In Their Own Words

*Warning: this post may contain triggers for self-harm and material which may be upsetting. Please stay safe and steer clear of this post if you have these triggers.*

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Given the kind of year I’ve had and my diagnosis of major depressive disorder and my destructive coping mechanism of self harming this past winter, this is something that means a lot to me this year. And I think it’s something that will be a big part of my life from now on. Because I know what it’s like to be suicidal. I know the despair, when you can see no end to your suffering but to end it yourself.

I’ve made several posts about my depression. Some of you may have not had a person with depression in your life before and don’t really know how to respond to or interpret what I’ve written. So this post will basically be a compilation of material I’ve found that puts it another way. Maybe hearing the words of another will put it into just the right perspective.

imageThe rest of this post is going to be excerpts from Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. I highly recommend the book to everyone. As you can see, I have multiple pieces of paper bookmarking about a dozen sections of the book that particularly rang true to me. It’s a short book and a quick read. It is funny and heartwarming, yet deeply honest. I couldn’t put it down.

“Now, listen. If you have ever believed a depressive wants to be happy, you are wrong. They could not care less about the luxury of happiness. They just want to feel an absence of pain. To escape a mind on fire, where thoughts blaze and smoke like old possessions lost to arson. To be normal. Or, as normal is impossible, to be empty. And the only way I could be empty was to stop living. One minus one is zero.”

Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive








And finally…


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3 thoughts on “In Their Own Words”

  1. This post made me think of a friend of mine. It’s hard to say, looking back now, whether I knew her well or not. We were snail penpals during our teen years, and later we mostly used messaging and Facebook to keep in touch. I know there was a point where I got the sense she wasn’t confiding in me as she used to. I felt something changed, but I didn’t know what. I knew she had problems in her life, but she was never specific about it. One day she wrote me a very long message alluding to feeling depressed with her life and how much she wanted to right things for herself by climbing out of the hole and focusing on her education and job. I gave her my support and encouraged her to keep going and using that hope as a way to keep progressing in life. She seemed receptive to my words. I don’t know what happened in the weeks later. She never responded to my messages in the weeks after, and then I found out she committed suicide. That was the most shocking news I have ever received in my life. It still haunts me today. I’m left wondering why all the time.


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