Teenagers are especially susceptible to attempting suicide: I know first hand because I almost did. Call it fate, luck, or chance, but someone interrupted my suicidal trance at the last minute and pulled me back from the brink. The best part? They didn’t even know what they had done.
I didn’t just wake up one day and find myself suicidal. For me, it took 16 years to feel powerless enough to think that death would be an improvement on my current situation. I can’t blame it on one specific thing. It wasn’t just the abuse, the neglect, the alcoholism, or the feelings of abandonment. Sometimes those things made me want to fight harder and dig deeper.
One day, after being flung down the deck stairs by my father, something snapped inside of me and the idea of killing myself sounded like the absolute perfect solution to all of my problems. I felt completely unheard, totally unloved, and unacceptably disrespected. Suicide seduced me, and I felt so peaceful when I imagined them finding me. I thought that for the first time in my entire life, they would finally understand how deeply and permanently they were damaging me and that the abuse would become unacceptable in their minds. I envisioned my parents filled with grief, regret, and true love for me as they accepted all of their mistakes and begged the universe for forgiveness. But it would be too late, they would pay for their crimes for an eternity, because I was gone and incapable of forgiving them.
My suicidal intoxication brought me close to death, but a fleeting thought of my therapist brought me out of the fog. Afterwards, I realized 2 things:
#1: I was fooling myself if I believed for one second that either of my parents would use my suicide for anything productive. They are both addicts and both deeply entrenched in their belief that they are victims of a cruel world. If anything, my suicide would further their pity parties and strengthen their beliefs that they deserved support and admiration for enduring their unfair and tragic lives that were filled with one disappointment after another. I would become the villain and would be painted as an unappreciative child who threw it all away. Everyone would come to their rescue instead of mine.
#2: My parents were low on my list of priorities at this point. I had teachers who cared about me, friends who supported me, other family members who loved me, and a beloved therapist who had convinced me in a short amount of time that I was valued, heard, loved, and capable of healing. That last one stung. This amazing woman, who I was lucky enough to call my therapist, modeled deep care and compassion for me and helped me navigate my feelings so that I could express them and reach out to others for help. She would have been genuinely devastated if I had taken my own life, and that was not something that I took lightly. She had invested in me, and I could not bail because I was having a bad day. (Ok, it was more than a bad day, but it was only 1 day in a life of many).
Suicide can seem very appealing when you are looking for a quick and permanent solution to life’s darkest moments. If you are considering ending your own life, I beg you to consider other options. While there are many people and circumstances that have probably let you to this point, there are more people out there who genuinely care and will help get you out of this dark hole.
Suicide seduces about 800,000 people per year world wide. It is the 15th leading cause of death according to WHO. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call 1-800-273-8255 to be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
If you have contemplated or attempted suicide and survived it, please share your story here to help others.