It’s September — National Suicide Prevention Month. We always talk about the signs, how to look out for them, how to check on people and other prevention techniques. But no one talks about just how hard it is to stay alive when you are a highly-functional person who is also suicidal.
For me it’s an everyday thing, thinking about death. I’m just tired of how things are currently. I’m in a constant battle of being grateful for what I have and thinking about how I am not living up to the potential I thought I had. Most days it’s just tough to see the upside to living.
Living is already hard and now I’ve got to throw anxiety and depression in the mix… all I can say is “good times” in the most sarcastic voice. I have a therapist and a good support system (my mom and cats). I’m doing all the self-care methods I can like yoga, meditation, listening to music, dance and journaling to “beat” my anxiety and depression. But there is this voice. A voice that sounds like me, but it’s not really me. This voice in me says, “Hey, come on. You know you want to end it all.” When I’m taking a shower the voice is there, making the shower longer and sadder. When I’m taking the train to work the voice tells me I should die. When work is stressful and I’m making countless mistakes, the voice is saying, “You know you don’t have to go through any of this. You could just leave.”
Every day I choose to not listen to that voice. Every day I choose to live, even though I am suicidal. That voice is not me. That voice is a mix of anxiety, depression and every mean phrase and experience I’ve been through in my life. Not listening to that voice is one of the most challenging things I’ve done and I hope to continue to do. Some days when I’m in tears or simply numb and detached, it’s because I am fighting hard to stay alive and not listen to that voice.
This is the voice of unreason and doubt that speaks to me, but I’ve determined that it doesn’t speak the truth. The friends and family I have would not be better without me. I am loved. I am cable of loving someone else. I will figure out things. I am talented. I am creative. I am enough. I am worthy to deserve the happiness that is waiting for me. I am needed. My words are important. “My voice” is more important and holds more conviction than “that” voice.
I hope my article helps others who go through the everyday struggle of staying alive. We all have a voice that tells us scary things, but we have to continue on and survive for ourselves and others. Our voice is more important than whatever else we are hearing.