As the morning sun would stretch and rise from its resting place just beyond the horizon, she would open her eyes and say to herself, “S—t. I’m still here.” And like clockwork, her tortured mind would take up its usual post. The damning inner dialogue swirled round and round, raging like a tropical storm. It was like this all day. It was like this everyday.
I can’t do this anymore. I’m so tired. Why didn’t I just die in my sleep without any fuss? Now I have to find a way to get through yet another day. Another day of constant pain. Another day of crippling loneliness. I could probably cope with it all if I could just take a break—I only need a break. But there’s never a break, is there? Not for me. Not for messed up people like me.
I want out.
I remember mornings like this when I could still wake up and go to work like everyone else. There were friends. There was a caring family. My partner loved me unconditionally. The world was my oyster; I was doing things, going places, making moves. My future was bright and there was nothing I couldn’t be or achieve if I put my mind to it. Huh. Yeah, I remember that, but I don’t work or dream anymore. My phone doesn’t ring like it once did, and when it does, I ignore them. I ignore them all.
I need out.
Nothing makes me happy anymore. I don’t remember ever being happy though…not really. Surely, it has always been this bad. Surely, it shall always be this bad. Everything I touch goes to s—t these days. I never say the right things. I can never do the right things. Life is passing me by and though I don’t care, I can’t lie and say that I don’t wish things could have gone differently. I wanted to be like everyone else. Go to school, get a job, get married, buy a house, have 2.5 kids and a swimming pool in the suburbs. I can’t do it though. I’ve tried. Lord knows I’ve tried.
And so, I must get out.
I could vanish into thin air right now and no one would notice. I’m only taking up space. A burden. Don’t they know I’m doing the best I can? If I knew the way out of this, I’d be gone already. I know of ways, but I’m scared. What will happen to them all? What will happen to me? What if it doesn’t work? They’ll stop me if I don’t do it right. I have to make sure I can do it right. I can’t stand being here any longer, but I’m not trying to hurt myself. I just need to make it all stop. Why won’t it all stop?
I can’t wait to get out.
How did it all come to this? Why can’t I just “cheer up” and “get over it” like everyone says? I didn’t do anything wrong, but everyday I continue to live feels like a prison sentence I rightfully earned. Isn’t there anything I can do to make things better? Can’t anyone help me? Doesn’t anyone see what is going on here—I mean, really see?
If I do this, that’s it. I’ll never do the things I always said I’d do, or see the things I always said I’d see. No! None of this matters anymore. I did what they said to do, but nothing is better! Years and years of pain, and still no silver lining? No…when I find a way—the right way—I’m out of here. No one deserves to “live” like this. This isn’t living. It’s waiting to die.
Won’t someone please let me out.
I’m going to do it. I have to do it. There’s nothing left for me. Nobody cares. Oh God, why do I have to do it? All I want is to be happy. I don’t want to just give up like this, but what options do I have? I’m so sorry. I tried so hard, I swear I did! Things will be better soon. Everything will go away and I won’t hurt anymore.
But God, if you’re there…if you’re listening…help me.
This could be you. This was me.
It is actually quite surreal, but there was a time when I felt exactly like the photo above. I was trapped in a frightening, hopeless place that I couldn’t find my way out of. Somehow, I found myself wanting out of this life by any means necessary. At the height of the despair, my ideal “exit plan” was to throw myself off of the Golden Gate Bridge. Thankfully, I lived halfway across the country. However, the mere thought of doing it brought comfort to me, as it was the only way out that I could see. Depression can blind you more than you know.
When I heard about the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain this week I felt so many things.
While the people around me had their mouths drooped open with gasps of, “How horrible” dripping from their lips, I couldn’t help but think, “They got out.”
It is always a peculiar and unnerving experience to be faced with people who openly admit their contemplation of suicide because I totally “get it”. From celebrities to random strangers off the street, when people are thinking of ending their lives or actually do it, I find myself scrambling to process the unusual brand of empathy and understanding I have for them.
While I would never, ever find it acceptable or appropriate to root people on or applaud them for having (or having had) these feelings, I can’t condemn them either. It is always my desire to help them, but then it tends to feel like hypocrisy and ignorant futility. How can I, someone who has stood in their very same shoes, tell them anything they’ll actually believe?
I honestly view suicide as a terminal illness. More often than not, the event itself is simply the end stage of something that was brewing and building up over time. It’s usually not just a failed business or just a rocky marriage.
As people live their lives and start to evaluate the disheartening events that have transpired, the pain accumulates and they start looking for an escape route. They’re sitting at the restaurant table next to us wondering if and how they should do it. They are in the office cubicle down the hall asking themselves what might become of their loved ones. There is contemplation and the evaluation of options all along the way, but we walk by these people having no idea. They’re in need of other options, but if they can’t find any on their own or aren’t offered any by the people around them, we all may end up saying, “How horrible.”
Though I will never be able to fault someone for making the decision they thought was right, I will always wish that people like Kate and Anthony could have found the other option. I can’t help but think of how powerful a testimony they could have had if they’d been able to beat back whatever drove them to leave this world. They had the perfect platform to reach people who could potentially identify with their story and become inspired by their victory…but now that’s gone. They’re gone. And whether they expected it or not, they will be missed.
I share my own story today in order to do what countless beautiful souls like Kate and Anthony were robbed of the opportunity to do: Be proof that another option does exist.
This is my platform. It’s small…I don’t know if anyone is paying any attention to my rambling. But hey, it’s okay. Me being here still gives me the chance to climb up on my little soapbox and spout hope, love and positive vibes as loudly as I want…in hopes that even one person who could desperately use it hears me. And if they do, that makes my having stuck around worth something.
I would never want other people to go through half of the stuff I’ve experienced, but I know some still will. And when they do, it will hurt, it will damage and it will change them. However, they don’t have to let the pain build up and lead them down the wrong path. They don’t have to feel alone. They don’t have to think it can’t get any better. This is why I’ve chosen to write about and share my life.
Maybe my own hopes and dreams will come to fruition one day, maybe they won’t. Irrespective of my own life’s outcome, I once made the choice to use whatever life I have left—be it good, be it bad—to show people another option. It’s not the only option, but it is one of many ways life can turn out if you don’t give up looking for another way out.
It feels weird to say this, but I wake up smiling each day. To be honest, I’m not even sure what I’m smiling about half the time. My life is hardly spick and span, things aren’t exactly the way I would like them to be, but I’m still living the most joyous life. The future is no longer dark and foreboding, but full of possibilities. There is inspiration in everything I see. Life may not be perfect and I may not know what to do next, but it’s life…my life. I’m no longer defeated. I’m no longer trapped. I too, got out.
This could be you. ❤