- Tanisha Herrin
Suicide: Understanding Why I Thought It Was the Answer
Special note: The following content explores personal thoughts related to suicide. It is a personal assessment and reflection as it relates to a previous personal attempt. If you or someone you know is in crisis contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741. Visit the resources page for more help options.
Thoughts of suicide are difficult to understand even for someone who has experienced it. I wrote about some of my experiences in my book, but because others find themselves in the same boat, I wanted to share some thoughts in hopes of giving others another direction with their perceptions.
I experienced several attempts, and the feelings of pain and emotional distress tied to them are nothing I would want anyone to experience. I think trying to understand these feelings is important to gain better insight into personal thought patterns, emotional triggers, and distress of others.
Understanding these thoughts may require considering the thoughts and actions of others during the time of the attempt. I’m not trying to place blame, but sometimes it is a matter of misunderstanding, miscommunication, or misjudgment of handling personal distress during a moment of crisis.
I Can Understand Why…Almost
Suicide is not the answer, but for a moment I could understand why others thought it was. You reach a level of emotional hurt that’s incomprehensible. I think everything you can imagine connected to a person’s soul is hurting so badly they’re bleeding internally at every level (emotionally, spiritually, mentally, self, etc.). The level of hurting is worse when you haven’t shared anything with anyone, especially when you feel others won’t understand.
Then there is a level of disconnect or lack of understanding that leaves us wondering why. When I say disconnect or lack of understanding, I mean this for others observing from the outside (those who have never experienced this kind of pain or don’t know their loved one has reached it). I would learn about others who took their life, then look at those they left behind and their reactions. I wondered could I do that to myself and to others that care.
It Wasn’t as “Easy” as I Thought
While going through aspects of emotional pain, you feel as if you want to get away from these feelings as fast as you can. Being in distress is hard, but when you’ve felt this way for so long, it’s hard to come to terms with talking about it with someone else. I didn’t think much about sharing my feelings but instead just looking to get away from them. There were times when thinking about it would intensify my pain, and then those thoughts would digress.
The subject of suicide bugs me and for as long as I live it will continue to do so. I made three attempts and had thought about it many times more than the three attempts made. I thought it was an easy fix for getting away from things that bothered me so bad. Sometimes it made more sense to do it than to bother someone else with my problems. You are thinking about yourself at this point and no one else. It seems as if you could care less about anything else except for getting rid of the dirty hurtful feelings you have.
Looking back it was more like having impulses to do it, but I guess the distress was too much of a distraction for me to do it. Another distraction was my mom. I know there were times she was upset with me, but I think the thought of her only child and suicide in the same sentence would have torn her apart. She is deceased now, but I never got to tell her she helped save my life at that point.
Would the Hurt Really Go Away?
When I thought it was a way to make things disappear, something didn’t feel right. Having this awkward feeling led to feeling inconsolable at times. Between frustration and confusion, there’s an ongoing battle within myself trying to figure out what to do. Would the emotional pain go away or would I be taking it with me? I even wondered if I should stop and think or just do it to get it over with. Then I felt like a failure…again.
Explaining this isn’t easy, but someone who has been in this situation can relate and identify these mixed emotions. It takes time to understand why a person is hurting. You have to be willing to explore potential causes and determine how to deal with it. Some may not realize emotional despair, hurt, sadness, or however you want to identify these feelings is a part of life.
We may not want to deal with these emotions, but unfortunately, many of us get accustomed to feeling this way regularly with very little or no empathy or concern from others. It’s not easy to view this level of despair as a cry for help because the notion becomes blind.
A Part of Me May Never Know
People experience distress, sadness, and emotional pain differently. Because of this, it is really hard to understand why suicide would be an option. The act of suicide is something I don’t think we’ll ever completely understand. There are reasons why people do it, but I think there is something beyond the surface we’ll never know.
Sure, a therapist or counselor can shed light on personal feelings and help you understand them. I think it’s important for people to continue exploring their feelings and learn from them. I may never completely understand why I had such thoughts, and that is fine. I know it is not okay to have them, but exploring the subject has helped put this part of my past behind me.
I haven't had thoughts of hurting myself or anything along that line, but it's a weird, mysterious, off, shocking, sad, and unusual feeling to have that's very confusing. A few things have been learned and brought into better light but from here on out the light is shining brighter.
I want to stress the point of this article. I’m not dwelling on my past, but looking back at how I made it through. I’m still working on understanding my thoughts and feelings to encourage others who have similar thoughts of self-harm. It is a process that takes time, but hopefully, others will find comfort in knowing there are others who are willing to go through it with you.
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