To Those Who Struggle With Suicidal Thoughts

May 29, 2024
A passionate wordsmith and mental health advocate dedicated to using the power of storytelling to inspire and uplift others.
This story took place in Nigeria

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*Trigger Warning: This story contains details and reflections about suicidal ideation. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal ideation, please get help and text HOME to 741741 to chat with a trained crisis counselor today. 

The tragic truth is that suicidal thoughts can include the sense that no one cares about you, that you bring misery to those closest to you, and that life would be better without you. The smoke makes it seem as if you are in a home on fire; you can’t see a thing. Desperation sets in, and you fail to see the fireman standing outside the door, waiting for you and everyone you care about to recover. You flee in terror because you fear this is the end of the world.

For more than ten years, I have battled with this notion. For the most part, that period has been devoted to existing. I get things done as I can, switching gears between different tasks and filling the time that isn’t occupied with work with meaningless activities. I have surrounded myself with supportive friends, gone through a lot of therapy, and discovered a happy medium between medicine and lifestyle changes. But smoke is always in the air in my home. Desperation sets in as I struggle to maintain even the most basic of breathing patterns. Those closest to me, even my loved ones, have made me feel like they’d all be happy if I simply disappeared.

I made contact with a coworker in my department not long ago. Even though I’ve only been on the job for a short while, this lady has been quite distant and uncommunicative with me. I emailed her, trying to figure out whether my actions had prompted this reaction. She responded by writing that her daughter had just died by suicide. This woman is mourning the impending birthday of her daughter. I was taken aback into silence when she sent me a tribute she had written in honor of her daughter’s birthday. It was almost impossible to tell the attached baby photo from my own. There is a striking resemblance between me and the adult daughter in the photo. Just eleven days separate her birthday from mine.

The thought that this may have been my mother left me speechless for a while. If only a few things had turned out differently, my mom might have been the one mourning this week. She almost became the one mourning the loss of her own kid.

Like other people who contemplate suicide, this young individual may have thought her death would go unnoticed if she took her own life. I bet she felt she could just throw herself away. Smoke would have pervaded her home, and she wouldn’t have been able to see her loved ones pleading for her to escape.

However, her mom is sad. A void has opened up in her family as she has departed. I never met her, yet she made an impression on me. In a significant way, she represented something. Her family is mourning her loss and she will be missed.

The assumption that we would not be missed must be erroneous if suicidal results in it, for every suicide is deeply grieved.

People who have lost a loved one to suicide often speak of the anguish they feel and how they wish there had been a way to prevent their tragic demise. It seems that nobody’s life is improved or made more joyful by losing a loved one who takes their own life. For all people who are contemplating suicide, I believe this to be true. Even if we aren’t aware of it, the people in our lives are always making a mark.

When my parents don’t hear from me throughout the day, they grow frightened, according to my own mother. In order to verify my existence, they check my social media accounts to determine whether I have made any posts. Even though I think they’d be happy to see me leave, I can hear them pleading for my safety through the smoke.

Do not think your life is useless if you battle these ideas every day; your lungs may burn from the smoke of despair, worry, hopelessness, and self-loathing; but helping you extinguish the blaze in your home might be your parents, siblings, teachers, coworkers, friends, cousins, pet, or even an acquaintance you don’t know very well. Someone wants you. You are noticed. You have great value. All I need is you.

You make the world a better place.

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