Suicide is a grave matter, and that guy you admire so much, the one who is life-goals and looks like he never gets irritated by slow WiFi and has attained nirvana — he was probably thinking of it last evening as he marked his son’s homework. I know of a loved one who has consistently said that he cannot attend the funeral of a person who dies by suicide; that it’s selfish and cowardly. I have my own theory dotted with horrifying personal experiences that I don’t think I’m ready to open to the world yet. Me, who write stories about my past boyfriends and embarrassing life struggles, still has things she can’t talk about. Life is a bottomless pit.
I have seen a loved one attempt suicide, and it wasn’t once. Witnessing a loved one attempt suicide and living with the thought that they were at a place when even you couldn’t help gives your heart a fever so high that medication can’t help. This memory has remained stuck at the back of my mind like chewed gum under a desk, decades later.
I have held pills in my hands, ready to swallow and just be done with this rat race. At that moment, nothing else mattered. Nothing made sense, the thought of slipping into unknown darkness felt heavenly. I have looked down from the fourth floor of my apartment and thought how wonderful it’d be to fly without wings.
Yesterday, I woke up to this message in my inbox from a girl I consider gorgeous like a full moon. Her smile can cure depression, her height makes pines feel threatened, and she’s godly and kind. Yet, she struggles with these thoughts too. The only difference is she seems to have gone several steps ahead of what most suicidal people don’t – she sees a flicker at the end of this bottomless pit.
Have you seen how people talking about themselves in uncomfortable situations use ‘You’? ‘You’ removes you from the happenings, makes it feel like it’s happening to someone else; in a way it also makes you more vulnerable because if it’s not ‘I,’ then you can observe and analyze objectively. This piece was all ‘you.’
I have added my own humor attempts; I’m sure you’ll notice. I also changed the point of view to ‘I.’
I think I understand suicidal people; I have caught a glimpse of that despair that deceives, making one’s existence merely that – existence. It takes away the flavor from life; the joy from everything that once brought joy; it makes each day unbearable, burdensome, and extra-long like night-time sanitary pads.
I’m supposed to be thankful and strong; I have to be a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I’m not supposed to fall apart, ain’t nobody got time for that! (sic) So I put on the charade, I hide my glassy eyes behind a crooked smile, smiling through your soul’s exhaustion.
I hold court and entertain because you can always throw them off with comedy. When they laugh, they won’t look into my eyes and see the deep sadness I carry. When they are amused, they won’t notice that I’m barely holding on; I’m just one straw away from cracking my soul two.
And then I slip away, looking for air, gasping for breath like a man with a bad case of pneumonia, inhaling deeply as Will Smith said in Bad Boys, “Whoosah!” I’m clutching at life while everyone around me is making merry, hoping I’ll feel life coming back to me. I’m secretly hoping someone will look at me, see me, really see me. But ain’t nobody got time for that.
So I turn up the music as I wash dishes, silently screaming along because perhaps if I scream it out, then I can breathe again. Because even my tears are tucked away so far, they won’t come out. After all, ain’t nobody got time for that! (sic)
But I have also learned that there is a grace that draws us from the depths of despair. I have learned that if I can just touch the hem of His garment, I can be made whole. I have learned that if I only have a mustard seed faith, He will do everything else. I have learned that He has time for my despair, He is infinitely familiar with it, and He can meet me amid my pots and pans and hold me while I scream.
I have learned that my life matters to Him and that I am not a waste of space and time. I have learned that even in the chaos of this world, He knows my name, He cares about my heart, and He loves me. I am not irrelevant or inconsequential to Him; I am loved, I am seen, he holds me. So in the depths of my despair, with what strength I have left, I will call upon His Name…my Lord Jesus Christ. And as He has each time, He will come, and He will save me.
Blessed be His Name.
Editor’s note: If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, please reach out. I’m a self-proclaimed listener and sympathizer pro. Where I can’t help, I’ll get you someone who can. I’d rather cry with you through the depression than cry at your funeral. Also, I’ve run out of black dresses to wear to funerals, so please, don’t make me go shopping; I’m broke.
I’m talking to you, the normal-looking person reading this while you balance tears.