Trigger Warning: This post is about some very real struggles with suicidal thoughts and ideation
The author of this guest post wishes to remain anonymous. They describe themselves as "a software engineer, parent - trying to figure out how to get out of bed every morning."
I was lying in my bed trying to sleep like so many nights before. My mind was racing, I was very strongly considering taking my life. It wasn't the first time I had these thoughts, these thoughts have become all too common. I started considering the various options I had at my disposal: poison, overdose, putting a gun in my mouth and pulling the trigger. I wanted it to be quick, I didn't want to suffer; I've suffered enough I told myself. I didn't want a long drawn out process, I need a quick solution to a problem that wasn't going away.
I sat in my bed, considered my fate, considered reaching out to my family and my loved ones and saying goodbye. I didn't want to be here but I was anyway. I didn't want to take my life but I was all out of options. It was the easiest way to end these sleepless nights, to get rid of this weight that sits on my heart 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You see, I don't get a day off. I don't get a day where I don't have to deal with this pain. I could go into great detail about the physical, sexual and emotional abuse that dominated my childhood. I could go on about how the decisions I've made have left me alone, emotionally desolate and feeling completely and utterly hopeless.
I'm not going to do that, because that's not the point of this. I'm strong, as of right now I'm a survivor of some pretty terrible things; some self-inflicted, some inflicted by others. But if I were to draw a parallel between physical strength and emotional strength, I would tell you that even the strongest body builders in the world get fatigued. They may be able to lift more weight than most people would even consider, but they can't lift weights all day. Eventually they pack up their wraps, bandanas and tank-tops and they go home. They eat a good meal and when it's all said and done, they lie down and they get the rest their body needs to wake up and go at it again tomorrow.
I'm tired and while the inability to sleep that has plagued me over the past several months adds physical exhaustion on top of everything else, I'm emotionally tired. I'm tired of fighting, struggling and convincing myself that the world is a better place if I could just get out of bed and start another day. Plainly put, I don't want to do it anymore. I've been carrying around emotional burdens for most of my life and I'm serious when I say I need a reprieve. I need rest and I need to feel like having a good day is a serious possibility.
I've reached out to people and I've been convinced that it's not my time to go. I've been convinced that I'm loved, that I would be missed and that a premature departure would leave a void in lives of those who care about me. I don't know how or why I've been convinced of this, but I'm extremely grateful to those who've been able to convince me. I don't know what you see or why I don't see it too; but I'm taking it on faith that you aren't just saying it, that you really mean the words you've spoken to me. Through my 31 years on this planet, I've come to understand the definition of suffering and I've learned to fight through an incredible amount of pain. It's not intended to be pride, narcissism or puffery when I say I'm strong. I know I'm strong, I have the scars to prove it. Any single one of these experiences could have brought me down, yet I experienced many of them concurrently, and I'm still here.
I wish this post could have an inspirational ending, I really do. I wish I could sit here and tell you that through ridiculous amounts of effort, struggle and strife that I came out on the other end and that life was an incredible ride that I'm getting to experience for the first time. I can't tell you that. Even as I write this, life is a burden that I still am unable to relieve. What I can tell you is that through the thoughtful words and actions of many (so, so many) caring people, I'm not completely convinced that my existence is a blight on the world. I'm not convinced that all is lost and I'm not convinced that I am viewing my life and my impact on others correctly.
I have recently begun seeing a therapist, and though it feels like I'm doing this 15 years too late; I'm doing this because somewhere deep down in fiber of my being I know there is hope. I know that things can be different and I know that there's a chance I will get to experience this happiness that I've heard others speak about. I used to tell myself and others that I survived 31 years of this wretched hellscape and that making it another 31 years was going to be no problem. It wasn't until a late Friday night, a week before Thanksgiving as I sat awake in my bed Googling how to produce cyanide that I actually started to doubt that. I started to think of my remaining time in terms of months instead of decades, and while there's little that scares me, I can't lie that scared me. I'm writing this because this is real, this isn't a fluff piece aimed at inspiring a generation of mentally unhealthy people. This is my life. In a time where openness and honesty is at a premium, I wanted to put this ugly, embarrassing, awful truth in words. Because this is real.