To Anyone With Suicidal Thoughts — You May Be Lonely, But You Are Not Alone

Photo: Courtesy of the author
An Open Letter From Someone Who Overcame Mental Health Struggles With Self-Harm & Suicidal Thoughts To Anyone Feeling Depression & Loneliness
Heartbreak

Spring 2013. 

I told my few remaining friends about my suicidal thoughts.

“What’s the big deal? I don’t enjoy my life anymore. If I were a dog, I’d be put to sleep. Isn’t that the criterion?”

They stopped calling.

I made an appointment at a pill mill in Orange County. I was going to tell them I suffered from anxiety. They were going to prescribe me Xanax. I would fill the prescription, come home, take the Xanax with a bottle of vodka I had already gotten delivered, and that would be it.

When the day of my appointment came, I was too depressed to leave the house.

I would take two, three, four Benadryl at a time and lie in bed, hallucinating shapes on the ceiling.

I tried to watch TV but could never find anything to watch and would just stare at the scrolling Apple TV screensavers: Polar bear, desert, penguin, bird, whale. Polar bear, desert, penguin, bird, whale. Polar bear, desert, penguin, bird, whale.

 

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I cried and cried and cried and cried.

I couldn’t see how anything could change. I was old, broke, career-less, alone, and living in a dingy one-room apartment at age 53.

I had run out of second chances. I was done. It was over.

I did self-harm, punching myself over and over again on my left thigh. It still cramps up to this day in the spot where I hit it the most. I hit myself in the face and gave myself two black eyes.

I would bargain with the God I didn't believe existed.

“Kill me and I’ll believe in you. Give me terminal cancer and I’ll serve you for the rest of my time on earth.”

I did my research. The most effective ways are shooting and hanging. I’m anti-guns, so that left me only one choice.

I had the scarf out for weeks, tied to my bed frame. There were things that needed to be gotten out of the way first. Mother's Day. Birthdays. I didn't want my death to ruin anybody’s special day for the rest of their lives, that would make me even more of a loser.

In the meantime, I would look at the scarf and smile. My salvation. My deliverance from all this pain, from all my poor choices, all my failures, from the mess I had made of my life.

I wrote a note giving my bank account information and where to place Andy, my dog.

I apologized.

I wrote, “Don’t be sad, it’s better this way.”

I deleted all the contacts from my phone.

 

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In October, when I finally couldn’t take the voices anymore, the endless loop in my head that said “I wanna die I wanna die I just wanna die why can’t I just die” every waking moment of every day,

I tied the scarf in a slipknot around my neck and let go with my feet. The knot tightened. My pulse pounded in my head. My vision started to dim.

And … I couldn’t do it. The void that had seemed so alluring for so long, as long as I can remember, scared me too much when I finally came face to face with it.

I untied the knot and called the one friend I had left and told him what had happened.

He barked at me, “You’re not gonna kill yourself! It’s not an option!”

I sobbed, “You’re not the boss of me.”

But I didn’t kill myself, and that was the turning point.

The days were still hard, but I began to claw my way out. I got on some effective medication and adopted an elderly Yorkshire terrier who was in worse shape than I was.

I started writing little jokes and posting them on Facebook.

And one evening around Christmas time, I was taking a bath in the same tub I had gotten into months before with a boning knife intending to slice my wrists.

This time, I was listening to the Kinks and the song “Waterloo Sunset” came on.

Bob, my tiny Yorkie, was scampering in and out of the bathroom, putting his feet up on the edge of the tub to look at me.

And I experienced a feeling that was so odd and unfamiliar I couldn't even identify at first.

Then I realized it was happiness.

If you are truly concerned someone may harm themselves or others, seek professional guidance right away by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

 

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Leah Krinsky is a licensed MFT and Emmy Award winning comedy writer based in Los Angeles known for her work on "Dennis Miller Live" and "Conan". Follow her on Twitter for more.