To Whom It May Concern:
I’m suicidal. And no, it’s not what you think.
I am safe. I am not harming myself. I do not have a plan, and I do not plan on doing anything.
But I’m suicidal. And I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t.
People think of things like suicide in such black-or-white terms. But much like everything else, we are so quick to place into categories, being suicidal falls into a gray area for me. Sometimes, I wonder if it does for anybody else.
See, I can be in a really great mood, right? I could be having the best day of my life. Still, suicidal thoughts will linger.
I don’t have to be in a bad mood to be suicidal. I will still have those thoughts if I’m surrounded by the people I love, or if I’m doing something I’m passionate about.
I wake up most mornings thinking I’d be better off dead. But I’m quickly distracted by my husband and son, who are sound asleep next to me. I still feel it, but I try not to give power to it.
Throughout the day, I am faced with challenges that directly affect my subconscious. Either the suicidal thoughts get louder, or they remain just a feeling.
I should explain better: sometimes being suicidal is different than suicidal thoughts. It’s an actual feeling.
The feeling that you have an itch you can’t scratch, that a dark cloud is shrouding you. It’s anxiety and depression, it’s a mixed state. You’re drowning, there’s no air, and coming down from that feeling takes so long you think it’s impossible.
You have blinders on and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. You just have to push through. And while this feeling is happening, you go through your day, as normally as you can, without feeding the feeling.
Some days are harder than others, and today happens to be one of those days. I know I’m not feeling good, and I’ve taken that into account. But I woke up thinking my family was better off without me.
Then I started thinking about finances and my heart sunk a little more. I started thinking about my parents and my depression got worse. And I started thinking about everything my husband does so I can test a career in writing, and God, he can do better than me. It’s not fair to him.
If I can’t impress the people surrounding me now, can I face how my son will inevitably feel about me? And I just start crying, because it’s all too much, and I’m just a joke.
I feel like I’m drowning, over and over and over again. It would be so much easier to end things, and my family could finally get away from how terrible I am.
The way I feel isn’t a reflection of reality, though. I know I have things to live for, I know things will get better. I know my family loves me, and the people who don’t like me don’t matter. In fact, they probably don’t care.
I know this feeling will pass. I just wish my mind and my body would work towards getting better.
I’m not bad yet. I haven’t made any attempts in almost two years, and I’m really proud of that.
Every attempt I’ve made to take my own life ends the same way: I fade into sleep, and I do regret my actions.
I think I used to romanticize my own death back when I had nothing to lose. Now everything is on the line, and I’m terrified of the day my thoughts will become louder than my voice.
But I know realistically it may not always be this way, and I may need to admit myself to the hospital again someday.
I have great plans for my future and for my family. So please don’t worry. I don’t intend to end my life and I’m not self-harming. And if I was, I’d go to the hospital.
I wanted to write this so people better understand feeling suicidal. It’s so much more than just one day someone decided to end it. It goes deeper than that.
It’s years of torment, even on good days. It mostly doesn’t happen randomly — it’s a build-up.
I don’t want to die; my subconscious and my illness may disagree, but today my voice is louder, and I will not succumb to the evils of my mind.
People with mental illness live in dark places and gray areas. It’s not something that shuts off and on — it comes in waves, it peaks and it fades.
But these feelings are never gone. And I wish more than anything in this world they would disappear.
I am a warrior of my own mind, and I will continue defending my inner peace. Every day may be hard, but it makes me stronger every day.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, there is a way to get help. Please call or text the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.
Tea Jones is an author, tarotist, psychic, intuitive astrologer, and certified Level III Reiki Master Practitioner who writes about spirituality, witchcraft, tarot, and divination.
This article was originally published at The Mighty. Reprinted with permission from the author.