Mental Health

Suicidal, But Not Wanting to Die

Countless people have died of suicide through the years, and they take their life through different means. Most often, friends and relatives of those who die would say that these people are not the sort to really brood over their problems, therefore exuding a visage of happiness as long as they could keep it up. And then, in a snap of finger, in just one blow, they died.

One could imagine the hurt. One could behold the grief. So, people pay their respects, they do whatever it takes to “make up” for borrowed time, or as the song goes. Also, they end up saying all sorts of tributes, from the heartfelt to the mundane, mayhap as a way for personal comfort or regret that they weren’t able to see warning signs. Or that they shrugged off such signs. Or that they were not educated enough or aware that their friend, spouse, child, or relative who was actually suffering that much nay adjudged it appropriate to tell someone just yet.

But they died.

Which then begs the question: did they really want to die?

A Divided Intention to Die

I won’t be a hypocrite: I was one of those who considered suicide as the penultimate of all comforts that one could ever do to oneself. For five times, I tried to take my own life: overdosing, cutting, trying to fall down the stairs, drowning oneself. I almost succeeded twice during two overdoses that happened whereby I was rushed to the emergency room and had to be stabilised. All those during a span of ten years wherein I have been languishing with the emotional pain that pervades my entire being. However, deep inside me was the urge to stop—stop all the madness. But then again, the other half of my conscious brain would insist that I proceed for, after all, I badly needed that rest that knows no return. A tug of war ensues then, one after the other trying to convince me as to what step I should take, that of being able (and stubborn) enough to just “get it over with.” But, despite all the pushing and pulling, I end up weeping and sleeping instead of driving that razor straight to my arteries. It seems that I don’t want to die after all.

Not Wanting to Die Instead

True, I may consider it an enigma: why do some people attempt the unthinkable when, after all, they also have this subconscious desire to live? In truth, this baffles me as I have lived through this circumstance as well. I never really wanted to die, although my brain seems to “trick” me into doing so because of turbulent emotions heaving within me. Or maybe I do want to die, but the process is as painful as is the journey of dying itself. Moreover, I always had the fear of what might happen “on the other side”, despite my persistence in convincing myself that all religious beliefs concerning the afterlife may or may not be realised at all (it’s my agnostic side at play, even if I consider myself a true-blue theist). So I just decide to hurt myself physically, as I equate doing so with “dying in a milder form.” It is like self-chastisement, that I deserve to be punished because I am unworthy, and more so to be flogged by circumstance because I am not good enough to live. It might sound befuddling, but I was mainly that way. I would like to die because I am worthless. Nonetheless, I still live.


Although I had wanted to die, the urge to live was subconsciously pervasive that I began to talk with people to whom I think I could identify with and who might understand my predicament. I also began seeing a psychiatrist. I began to open up. And it wasn’t that bad: I was lucky enough to have people who were kind enough to lend a helping hand, to be there when I needed comfort, to send messages when they would receive word about my dour emotional state. I have also started occasional therapy. I sought help. Well, basically because I knew that my suicidality may lead to an actual suicide…even though I don’t want to actually die. Identifying the warning signs was the first step in which I knew nothing was right. That my emotions were not right. That my entire perspectives of things became as skewed as they could be just because I was depressed and had the desire to die. Those were the red flags; and through those I was fortunate to have found what it takes to redeem me from the quagmire.

So now I am still here, the fact of which is this blog post. I am not saying that I still do not have suicidal thoughts—I still do and although difficult to dispel, I still try to live. It’s difficult yes, but I think I have been more accepting of how those ideations looming overhead can spur some longings to see life in a fruitful way despite the severe melancholia. Treatment helps a lot; and for those who feel they might be undergoing the same crisis as I have, make medical treatment as the foremost of options; and if one is a theist, faith in a Supreme Being. What matters is taking one step at a time; and eventually things will fall into place.

(Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Listed on the right are hotlines in case you would like to speak with someone. Don’t be afraid but take heart. You are not alone.)


Choleric-melancholic, blogger, teacher, mental health advocate, book lover.

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