Last year I wanted to kill myself.
That is the brutal truth.
I was so entangled in my own darkness and authoritarian mind I could not see any other way of getting relief.
Through years of continuous anxiety and depression, I never wanted to take pills to numb the gaping hole in my being, I wanted to understand what was going on—what was tearing me apart. I thought by doing this I might grow of the constant fear and panic in my gut.
But I just started to wonder what the point of it all is.
This life that we have, what’s the point?
Why be alive when I feel dead inside?
I didn’t have any answers—nothing that made me want to fight the hopelessness.
I was tired and weak from years of sabotaging my own life, happiness and love. I killed myself slowly over the years, I just didn’t act on it in the end.
For the longest time, there has been this voice in my head—a mean f*cking voice.
If you’ve experienced lack of self-love leading to depression and suicidal thoughts you probably know the voice I’m talking about—the one that makes you feel that no matter what you do, you are never enough, that sucks out any ounce of joy out of your life.
Despite my own mind, somehow, a year later I’m still here, like many of us who at some point or another have come close to suicide. It’s difficult to acknowledge our own strength and courage in not succumbing to immediate relief, even though the idea of taking our own life is in fact terrifying—we know what we’re getting out of but not where we’re headed.
I debated the options in my head for months and looking back, l feel the only thing that kept me going at the time was guilt. Guilt for leaving my family and close friends with a list of unanswered questions: How did I not see it? What could I have done? Was I a good friend? How could I not save my own child?
I didn’t want to cause pain to the people in my life. This kept me going, holding on to life by a thread. The love and support I received from the people in my life was overwhelming and that also helped to keep me alive. But, when we don’t love ourselves no amount of external love can fill the void left by our own un-beating hearts. We know the uplifting feeling will only last a moment. Soon enough we’ll be asking ourselves the same question again: Why do they love me?
I didn’t understand why people loved me.
I would actually ask them: Why do you choose to spend time with me? I felt like I didn’t deserve love so I pushed people away, even though I needed them. Fear took over. It took me years to realise how little I love myself. I say it in the present tense, because this is still very much work in progress.
Lack of self-love can lead to difficult relationships, loneliness, substance and other kinds of abuse, and death. I sincerely feel it’s the root of all harm.
If we don’t love ourselves how can we really fathom what love is?
How can we extend that same all encompassing compassionate love to someone else? Sometimes, it takes seconds to understand the root of a certain thought process, sometimes years. It’s not all clear cut. But with time and practice we can get better at anything.
A dear friend once told me: Wanting to die is actually a deep pull to live life fully. This new-found idea was surprising to me. After a while, though, it made total sense.
Why do we want to die? How do we get to the point of not wanting to be here anymore?
Today, I believe we want to die because we actually want to live our lives fully,
We’re just so scared and paralysed by the idea, we block the little hope that is still shining within us.
So if this is true, then the call of death is actually a ferocious yearning to excel at this thing called life.
The nuance is slim but it makes all the difference.
This new-found notion gave me an entirely fresh perspective on suicide. It shifted my thought processes. I actually wanted to live—not this miserable, self-hating life, but one filled with love, laughter, joy, creativity, authenticity, purpose and connection. I wanted to feel life!
It was a huge wake up call.
Once we figure out that we actually want to live, we need to start searching for the tools to help us.
It doesn’t happen in a heartbeat and it is not an easy road, but is it easy for anyone? Can we truly say any person on this planet has an easy life? We all have our stories, wounds, deceptions, insecurities—we all have baggage, we just deal with it in different ways. We’re all just making do with what we have. Some of us are better at it, but for those of us who aren’t, the beauty of human nature is that we can always learn.
Today my truth is that I’m learning to love myself, and in the process I’m starting to slowly uncover petal by petal what love can or could be. It’s a work in progress. It’s a long road with bumps and dead ends, but somehow it always works out and something beautiful happens when I least expect it.
A year down the line, I don’t regret choosing life over death, even when I still feel a little dead inside some days. I’m still here and some days are just f*cking beautiful—filled with grace and pure joy.
“Curiously, these unexpected gifts of guidance are often presented by the universe to influence our thoughts or impact the direction that our lives may take, when we least expect them. Whenever this happens, our free wills are never violated. While we are in our earthly bodies, we always have the choice to react to these events—regardless of their magnitude—the way we see fit. ” ~ A.P.J Abdul Kalam
I can’t believe I would have missed out on this last year of my life if I had killed myself.
I wouldn’t have understood the root of my lack of self-love.
I wouldn’t have started to heal.
So, if you are reading this from what seems to be a dark, never-ending tunnel, I just want to put it out there: You’re not alone.
So many souls like us have experienced this same gut-wrenching feeling. Some of us are still stuck with you in that dark scary place. If you feel like you do not want to live anymore, I just want you to know it can change, and that we’re all here to help you get there.
Whoever you are, whatever you’re going through, you are not alone.
Reach out to the people closest to you if you can. If you can’t, you can always reach out to our community or any other community that makes you feel safe.
Suicide is a choice.
Let’s make it one none of us want to make because we are too busy enjoying life to even consider exiting it before we’re grey and old.
With much love & honesty,
“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” -~ Carl Bard
Author: Lilya Sabatier
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Author’s own, used with permission from Laetitia Leo