Warning- This post will be talking about the sensitive issue of suicide and self harm. Many view these subjects as taboo and don’t want to and will not talk about it. Today, I’m going to break down those barriers. However, I do not want to place others in a bad place, so please be careful as you continue to read.
Every day that I wake up, one thought never fails to pop into my head “I want to die.” Extreme I know…or is it? I know that I am not the only one who struggles with feelings of suicide, self hate, and self harm. According to the American Psychological Association in the United States, 2 percent of deaths is caused by suicide and whereas the rates for men over 69 are the highest, they are also climbing at an alarming rate for those who are between the ages of 15-24 and it is the third leading cause of death for that age group.
Now comes the question, “Why do you want to die?” For each person the detailed answer will be different, but there is always the underlying reason, and it’s simply this- We hurt so much to the point that we don’t see the point in living anymore because death is the only escape for us. I know, this is horrible. But what is worse is that we cry out for help and we are not heard. I can’t count the number of times that I tried to talk about what I was feeling and going through, only to be told that “it’s a phase you will be fine” “just suck it up and go on with life” “It cant be that bad” “Others have it worse than you” When we hear things like this, we feel worse about ourselves and we wonder why we even talked about it in the first place.
Self harm is also something that many struggle with, it isn’t a mental illness in itself but it can be a sign of a mental heath problem. For those who don’t deal with self harm, many think its just cutting, but self harm can also be the burning of skin, hitting oneself till an injury is gained, preventing wounds from healing, and even pulling out hair. Now here comes the question, why do they self harm? There are many reasons why, but over all its a coping method. Yes it is an unhealthy method, and many who self-harm know that. I struggle with self harm, and why do I do it? I do it to cope with anxiety and depression, it turns my emotional pain into physical pain, it simply makes me feel better…or it does for a short time. Even though self-harm isn’t a mental illness, in my own opinion, it can become an addiction (and I know many who will agree with me.)
I’ve had these struggles since I was the age of 12, and I’m a few weeks from turning 20. I know some of you reading this will think, “If she wanted to die then she would have tried harder” And to you who think that, the truth is that I am afraid of death, because I want a better life. I only think that death is the only way out of the pain I am in, but if there is another way, then I want to take it. And there is hope, there is another way. Treatment is becoming available to more and more people, but we still have a long way to go. So many cannot afford the medication, the therapists and so they just fall back into their old ways and are forgotten.
Then there are the teenagers and children whose parents think that their child is fine and don’t need help, parents I urge you, listen to your children. Wouldn’t you rather go to 100 appointments to help your child instead of finding them one day dead? We need to stop talking over the people who are crying out. We need to have an ear to hear.
So, why do I (think I) want to die? Why have I not tried harder, to be better or to kill myself? Well, here’s the thing, I just want to be okay. My friend Deanna can attest to this, when my depression is bad and I vent to her, the thing that I say over and over is “I just want to be okay.” (Thank you Deanna for being there for me, that means a lot to me) This isn’t a race, this isn’t a competition between people, it’s a fight within ourselves. Every single day I fight to be okay, I fight against the thoughts that fill my head. Maybe others do have it worse, but the fight isn’t against them, its against me. I fight myself, I fight to be better.
But many who are in the same place as myself have stopped fighting, because they feel like they are alone, that they are not being heard. That stops now. If you are reading this and you have feelings of suicide and self-harm, you. are. not. alone. I am one of many who are fighting to have your voice heard, and I will not stop. I know how hard things can get, I know about those days where you cannot do a single thing but lay there in your bed, unable to even cry. I know the empty feeling, I know the feelings of self-hate. I know of the thoughts that fly through your head, the thoughts of “maybe I’m crazy” “maybe I’m not trying hard enough” “maybe I’m not worth it” But you are not alone, you will be okay in time, things do get better.
You. Are. Not. Alone.