I was sitting outside having a cigarette talking to one of my neighbors who recently lost someone they loved to suicide. As she talked to me about her loved one she told me she didn’t understand how this could happen.

How they were always so happy and prosperous and yet still felt so lost they chose to end their life. She went on and on about how somebody should have noticed and how guilty she felt that it wasn’t something she saw. I just got quiet and let her talk. I have learned in times like these that is the best reaction to have; when someone is unloading emotionally, just let them get it all out at once.

Suddenly mid-sentence she stops and says to me “You know I have read your blog” and my heart stops (I didn’t even know she knew I had a blog, to be honest, I don’t even really know this girl). She asked me if I had ever thought about hurting myself like that. She paused and said, “I’ve read about your self-harm so I know you have hurt yourself but I mean have you ever thought about taking your own life just, ending it all?”

I told her that I wasn’t sure if this was a conversation she really wanted to have with me as the loss of her loved one was so fresh and I can be very vivid at times like this when I get caught up in my own emotions. She told me that is exactly what made her approach me after she realized who I was. “From reading your posts I know that everything we are about to talk about is going to be raw and uncensored but I really feel like that is exactly what I need to fully understand the situation.”

I explained to her that I have been suicidal for years. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t think about it at least once. How easy it would be to just not be here and not have to get up and do it every day over and over again. I sometimes find both relief and guilt in those thoughts.

The thing is most people that have these thoughts and feelings regularly are very good at hiding it, showing little outward signs that anything is wrong. “Why? Why keep it in and not just ask someone to help you?”. Things aren’t always as simple as asking for help or talking it out. When you don’t fully know why or even understand your emotions it is not as simple as telling someone.

No one wants to be judged for having thoughts and feelings that don’t fit into the bubble the world around them has created. Let’s face it the world is judgmental as all hell and when you openly talk about depressing or morbid things, you get the crazy label stamped on your name and no one ever really takes the time to walk you through it. So you are alone with your not-so-pleasant thoughts and feelings with no clear way out but one.

She wanted to know what kept me from taking my own life if I had felt this way for so long.

So I told her.

For most of my life, I have spent my days causing pain and anguish to those around me. I have gone from one extreme to another for as long as I can remember. I have spent years and years forcing myself to stray from those thoughts purely for the sake of those I care about. I have put them all through enough over the last 34 years, I can’t bring myself to add one more thing to that list no matter how desperately I wish for it.

I have been selfish enough in my short life, but now I focus on the people around me. The ones who are lost and alone. Those struggling to find the light but still pushing forward. The ones stuck in the dark without any direction. The ones who have watched me fall and rise time and time again. Those who have been there through not just my good times but my bad times.

My reasons for living however do not always match those around me. We all fight for different reasons and unfortunately, we don’t all win our battles.

I still wake up some days with my first thought being of my own demise and the peace I could find there.

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” 

― Lucius Annaeus Seneca