Suicidal Ideation & the Surprising Realization That I Want to Live

I had not realized how bad it had gotten, how bad I had gotten. Not until it was far too late to stop it at this point, anyway.

What I experienced could perhaps best be described as a psychotic break. I felt detached from myself, yet still present; I felt numb and fully convinced that I needed things to end — permanently.

It wasn’t until I woke up the next morning, emptying my stomach into the porcelain bowl and clutching my cramping abdomen as tears steadily streamed down my face, that a question presented itself to me…

Is death what I truly wanted? —

The answer to that question is simple: No. Death is not at all what I truly wanted. But, my mind had convinced me that it is what was needed — not only for myself, but for every person that was in my life. These thoughts built up a wobbly house of bricks that formed a home in my chest and they became shelter for my deepest traumas and insecurities.

Simply put, I was alone and I believed I was doing the world a favor.

But that second day, as the pain began to ebb away just slightly, the house of bricks came crumbling down. I came to the realization that there was nowhere left for me to go from there but up. And perhaps that line sounds cliche and overdone, but it is the most honest way that I can describe it.

“It is easy to feel alone when you can’t find the words necessary to gain the attention and the help that you need.”

As I laid awake in bed that night, I went over my thoughts, picking them each apart in an attempt to figure out what caused me to “snap.” Between feelings of not being good enough, being far behind, being out of time, and scared for the future (or, in my mind, my lack thereof — ) it was easy to be overwhelmed. Especially when I was too drained, too exhausted to turn to what has been my only outlet: writing.

It is easy to feel alone when you can’t find the words necessary to gain the attention and the help that you need. I felt (and sometimes still do feel) as if there is no one to listen and that whether I live or die it ultimately will have no effect on this world. This is a scary way to think and to feel, as if perhaps I don’t and won’t ever matter.

Some days I find myself focusing on exactly how far behind my peers I am in life. But, I am learning that although I may be several stages below the standards that I had once set for myself — that is perfectly okay. No two people have the exact same timeline and it is unfair to both them and to myself to even remotely compare our journeys.

I had let my own insecurity ruin a lot of good things in my life and not allowed the path I was on to flourish in its own time…and then blamed the universe for my failures.

But, it is okay to fail, it is necessary to fail; for me, it makes the successes feel just that much more sweet. I refuse to allow myself to peak whilst still in my teens, when there is still so much time left to live and to create. I’d rather keep failing, learning, and progressing than to start off at my highest and decline just as rapidly.

There are days when it’s harder, where I still feel overwhelmed and defeated, and I can’t help but find myself thinking that maybe the world would be unaffected, nay better off without me in it. These are dangerous days; these are the scary days. Sometimes it feels as though these are the days that will never end.

Still, there are days when it’s easier, where I feel lucky and grateful, and I can’t help but be glad to still be here. Whether or not my words matter, or I’m successful, or what have you. I am just so tired of focusing on the things that I cannot control when I’m not even 20 years old yet.

I don’t have to have it all figured out, not right now. These are things that I’m still trying my hardest to learn, and as I mentioned before, some days are easier than others. But, I’m trying — and that’s all that I really can do.

A sapphic Black Latine writer and future filmmaker. 21. (they/she) 💌: jhaunayamaniehernandez@gmail.com

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