I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve imagined I’m dead. I can’t even describe to you how many times I’ve seen my own funeral, the people around the coffin, how many times I’ve imagined what the world would look like without me in it.
I don’t know why but these thoughts seem to haunt me, yet I don’t want to die. People usually assume that if someone is thinking about death, that person wants to die and if they aren’t thinking about death, they don’t want to die.
That’s not true. What about those who are stuck in a gray zone, thinking about death? What about those like me?
I’ve been thinking about death since high school.
I’ve found myself haunted by suicidal thoughts. I can’t even say that puberty had anything to do with it because death haunts me to this day. I’ve found myself thinking about being kidnapped. I thought about what if one day I never got back home from school?
There was a bridge I had to cross every day, coming home from school. I stopped in the middle of it so many times, staring down into the cold and deep river, thinking about what if I fell in?
How would it feel while falling down, what would go through my head on the way down? How would I feel when my body made first contact with the ice-cold water? Would I be still alive before I fell in the river or would my heart give in right at the beginning of the fall?
And if I stayed alive, would the water pull me down into a cave or something? Would my body ever float out?
I could have tried it but I didn’t want to. Those were only thoughts and nothing else. I don’t want to die. I love my life and I want to keep living it. I don’t want my journey to end.
I kept this to myself. I never told anyone what was going through my head so often. I knew that if I shared what I felt, people would get worried and try to save me from killing myself. But I never intended to do it.
I don’t want to think about death, it scares me. But I can’t turn off my brain. I can’t tell it what to think about.
These thoughts catch me unprepared. I never know when they are coming. It often happens when I least expect it, when everything in my life is going great, when I don’t have anything to be worried about.
Then, all of a sudden, I see something that triggers my mind into inviting negative thoughts into my head, into my heart.
Depression plays a great part in it. It pops up like an uninvited guest that you can’t get rid of. It leaves when it becomes bored, when it has nothing else to do.
All the bad memories, all the suppressed feelings, come floating to the surface, suffocating me, not letting me breathe.
I cut myself off from the world. I lock myself in my room, dwelling on my own pain and praying to God it stops. I feel alone, I feel like no one cares about me, no one gives a damn whether I live or die. I feel completely powerless.
When I feel like this, I can’t stop it.
It feels like I’m swimming in an ocean and although there is no one around, I feel safe. The sun is shining and keeping my face warm, it’s like the sun is kissing me. I feel safe and happy, I’m enjoying myself.
But then out of nowhere, a huge cloud appears and blocks the sun out. It starts getting cold and that beautiful, vast ocean that made me feel free and happy is no longer a safe place.
Now it’s like being trapped in a scary nightmare in which I’m fighting for my every breath. Big waves are drowning me and land is nowhere to be found. I’m helpless. Helpless and alone.
And this happens all the time. I drift off in my thoughts, I’m in a safe place and then the clouds appear all of a sudden. I never see it coming and I can’t chase it away.
And I never know when it’s coming again. I can only hope it doesn’t.
I know I’m not alone.
In the beginning, I thought I was. I thought that something was seriously wrong. I know that there are people like me out there. And I want to tell you that you’re not alone. You’re not crazy.
Talk to someone, anyone. Talk to someone you trust, a friend or a family member, a therapist. You have to let those thoughts out. You have to say them out loud. You have to get confirmation that you’re not different from everyone else.
There are a lot of us out there who struggle every day with trying to win this battle but they don’t talk about it. And then you think you’re the only one.
I’ve kept my thoughts to myself for years because I was too scared to be labeled as the crazy one. Who in their right mind is thinking about death but doesn’t want to die? I was so scared they were going to commit me and pronounce me unfit to live on my own.
Then I took my chances and I talked to the person I trusted the most. Then I found support and a safe place to go to every time these thoughts, these feelings which are as real as yours, consume me.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Don’t be ashamed of what is happening to you. You’re not the only one. You’re not mad. You are just being honest with yourself. You’re accepting what you’re feeling.