our suffering. Validation that we suffering so intently in life and within the confines of our minds that we wholeheartedly believe that the only way out is self-murder.
That is essentially what we are saying; what the Latin definition of suicide is – murder of self.
Imagine the pain and suffering someone has to go through to murder someone they despise. Then imagine (and realise) that the person we despise so much is ourselves and our own lives. Are you beginning to understand it a little more?
Society says that suicide is ‘senseless’ and ‘such a waste’ but to us, in the darkness of our minds, it makes perfect sense and given that we believe our existence to be a waste, we look forward to the freedom of not experiencing the pain that we do. Again, I’m not saying that it’s right or that we won’t leave a world of pain for those we leave behind in our wake, but the lying thief that sits on our shoulder also has the ability to distort the truth and that thief tells us that suicide is the way.
Our journeys through mental illness are simultaneously the same and yet so very different but when we’re stood on the shoreline or in bed with the pills, there are just 2.5 reasons that brought us together.