TW: Discusses suicide. This article is meant to be a thoughtful exploration of this topic, my personal struggle, and how it impacts my life on a daily basis. It's not a judgemental article and is meant to be encouraging to those carrying this immensely heavy burden. But I know it's a sensitive topic and I don't want to hurt anyone who's struggling.
Love to you, and thank you for reading.
The past two years have been a rough ride for me and my partner. Last August, we lost my brother-in-law to suicide. I never met him, but it profoundly impacted my life and my partner's life. As someone who's struggled with thoughts of suicide and talked many people off the proverbial bridge, I'm constantly asking myself, "WHY?"
Imagine being someone who's always asked herself, "What's the point?" and then having to persuade those around you that there is a point. That's been my odd struggle for over a decade. However, I feel that it gives me a unique perspective on the topic. Perhaps, if there is a God or supernatural force at work, I was given these struggles so I could understand those who struggle with this issue on a personal level.
Whenever talking someone off the hypothetical bridge, I can relay to them the things I've told myself when getting off the ledge. I can show them how life seems difficult right now, but it won't always be that way.
I can show them all the places I've traveled to in the past 5 years. If I had killed myself back then, I never would have seen how beautiful this harsh world can be when you open your eyes to it.
Everyone's struggle is different, and I can't expect my experience to be the same as their struggle. All I can do is be there and shed some light in their darkness.
This isn't meant to be a preachy article. It's meant to be cathartic and compassionate. Yes, I know how it feels to think it's not worth going on. I know what it's like to stand on a rooftop and wonder what it'd be like to jump. But I also know how it feels to zipline between the Andean Mountains. I also know what it's like to climb Monserrate in Colombia. I know what it's like to see the sunset on Grandview Point in West Virginia.
If you're sad, overwhelmed, or anxious, don't feel like you're weak. You're not. The world is twisted. The world is constantly looking for ways to make life difficult. But there are also people out there who want to help. There are so many places to see and things to do.
I remember during my hardest days I'd listen to this piece by Robin Williams (may he rest in peace):
It always made me feel like someone understood me. Like someone knew how hard I was trying and how much I wanted to take the pain away. But it also made me want to make my life something spectacular.
Sylvia Plath is a wonderful author anyone dealing with these issues might want to check out. In particular, her book The Bell Jar. One quote from this book really understood me:
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Another author I love (and this is quite controversial because a lot of people hate him) is J.D. Salinger. His book, "The Catcher in the Rye," changed my life. The young boy's desire for everything to stay exactly the same was a sentiment I understand on a deeply spiritual level.
If you have trouble appreciating Salinger's work, I recommend checking out this amazing breakdown of the story by John Green:
(Be sure to check out part 2 also!)
Finally, I turn to my fundamental upbringing: the Bible. Now, before you click away because you think I'm going to say, "Oh, just give it to Jesus, he'll take it all away." I'm not. I hate it when people say that. Nothing and no one can just "take it all away," and you do great harm to a suicidal person by pretending someone or something can take it all away with a little prayer.
No. I'm here to talk about Job. The Book of Job disproves everything Churches say when they tell you that you suffer because of your sins. You suffer because you refuse to "give it all to Jesus." If that's the case, why doesn't Jesus just take it? Why do I have to give it to him?
The Book of Job is ancient (some say close to 5,500 years old). It predates all these preachers saying this bullshit about giving it to Jesus. Job is persecuted by the Devil at the bidding of God. Job cries out:
But Job answered and said,
Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.
Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.
As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?
Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth.
Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.
Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?
Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.
Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.
They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.
They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.
They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.
Job's friends are telling him all his sins and why God is punishing him. But Job responds that he is not a wicked man. He quickly points out in the verses above that the wicked prosper on the Earth, despite their sins and their mockery of God and his precepts. This reminds me of how the most wicked and vile humans serve in Congress, Presidency, CEOs, and so on!
Psychiatrists say that most high-ranking officials are either sociopaths or psychopaths. The reason I bring this book of the Bible up is that it goes against all these lying Christians who tell you things will get better if you just forsake your wicked ways.
You're not suffering because you're wicked. You don't need anyone to save you. You don't have to kiss the ass of some religious leader. You need to realize that you're a spectacular creature, despite your flaws. The world is an amazing place with so much to offer.
If you're struggling, I encourage you to cherish yourself. You are a gem, a treasure, and beyond valuable. No matter your struggles. Please contact your local suicide hotline if you need help immediately. I'll share some links below for where you can find help.
Please don't go away. You're a special, unique human and we need you!
In the words of the legendary Linkin Park: "Who cares if one more light goes out? I do."
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: https://www.fcc.gov/988-suicide-and-crisis-lifeline
U.K. NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/behaviours/help-for-suicidal-thoughts/
I hope this article helps you. Much love to you!
About the Creator
I am a world nomad with a passion for vegan food, history, coffee, and equality.
You can find my first novel on Kindle Vella here: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09V4S7T4N :) I appreciate all your support and engagement! :)
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