“Never attempt to murder a man who is committing suicide.” – Woodrow Wilson
If there was ever anything constant in my life, it’s been my ever-present desire to be loved, my fear of death, and ultimately, unconsciously, a desire to die. A fine cocktail mixed for a lonely person whose fear of impending doom only drew him closer to it. The mental anguish, a torture of being too aware and an inability to find joy where many others might have, kind of drove me mad for the majority of my life.
How did I manage this neurotic mess? Well, my coping mechanisms had been half-healthy and half-unhealthy. On the healthy side of things, I’ve looked for light in the world, humor in the mundane or depressing and I’ve criticized this world to figure out what needs to change for me and others, I’ve also exercised. On the negative side, it’s been sex, alcohol, drugs, risks, and self-harm.
When I was about thirteen years old I used to cry myself asleep at night believing there was no way that I would make it to eighteen without killing myself. My depression was immense, persistent and haunting. I meditated on death much more than any healthy adolescent ever should. When I was seventeen, I began to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, rather than video games, and I killed my consciousness temporarily on a regular basis. I’d drink until I blacked out, because I didn’t care about my memory, my life or my health. I didn’t care about bringing myself closer to death because I knew it would one day be inevitable anyways. I was in control and choosing to kill myself rather than to wait for it. At least, that’s how I felt on the worst of days. On the best of days I’d be fighting for my future…
Even at the worst of times though, I’d always found a reason to keep on living. Living for myself had never seemed to be good enough though, and so I would always have to find someone or something else to keep on living for. There had to be an objective to get me from Point A to Point B, because I couldn’t live aimlessly and just wait for death to arrive. There had to be a reason to keep on struggling. There had to be some value in all of this pain and misery. There had to be something to procrastinate my inevitable death for.
The depression never went away but was dotted with moments of reprieve and what I call “happiness”. Moments that were so sweet, even they made me sad because I knew that would eventually end. When happiness faded, the baseline returned to me, my normal was somewhere deep and numb. Life felt hard and never easy for too long.
In the news, millionaires, celebrities and comedians found reasons to kill themselves even though they’re beloved, rich and famous. I knew that these deep and hopeless feelings were not just mine but that I was sharing the same hopelessness with others…
Death sang out to me in prior years like a siren luring sailors to their doom. Every now and then I’d find myself driving, fighting my compulsion to just jerk the wheel at an opportune moment and end it all. When I’d cook, I might hold a knife and examine it with curiosity before I turned it against my steak rather than my wrist. My medicine, I respected in the appropriate dosage when I knew that the entire bottle could be catastrophic. I always knew that I could end it all, and repeatedly chose not to. To give up would have resolved all of my issues but would have made ripples in the lives of all who had ever loved me and those who still needed me around.
Rock bottom can hit harder than a falling star and so, it takes every ounce of strength to make it through a crisis which begs for some escape. The easiest is death, the most difficult is time and determination.
Now here I am at thirty-one years old still kicking. Still looking for answers to all of life’s questions, still trying to value myself properly and those around me, but still choosing to live. Still telling myself in every situation, no matter how challenging, that life is precious and every obstacle can be overcome. We will only ever have this opportunity at life once. We may as well make ourselves useful, live for our children, our friends, whoever we consider family, our countries, our planet or our beliefs.
Find a reason to keep on living and fighting and know that you’re not alone. Open up to others and realize they need you too. You all deserve to live. Seek help when it feels out of your control and struggle is not weakness. Choosing to keep on living when everything feels hopeless is a sign of unimaginable strength. Choose to live because pain is temporary, and death is forever. The love that we have inside of us and the love that we have to give to others is too valuable to be discarded. You are wanted. You are loved.
If I’ve been able to survive, than so can you, and don’t be afraid to see a professional about it if it feels out of your control.
Fight to survive and afterwards, you can fight to thrive.
For Canadians: https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/
If you’re feeling suicidal: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/are-you-feeling-suicidal.htm
Sincerely yours, the Wolf Boy