J. M. Cools

Jul 9, 2018

6 min read
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

What Helped Me When I Was Suicidal

Trigger warning: suicide

None of my friends freaked out when I told them

For me, this was such a relief. I knew what I was telling them was serious and even scary, but I had to let them know. Not a single one of my friends freaked out on me. They all told me they understood why I felt the way I did. When I was a lot younger, I told my mom I wanted to die as well, and she did not take it well, understandably. She fiercely convinced me that she would be devastated if I was gone and made me promise I would never say or think that again. The fact that I was genuinely considering it a decade later made me feel guilty, so if my friends had reacted too strongly I would have felt so much worse. What they did instead is tell me they would greatly miss me if I were to go through with it.

Everyone assured me they were there for me

On the nights leading into the mornings where I couldn’t sleep, I had a hard time fighting against the feeling that I was alone, even when my husband was sleeping next to me. When he was off at work and I was at home and was quite literally alone, I had a lot of haunting thoughts that if I wanted to end everything I could have done so and nobody would have cared. They were overwhelming, but when they did happen, I would reach out to my friends and tell them what I was feeling. Some would thank me for telling them and then calmly reassure me that they were there for me.

Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash

They listened to me without judgement

Not once did my friends use any of the stigmatizing language that I was used to hearing about suicide. None of them called me selfish; none of them said I was cowardly; none of them said “Look what you’re doing to me!” or used any form of guilting. They just heard what I had to say and listened with the intent to understand me, not to judge me. Some of them offered to pray for me while others told told me how much they understood or had been in similar frames of mind. No one wants to spill their heart to someone and then get told that what they think or feel is wrong. They all, in their own ways, uniquely told me that my feelings were valid and they knew, based on the circumstances I was going through, that it made sense why I was feeling what I was feeling.

I went to an intensive outpatient therapy group

Of course, as big of a role my friends played in helping to stabilize me, they were no therapists. I needed professional help, so my psychiatrist helped me find one. I ended up in a group called I.O.P. (intensive out patient) where I got to meet with other people who were also suicidal like me. I didn’t like it at first, but eventually I started getting used to having to share my personal struggles in front of everyone, and it helped a lot. Hearing that other people were going through similar experiences helped me feel less alone. It also helped that we were all spilling our guts for each other to see. Nobody was better than anybody else and we all needed help.

I remembered and held on to my dreams

My dream is to write a book that will change the world the way the Harry Potter series has. I want to write something so influential that it will affect this generation and the next and the one after that. That’s my ultimate goal in life. I had to sit and tell myself that if I took my own life, there would be no chance my dream would ever come true. I would have stopped everything and have given up on myself and my dream. I thought, “If I kill myself, that influential book I want so badly to exist will never happen. I need to stick around to at least see that come true.”