I have been struggling with my emotional body over the past while.
I have been suffocating myself in certain expectations of my life and myself that have gone unfulfilled. It’s a tricky thing sometimes, because I’m lucky enough to have a lot of perspective – enough to know when my mind is pulling me into unhealthy thought patterns. When it’s simply dragging me into the darkness because my misery loves my company. So I can usually stay afloat by grasping onto my knowing and riding it out. But, even though the knowing keeps me safe; it doesn’t stop the feelings. I still feel all the yucky feelings, it’s just that it usually doesn’t get to overpower me to a degree in which my life is on the line.
I wish people were more candid and open about suicide. I think that suicidal thoughts are a lot more common than most people make it out to be. Unfortunately, if someone uses the “S” word, it’s like an alert is sounded. All proper physicians, psychologists and therapists are summoned; drugs are doled out and everything is chaos for a small period of time. Everyone looks at you like you’re fragile; with that horrible pity-face we all love so much.
And I completely understand this reaction. Because OF COURSE this needs to be taken seriously. The stake of a valuable human life is at risk. If someone is struggling then there do need to be actions taken.
So maybe what I’m looking for is another word for suicide?
I have been suicidal. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. (Mum and dad: Breathe. Everything is going to be okay.)
I don’t talk about it because I really don’t want to sound the alarm … and also, I have always known that even though I WANT to kill myself, I also know I won’t.
So what do we call that? The part where you feel the urge to not exist in this life anymore… but you won’t actually leave the planet without just cause (old age, illness, accident etc).
I won’t commit suicide for a number of reasons. Most of which fall around my spiritual beliefs. Not that suicide is a sin or ‘bad’ … actually, let’s start with the super weird and kind of funny belief first.
There’s a part of me that thinks that if I commit suicide, Life (Universe/God/Willy Wonka/Whoever) will intervene: “Hey Tanya, you still have work to do on earth, you forgot to learn a few things. No problem! We’ll just send you back!”
And then it ends up being like the movie Ground Hog’s Day. I wind up with the same challenges, same hurdles – and I’ll just end up having to do all this bull all over again. So, I kind of see it like: since I’ve knocked 30 years out of the way already, I may as well keep pounding away. No sense in losing progress. Even if it doesn’t often feel like progress. (*Please also reference ‘The Russian Doll’ on Netflix. Same idea. Also, super weird and cool show.)
I have other beliefs as well, that help sooth me in some of my darker hours. I have the belief that I, the soul of who I am, took part in planning the outline of my human experience before I came to exist on this earth. And if that’s the case, then I have, on some deeper level, already agreed to much of the discomfort that I go through. And that’s empowering to lean on. I chose this life. I chose to experience certain emotions, struggles and people; this way of thinking gives me a sense of ownership of my life. It helps me to sigh, breathe in, and continue forward. Because if I chose this – then I can have more faith in trusting that I have everything I need to overcome it. I’m strong enough. I would not have made myself something I cannot triumph over.
I get that this line of thinking won’t work for everyone. And it doesn’t have to. It works for me. It’s kept me safe when few other things may have.
If it ever came down to it, and someone were attempting to talk me off a literal ledge… and they started with “You have so much to live for!” … I’d be gone before they finished the sentence. I can’t live my life for what or who is around me. It would be an empty existence. I love my husband, my family, my friends – but I have to want to live my life for me. I have to feel like I have meaning, and that my experiences are something that are enriching me, and in turn I am adding value to this planet by existing. But simply living because someone else wants to you to? Doesn’t work.
When I hear of someone that commits suicide, I am so deeply sad; because I know they didn’t make that decision lightly. No one commits suicide on a whim. There have been years of inner-conversations that eventually lead to this person believing they are truly not worthy of their own existence. They eventually became unable to keep battling with the horrible darkness in their mind.
I don’t pity them though. I refuse to disrespect their soul with pity. I instead have a sense of saddened respect. It reminds me of how I felt walking through Auschwitz. I do not pity them. I respect their ability to persevere through the most cruel conditions; I am deeply saddened for the tortures they experienced, I am moved, and I choose to acknowledge their fight, knowing they did everything they could to survive. And they simply didn’t.
Being human is hard. Feeling feelings is hard. Expressing is hard. Feeling grief, trauma, torture, abuse, depression, stress, anxiety… is hard. So if you chose to be here, stay on this earth and persevere through the dark, often times the light isn’t far behind (Ryan Langlois, I’m stealing your shit); but sometimes, you have to believe the light is there, before it reveals itself. And that can be the hard part.
If you choose to comment on this post, please (PLEASE) do not comfort me; or tell me how valuable my life is. I don’t mean to sound insensitive or ungrateful, it’s simply that, that would indicate you missed the point of my post. I’m not looking to be consoled, or supported. I’m actually hoping to create the tiniest bit of normalcy around suicidal thoughts. I would love for this piece to create the opportunity for an open and safe discussion on the topic.
So, if you feel inclined, share a similar experience. Tell me what you do to overcome your thoughts of suicide. Or tell me about the black hole in your mind. Tell me about your Ground Hog’s Day hypothesis. Or whatever you feel you can share. Thank you in advance for your bravery, and thank you for continuing to look for and find the value in your own life.