I am usually not a fan of “What not to say” and “what not to do” type posts. I’ve always found them a bit annoying honestly. But I’m beginning to understand why they exist. There’s been this specific post that’s been going around for years that has always bothered me. Every time I see it, it gets a good amount of attention, and all around agreement. I’ve always been the type to avoid disagreeing with people, so I’ve always kept quiet about it. But honestly, this one can do some damage and I feel the need to speak up. Before I go any further, here’s the message:
Wanna kill yourself? Imagine this. You come home from school one day. You’ve had yet another horrible day. You’re just ready to give up. So you go to your room, close the door, and take out that suicide note you’ve written and rewritten over and over and over. You take out those razor blades, and cut for the very last time. You grab that bottle of pills and take them all. Laying down, holding the letter to your chest, you close your eyes for the very last time.A few hours later, your little brother knocks on your door to come tell you dinners ready. You don’t answer, so he walks in. All he sees is you laying on your bed, so he thinks you’re asleep. He tells your mom this. Your mom goes to your room to wake you up. She notices something is odd. She grabs the paper in your hand and reads it. Sobbing, she tries to wake you up. She’s screaming your name. Your brother, so confused, runs to go tell Dad that “Mommy is crying and sissy won’t wake up.” Your dad runs to your room. He looks at your mom, crying, holding the letter to her chest, sitting next to your lifeless body. It hits him, what’s going on, and he screams. He screams and throws something at the wall. And then, falling to his knees, he starts to cry. Your mom crawls over to him, and they sit there, holding each other, crying.
The next day at school, there’s an announcement. The principal tells everyone about your suicide. It takes a few seconds for it to sink in, and once it does, everyone goes silent. Everyone blames themselves. Your teachers think they were too hard on you. Those mean popular girls, they think of all the things they’ve said to you. That boy that used to tease you and call you names, he can’t help but hate himself for never telling you how beautiful you really are. Your ex boyfriend, the one that you told everything to, that broke up with you.. He can’t handle it. He breaks down and starts crying, and runs out of the school. Your friends? They’re sobbing too, wondering how they could never see that anything was wrong, wishing they could have helped you before it was too late. And your best friend? She’s in shock. She can’t believe it. She knew what you were going through, but she never thought it would get that bad… Bad enough for you to end it. She can’t cry, she can’t feel anything. She stands up, walks out of the classroom, and just sinks to the floor. Shaking, screaming, but no tears coming out.
It’s a few days later, at your funeral. The whole town came. Everyone knew you, that girl with the bright smile and bubbly personality. The one that was always there for them, the shoulder to cry on. Lots of people talk about all the good memories they had with you, there were a lot. Everyone’s crying, your little brother still doesn’t know you killed yourself, he’s too young. Your parents just said you died. It hurts him, a lot. You were his big sister, you were supposed to always be there for him.
Your best friend, she stays strong through the entire service, but as soon as they start lowering your casket into the ground, she just loses it. She cries and cries and doesn’t stop for days. It’s two years later. Your teachers all quit their job. Those mean girls have eating disorders now. That boy that used to tease you cuts himself. Your ex boyfriend doesn’t know how to love anymore and just sleeps around with girls. Your friends all go into depression. Your best friend? She tried to kill herself. She didn’t succeed like you did, but she tried…your brother? He finally found out the truth about your death. He self harms, he cries at night, he does exactly what you did for years leading up to your suicide. Your parents? Their marriage fell apart. Your dad became a workaholic to distract himself from your death. Your mom got diagnosed with depression and just lays in bed all day.
People care. You may not think so, but they do. Your choices don’t just effect you. They effect everyone. Don’t end your life, you have so much to live for. Things can’t get better if you give up. I’m here for absolutely anyone that needs to talk, no matter who you are. Even if we’ve NEVER talked before, I’m here for you.
I get it. I really do. It’s true that a suicide affects more than just the person who died. But here’s the thing. The point of this post is supposed to be to encourage someone who is suicidal. It’s supposed to convince them not to kill themselves. It’s supposed to be from a place of love and support. This post is none of those things.
“Wanna kill yourself?” No. Most people who commit suicide don’t even want to die. They are in unimaginable pain, and they have fought and fought. Some, like me, have fought their entire lives, and they are tired. They don’t want to die, they don’t want to give up. They only want their pain to end. There is no shame in that.
When someone is considering suicide, they are not thinking of the pain that it may cause those around them. But not because they don’t care. They just aren’t thinking logically on this. They CAN’T think logically on this.
LOGIC= “I couldn’t ever allow this to kill me. My friends and family need me. I am loved. I will get through this. I can keep fighting.”
Depression KILLS logic= “I’m such a burden on everyone.” “No one would even care that much.” “They’d all be better off without me.” “I can’t do this anymore.”
Depression creates such a thick fog that an entire persons life can look distorted. Instead of seeing loving friends and family, depression shows the times that they were alone. Happy memories can easily be buried while our worst feelings are intensified. Explaining in detail exactly how their death can screw up everyone in their life does nothing more than cause guilt and shame. We’ve got an abundance already, believe me, we don’t need more.
As someone who actually, truly suffers from depression, this post tells me that everyone else matters more than I do. It tells me that I need to suffer just so no one else does. It tells me that I’m selfish for being suicidal. It makes me feel dirty and wrong to think that I could ever go through with something like that. After all, this isn’t about me. It’s about everyone else. Right? Guilt, shame and fear are packed on with each sentence and the main point that was supposed to get through is officially gone.
There’s no love in this, there’s no support. There’s guilt. Let me make this clear. You cannot guilt someone into living. There are right ways and wrong ways to support someone, and this is completely wrong.
To whoever has sent this post around, whoever has agreed with it and supported it: I have no hard feelings. And I doubt anyone else does either. The point of my post is only to inform, to help and to provide some insight for people who have obviously never lived through depression themselves. And believe me, as hard as it is for none of my friends and family to completely understand what I go through, I prefer it. If you don’t get it, that means you aren’t living it. And depression is something that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
So here’s my message for anyone fighting suicidal ideation.
YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are not a burden. You are not a problem, you are not in anyone’s way or using up good air. Whatever horrible thing you are thinking about yourself, it is a lie. What you are, is sick. That means that what you are feeling is NOT your fault. You are not selfish for wanting the pain to stop. You are a survivor and so strong for fighting this every day. But you keep fighting. I see you. I understand what you are going through and I am here. I don’t care whether you are a close friend or a complete stranger. If you are hurting, I’m here. I’ll be a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board for your darkest thoughts. I’ll be a supernatural sponge to help absorb all the darkness in your mind. I believe in you and I believe that the world is a better place because you are in it. Keep fighting for you. Because you are worth it, and you deserve a life free of this pain.
If you or someone you know needs help, please seek help. For a list of resources, click here. Make a phone call, read an article. Know that you are not alone.
If you need help right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7: 1-800-273-8255
If you’d rather not call, text the Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741
7 thoughts on “How to not encourage someone who is suicidal”
I watched this Spanish movie once, called “The Sea Inside”. It is about a quadriplegic man’s struggle to legalize euthanasia for his condition. I used to avoid very “heavy” or depressing movies, because I felt so fragile. But with this movie, when it ended, I felt like I had watched a documentary. I thought I would probably feel the same way the protagonist felt and didn’t get too sentimental over it (he doesn’t, either). But someone I knew (that hasn’t experienced clinical depression firsthand, btw) told me that when she saw it in the cinema, she ran outside and vomited because she felt the protagonist was immensely ungrateful to those loving him around him. As if he was supposed to keep living just for the people around him.
I also remember once somebody telling me (in a relatively casual discussion), that she considered people who committed suicide as cowards. Although I could see there was something more to this (she kind of got teary eyed), I was still so furious. One thing was that, having suicidal thoughts myself from time to time, I considered people who actually went through with it, braver than me, who (I) kept living. (I think I saw it as a mind over matter thing. On a more philosophical basis). But I also felt furious, because having had that experience, I knew how difficult it is to fight the survival instinct. And that when a person starts considering suicide for real, it means they really cannot see (or rather, feel) any light. It feels almost natural to them from then on. Also, it’s also kind of mathematical. When the minuses in your life seem more than the pluses, this seems like the next logical step. I couldn’t understand how she couldn’t realize these things.
It is heartbreaking to hear people think of it that way. At the same time, it can be a bit of a relief though. You can’t understand what it feels like to be suicidal unless you’ve gone through it, so if someone doesn’t understand, that’s a good thing. Compassion doesn’t require complete understanding so spreading awareness is good. But personally, I like to remember that I’d rather my loved ones not understand because that means they haven’t gone through it.
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Thank you. 😊
May I share this on my blog/social media? This was very well written and provides a great perspective.
Thanks so much! As long as you link it back to my page, I’d be more than happy for you to share it.
Perfect! I will. Thank you!
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