Growing Up Suicidal and How It Has Affected Me Today
I Honestly Didn't Think I'd Make It to 22
Pictured above is me at my happiest. Who wouldn't be happy to pet goats at the zoo? Even as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. That whole day was a nice escape. You probably can't tell, but I was battling some really serious mental issues at this time. And I say you probably can't tell because of the look of satisfaction on my face with my new goat friend.
Adulthood is tough. I know it's not exactly profound of me to say that, but you know it's true. I'm only in my early twenties and I already know this as a fact. And while I have an idea of what I want to do after college, the idea still remains a bit of a mystery to me if I'm being completely honest. I'll explain.
In high school, a lot of people were talking about the college they were going to go to, the major they were going to study, the careers they were aiming for, etc. I found it incredible that so many people seemed to have their life all planned out already because I felt like the complete opposite. I had no idea what I genuinely wanted to do with my future. I didn't even knew if I was going to have a future to worry about.
I've been told for years and years that suicide is never the option. I know it's a permanent solution for a temporary problem. I've heard it all. And I believe it all too, don't get me wrong. But you have to understand that being so deeply depressed is an absolutely terrible way to live.
For me, trying to think of my future only fueled my depression and anxiety. I had no idea what I wanted to do. When anyone asked, I told them I wanted to be a writer because that was what I was good at. But I really had doubts. Do I really want to write for a living? Do I really want to work hard through four years of college only to end up at some desk job? What if I end up being unhappy with the career I chose for the rest of my life? It was questions like these that ate me up.
That's when the thoughts started creeping in. I thought, if my life gets too difficult to handle, I could just not participate in life anymore. I know it sounds horrible, but there was something calming about it. There was something soothing in the inside of my chest to think that I had a way out if things became too much for me to handle.
I never told anyone this. I just decided to go through the motions and see where that landed me in life. What I didn't realize about hanging on to this idea for so long is that the scarier and closer the future became, the earlier in my life I thought I was going to end it.
I honestly didn't think I'd make it to 22. I thought I would've killed myself before I even entered my twenties because the idea of the future was too much for me handle. I had panic attacks and meltdowns constantly just thinking about the future.
The first few years after graduating from high school were especially difficult to get through. I would wake up and wonder if this would finally be the day I did it. I wondered if something incredibly horrible was going to happen to me that day that would cause me to end it all. I actually spent years going through the motions of life, thinking more about what would make me want to kill myself more than I thought about my plans for the future.
I'm not writing this to talk about how sad I used to be. I'm writing this because I finally decided to take suicide out of the equation, and I now feel more pressure to figure out my future. I honestly didn't think I would make it this far, so I'm really wondering what to do next.
I mean how I'm I supposed to explain it to people who ask me why I haven't graduated from college yet at the age I'm at? "Well you see, I thought I would have killed myself by now, so I really didn't think I would get to this point! Oh well, such is life."
I hate being asked about school and my plans for the future, but I know those questions are inevitable. I think I really just dislike not being able to confidently answer those questions. I wish I could map out my entire future before their very eyes, but the truth is I can't.
I know a lot of you are going to say that there's no set timeline on life and that everyone goes at their own page and I appreciate that. I really do. But I really went from staring at the knives in my kitchen every night in order to determine the most painless way to slit my wrists to sitting in a college classroom again just hoping this finally works out.
I know some of you are going to read this and think that I sound pathetic or childish, and in a way I guess I don't blame you. But it didn't feel pathetic or childish at the time because it felt more like I had found a solution. I feel like I'd finally found a way to get rid of all my fears, but instead I had caused myself even more pain.
To reiterate, yes I am against suicide. It's not the answer, plain and simple. I'm glad I never got to do it, because I definitely had plenty of opportunities.
I guess I'm just trying to reach out to anyone else who grew up suicidal and is now trying to figure out what to do with their lives. We never thought we'd have to think our lives like this did we? But hey, look at us now. We're doing something. And if you don't feel like you're doing anything, that's okay because there's something inside us that has been trying to kill us our entire lives and we've won every single battle against it so far. So I'm proud of myself. And you should be proud of yourself too, because as hard as it's going to be, it's going to be great.
"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."-John Lennon