The One Analogy That Helped Me Out Of My Darkest Moment

This maxim helped me out of a very dark place.

sad emotional woman alone in dark room Zapylaiev Kostiantyn / Shutterstock

If I asked you what the worst book in the world is, what would you think of?

Would you think of a fiction novel? A non-fiction work? A biography of someone you don't like?

It’s hard to say what the worst book in the world is. I don’t think there’s an objective answer to it.

So, the only way for us to answer this question is to think of what the worst book in the world is for us individually.


I don’t have an answer at the moment, but I would have had an answer, had I succumbed to the suicidal thoughts I battled many years ago.

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The last couple of years of high school were some of the most traumatic I’ve had.

I’ve already mentioned on a couple of occasions how I didn’t really have a support system growing up. Not only was I neglected, but I was also physically, emotionally, and verbally abused by my folks at home.

Any solace that I sought in my peers at school was short-lived, and eventually, the friends I thought I had betrayed my trust.


I was, quite simply, alone, both in and out of the home. And for most of my life up until that point, that was how I felt.

Being the overly agreeable and naive person that I was, I let people walk all over me. I doled out kindness and got spat on and used in return.

People took me for granted and showed no signs of appreciation or respect in return. I was looked down on for trying to be good to others instead of some macho meathead.

I tried and I tried to push through the pain of it all, but the burden of wrongdoings laid upon me by my merciless environment almost proved too much for me to bear.

I eventually reached a breaking point and almost gave up on life entirely.


But then, I realized something.

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If my life’s story so far had been written in a book, and it ended with me taking my own life, what kind of book would it be?

For me in my life? The worst book in the world.

This fork in the road, this decision point on whether or not to give up, was one of the defining moments of my life. It was at this point that I started to look at my life as if it were a book, as described above.

Pages and chapters filled with misery, sadness, anger, loneliness, and pain. Little bits and pieces of fleeting moments of happiness and joy are overwhelmed by the darkness.

And on the last page of the book, the protagonist gives up, and that’s the end.


Such a book would’ve probably made the homepage of a site called Badreads.

You know, it's at this point that I would’ve found such a book distasteful.

I wouldn’t want to read a book about overpowering loss with no victory or come back at the end — much less author such a piece of work.

That’s when I woke up. 

If I didn’t want that to be my story, then I couldn’t give up. Not here, not now.

After everything I had been through, didn’t I, the protagonist of my own book, deserve a happy ending? Shouldn’t I live to see to it that I had some lasting, positive changes in my life?

Shouldn’t I reach that light at the end of the tunnel?


If there was one thing I was 100 percent certain of at that point, it was this:

Giving up then would’ve secured the bad ending. Pressing on would’ve given me a chance to find a good ending.

And knowing that there was a chance to make a change, knowing that this wasn’t how it had to end…these ideas served as my motivation to continue.

Take a look at your own life like it’s a book.

Examine each and every letter, word, page, and chapter.

If your book isn’t very long, or if, in other words, you’re still rather young, there’s a higher chance that you haven’t had enough time to see the long-term potential positive outcomes of your life, especially if your upbringing is anything like mine.


As previously mentioned, my upbringing was one of neglect, and what I’m about to say to you is something that I needed to hear but never heard growing up.

RELATED: 5 Uncommon Strengths Of People Who Were Emotionally Neglected

Your pain is temporary, and it will not last forever. Do not lose hope.

I know how cliche this can sound, and maybe you’ve even heard or read this a bunch of times already, but have you thought about how some cliches are based on evident truths?

I don’t tell anybody anything just to make them feel better. I don’t believe in white lies. I don’t agree with blind optimism.

The cold, hard truth is that times will get better for you. The pain you feel in this moment is not permanent.


And so, if you’re sifting through your own pages and you find that there’s not a lot of good to look back on and that’s how your book is doomed to be, remember that just because that’s how it is currently, doesn't mean that’s how it has to be forever.

I wrote about life as if it were a card game too a while back, and it applies here as well.

As a kid, you get a pass for a lot of your circumstances. You didn’t get to choose the kind of family you were born into. You don’t get to choose what school your parents make you attend. You don’t get to pick what kind of other kids wind up at your school.


Thus, your book, for now, is largely influenced by factors out of your control.

Don’t take the blame, and beat yourself up if you’re feeling miserable. Haven’t you been through enough already?

As you get older, you’re going to take more and more charge of your own life. And as the captain of your own ship, you get to pilot yourself more accurately toward the waves that carry you higher in life.

But the only way you’ll get to do that is if you press on.

So bear with me. Bear with all of us.

And keep writing that book.

If you or somebody that you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there is a way to get help. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text "HELLO" to 741741 to be connected with the Crisis Text Line.


RELATED: Everything You’ve Learned About Suicide Being Immoral Is A Lie

Lucas Hawthorne writes about motivation, perspective, self-improvement, and more. He seeks to create a legacy by empowering primarily kids, teens, and young adults through his work.