“Let me tell you something about suicide. Nobody wants to do it. EVER. It’s as scary as hell. It’s really hard to try and describe what it feels like to be suicidal to someone who has never been there. It’s like you are deep in the depths of darkness, sadness, hopelessness and loneliness. Your entire world suddenly becomes an enormous vacuum of nothingness that turns everything of worth & value in your life in it. Life feels muted, nothing feels like an accomplishment anymore. You feel trapped.
I want to share my date with suicidal thoughts and the great escape. I want to share this not because I feel like bragging that I made it to the other side of suicide, but because I lost a friend yesterday who committed suicide. She was a sweet soul, talented, with a bright future, loved at her work places (previous and current), and loved by every human being she possibly met while she was with us. And, that I am so sorry, I wasn’t there for her when she needed someone the most. And I wanted to share my story because I have come to realize that if I don’t have the courage to speak up and talk about it, then how can I expect others to do the same. I am sharing this with purest intent that it may just help someone who goes through this devastating and destructive darkness. God forbid, this ever happens though.
Once upon a time, not very long ago. An evening of October 2016, I find out that the guy I was pursuing, has been lying to me all this while. The guy with whom I opened up about all my previous heart breaks, and how I had lost faith in love and how I am now so scared to try again. The guy who told me that the worst is over and we are now headed to greener pastures.
That moment of truth when I discovered that I was a living a lie, I froze. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My brain didn’t function; my emotions were wrecked; and even my body felt weird. I was numb, and I barely felt alive. I confronted him and asked just one question “Why?” Why would you do this” Why..just why? I cried my heart out that night and the next and the next and my pillow was my only confidant. I couldn’t talk about this to anyone. Family, Friends, Colleagues that at 33 I am a total failure at my attempt to find love – again, That I am a total loser at relationships – again. Getting out of bed was a struggle next morning and the next and the next. I could not come out of it. The pain was so intense that I felt my heart being clenched and recurring contraction in my chest every time the feeling hit. It felt like a physical pain. My chest and abdomen hurt. It wasn’t that I loved the guy dearly. It was the lost hope, the broken and shaken faith. It wasn’t also that I had never been heartbroken before or I haven’t seen adversity in life. I have been strong all along – keeping myself together. Optimistic to the core. But I guess, this was the final blow that just shattered my spirit and all the past blows and cracks fell apart.
It was at my darkest hour that I started to feel suicidal. The instinct was so strong that It made me believe that death is the only way to release myself from this pain. I guess it started showing on my face as a few close colleagues started asking if I was okay. And as bubbly as I am, my response used to be full of enthusiasm followed by visits to the washroom to cry. I started to find excuses to not go home because I would be alone and I was afraid that I meet feel suicidal again. Yes, I was afraid of killing myself and yet felt suicidal.
The first night I felt suicidal, it was 2 am. I headed to the kitchen, looked at the knives and did the walk of shame back to my room. I scrolled down the list of 300 contacts on my phone, 700 friends on facebook to find that one person I can talk to and cry. I decided to call my brother as I knew he was the only one who wouldn’t judge me and understand me. He didn’t answer as he works night shifts and his mobile was probably in the locker. I somehow survived the night. Next morning at work, I received a box of chocolates from a client who was happy with my work. I didn’t feel a thing in my body. I couldn’t feel the happiness. I was numb. My life’s last leaf just fell too, my work – my passion for my job – just vanished.
The second night again, the instinct to give up on life found its way. I kept crying – buried my face on the pillow just so I am not loud to scare the neighbors. I just kept thinking about ways that I could kill myself. I thought about overdosing, jumping off the terrace, or cutting my wrist and googled – “painless (yes, I didn’t want to do it like I said) ways to kill yourself” I then googled suicide helpline numbers. None of the numbers in India worked – no one answered. As desperate as I was, I also called a US suicide helpline but it didn’t go through as I was calling from India. I just wanted to talk to someone – who would UNDERSTAND and not call me stupid, or selfish or silly or “think about your parents” or “over a guy, really?”, “Coward”. As if I already didn’t know it was selfish to put my loved ones through this, but at the same time it was so difficult to stay alive just for the well-being of others. I could easily rationalize it and say that they were better off without me anyway. That’s how your brain works at that moment. Believe me.
I don’t know what was I thinking I shared my story on social media. Within fraction of seconds, my inbox was filled with messages from strangers showing support, willing to hear me out, giving me advises, asking me to respond to them because they wanted me to not do it.
And some were so kind that they checked on me for the next couple of days, a month later and even 9000 miles across the globe. That’s when I realized, there is no dearth of kindness on this earth and how much I meant to so many people – strangers or loved ones, that I mattered. People didn’t need a reason to care for me, to give me their time when I most needed it, to tell me I deserve better, validate me because at that moment I needed validation for my existence.
Next day, I called to schedule an appointment for therapy. I didn’t get an immediate appointment even though I begged and told them that I am afraid that tonight the suicidal feeling might sync in again. I got the appointment for next week. I survived through the days and went to see my therapist. I talked and she listened. It was like I was talking to a wall. She didn’t help me at all. She didn’t diagnose me with anything. I just sat there and blabbered, begged for help as I was afraid of feeling suicidal again.
Finally, I was assigned a psychiatrist, who could write me medication if required. I got that appointment for a week later. She was better than the first one and did diagnose me correctly, but again it just felt like the cold procedural questions and protocol that they have to follow. No words of comfort, no gaze of compassion or care. Anyway, therapy didn’t really help me.
I came home that afternoon and my brother returned my call. I talked my heart out to him, cried and opened up and told him that I was suicidal. He pepped me up like no one else. After speaking to him it felt like I just woke me up from my zombie state and he instilled some life in my otherwise lifeless soul. He kept checking on me until I gathered myself up again. If you ever go through such pain and feel like giving up on life, PLEASE – seek help. As hopeless as it may feel at that time, there may be some ways to shake your brain out of it and if you don’t trust me you may miss out on the joy and love that you deserve. Believe me, it’s worth a try while you still have the chance. I know it may not sound worth it to you when you are in that zone, but you will just have to take everyone’s word for it. Life is worth living. It stops getting worse with time, it actually starts to get better. Trust me. You will feel happy again, you will want to socialize again. You MATTER. And you matter most to ME. I promise.”
–Anonymous (The identity of the my story contributor is kept anonymous upon request.)
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