Being Suicidal Doesn’t Make a Person Any Less Human

By: Ali Sakr

Disclaimer: This article is about mental health and suicide, and so many sensitive topics will be mentioned throughout. This might cause distress, read at your own discretion. 

So, this topic is undoubtedly a very heavy one. I honestly stalled trying to write this because I had no idea how I possibly could. Upon mentioning it to a friend, I discovered many things I didn’t know, all of which I’ll be bringing up now, so if you’re reading this, thanks, and I’m glad things are better now.

It’s not just feeling sad. It’s not being tired or burned out. As genuine and very terrible these feelings can be – and in no way do I mean to undermine them – it’s just not the same. When one’s existence feels like a burden to those they love when it feels as though loved ones would be better off without them, it’s not the same. And it’s not a choice either.

One does not simply choose to feel so numb they are left wondering why they still exist. Or to feel as though no person left on the planet would prefer to help them, as opposed to having it all over with. No one chooses to feel as though they are worthless – that they don’t deserve to live. Do not read over this lightly. Try to understand what it means to lose the desire to live. Comprehend the weight that is attached to this situation – the weight that so many people have to bear on their shoulders every single day, clinging for dear life every time they open their eyes.

It is by no means easy to hold on.

You need to resist. You need to find what makes you human. To find something to love – something to wake up for every day. Something that needs you just as much as you need it; an anchor to keep you grounded when you fear you might drift too far, or a raft to keep you afloat, no matter how deep down you feel you might sink. You need something to love more than you fear going on. 

And most importantly, you need to acknowledge that not being okay doesn’t mean you’re not normal. You’re not a freak, and you’re certainly not less of a person that anyone around you. 

We need to be aware of the fact that having suicidal thoughts isn’t necessarily attributed to having mental illness. When faced with a truly impossible situation, it is only natural to think of resorting to an impossible solution. Stigmatizing suicidal thoughts and making them seem so alien is one of the very reasons that so many people can’t speak up; that most people who die of suicide deny being suicidal before their death. Like there is some sort of shame associated with the feeling, and so we immediately exclude ourselves from the situation.

In doing so, we also isolate ourselves from all forms of help, deeming it unnecessary, until it’s often too late. Perhaps if we eliminate this stigma – if we allow ourselves to identify our thoughts the way they truly are, and to speak up to those who need it, we can begin to truly direct things towards the better. There is no denying how incredibly sensitive this topic is, but a person who bears it completely on their own is more so. They need someone to bring it up first. To ask before they have a chance to wonder how they feel. To help them before they reach a point where they no longer want it.

Never hesitate to express how you truly feel. Speak to someone you trust, seek help and do so even if you think you’re not in that bad of a state. 

And if by any chance you feel it is too late, hold on. Hold on knowing that one day, despite how it might seem right now, you’ll want to be helped. And it is at that point you will remember, you truly are human.

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