Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
According to the WHO, every year, approximately, a million people die through suicide. Here’s a story of a happier life lived despite attempted suicide.
Depression crashed on me in waves. There have been days when I was as sunny as the sun on a bright March day and others, when I was cloudy as the clouds in London.
Trigger warning: This article is a personal account about attempted suicide with some graphic details that could be triggering for survivors.
And on those days, I would want to kill myself. My depression has told me on several occasions that I am not worth it and that living is something I don’t deserve. That the life I have is pointless and that there is no need for me to live. That I don’t deserve my parents’ selfless love and that I should just kill myself.
The number of times I have attempted suicide is ridiculous. And none of it was because a guy rejected me (Lol).
It was all because my brain lacked serotonin.
I think the first time I tried to kill myself was when I was 14 or 15. Nothing was wrong with my life, on the outside at least. The inside on the other hand, the inside was messed. My demons were haunting me for the first time. My demons had started to tell me that I just don’t deserve the life I had and one fine day, I decided to end it.
I used my grandfather’s medical box and I took out his sleeping pills. I was fourteen, I didn’t plan to kill myself. I JUST WANTED IT ALL TO END. So, I ate some 14 of those pills and when that didn’t help, I ate some more. I ate eight more.
All I remember feeling was sleepy. But I went through the day. I braved it because I knew that at the end of the night, I was going to be dead.
Cut to the same evening, I distinctly remembering feeling a little nauseated. I attributed that to nerves and went back to whatever I was up to. The next thing I remember is my mother waking me up and telling me to get ready as we were going out. So out we went and this is the past I remember most clearly. We went to our favourite restaurant, my mum, dad and I.
They wanted to have a serious conversation with me, while I JUST WANTED TO DIE for having been such a burden on them. The server got us a lime soda and the moment I took my first sip, I wanted to throw up and throw up I did, for exactly five whole minutes.
I don’t remember much of what happened next. But I do remember feeling a sense of failure at not being able to kill myself.
I clearly remember wondering if I deserved to live, given how I couldn’t even kill myself. It took me down a spiral worse than before. I knew I could have spoken to mom, but I also didn’t want to worry her.
You see my problem, here? I wanted to end it all without bothering anyone.
I know it seems like I am a selfish little brat but imagine what was going through my brain, especially when I just didn’t want to exist. No, I was no selfish brat; I was a good kid with a number of issues; issues that could have been resolved if only I had spoken about them.
Looking back, I know the kind of shit I put my mom through, but I have to give her that, that woman has been my rock for 25 years and I am glad she has been so.
I realise all this now, at 25. But then, I was more focused on ending it so as not to be a burden on my parents. I am glad I ended up surviving because I know they would have been devastated by my death.
Anyway. Moving on to attempt number two of dying. This was a couple of years later. The years between the attempts were not bad, but they weren’t good either. I still don’t know why I didn’t attempt suicide in those years. But I am glad I didn’t.
Now I knew that pills didn’t work. So, I googled ways to kill yourself. But Google just gave me helpline numbers. Nope! Didn’t want those! I wanted a quick easy death. My options were to cut myself and bleed to death or jump off of the terrace and die like that.
Well, option two was a big no-no since we have extremely nosy neighbours. So, cutting would have to do. Now, to cut myself, I needed a blade and getting a blade is one of the easiest tasks if you live with men. Lucky me! I lived in a joint family! There was an abundance of blades! But these blades were used and thus, not clean (My mum’s a doctor, sterility matters). I collected four blades and set on to sterilise them.
Once sterilised, each night, I snuck a blade under my bed, in my bag, in my wallet and everywhere possible. While I knew that the blades would help, I also knew the cuts would have to be deep and longed for me to ultimately die.
Thus began the cutting. Each night, I would sit in the toilet, a blade poised over my wrist, slicing my skin a little at a time. When the cuts were deep enough, I would leave them be and hoped to bleed to death. None of them were ever deep enough to kill. But it was the pain that I did welcome. By this time, I’d started to believe that I deserved the pain, so I let it bleed.
Every night. For months. Months went by and I got so good at hiding these things that I was a little proud of myself. I felt like I deserved it.
Till one day, when one cut got deep, deeper than usual and blood started spurting out of my wrist. I was sure this was the cut that would kill me and I let it bleed all night. My bed sheet was stained, my clothes were stained.
Thankfully, both my parents were out that day so they didn’t see it. I cleaned myself up, I cleaned the bed sheet and once again, wallowed in self pity over not having died.
I would love to say that was the last time I cut. But it won’t be true. Ever since then, cutting sort of became a thing I would do whenever I felt like I was undeserving of something and that happened an awful lot. Cutting became my favourite attempt to kill myself.
I have depression. I don’t know why, but it is just a part of me that made me want to kill myself. But I also have supportive parents who are always willing to be there for me. I was diagnosed with depression just last year after I had a mental breakdown. That’s when mum saw my cuts. It was the moment when it all hit me. It was when I realised how much I matter to her and also the moment I decided to try to live a life for her.
As I sit here and write this piece ahead of Suicide Prevention Day, I don’t have a lesson to give anyone. I don’t. But I just want everyone to know that even when you feel like there’s no one for you, there will always be one person there. If not a whole army, you will always have ONE PERSON for you. Think of them.
If you still think suicide is the only option and that there is no one, then you should know that I care. I may not be anyone you know, but I care about you and I would want you to live.
Because when you look back, life IS pretty awesome.
Take it from someone who is taking it one day at a time.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022 27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044 2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033 2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080 25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040 66202000, 040 66202001
Picture credits: Pexels
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