Driving at night is beautiful. The stars shine over the water underneath the bridge, the lights of the city shine out against the black of the sky, and it’s almost peaceful sitting on the road. The crickets are chirping, the wind is soft blowing in to the open window, my arm is chilled by the wind while the rest of me is warm inside my car. I’m comfortable. Then suicide comes crashing through the roof and suddenly I see myself turning my car violently to the right, straight through the guard rails and into the water below. The car submerges slowly and I sit there quietly screaming inside as the water rises above my head and I sit, still buckled, eyes closed, drifting into oblivion. It starts out terrifying but then ends in quiet and I want quiet. It’s tempting really, if I just floored my car I could make it through the concrete and into the water. Maybe I’ll be passed out by the time it hits the water and it won’t be so painful. Then traffic moves forward and the thought is gone. Panic starts to rise as the bridge comes to an end and I see my chance to drive off of it is disappearing. If I drive off, I’m done with school, done with stress of homework, no more looking at my 74% on a test, no more stress about papers, no more feeling like a failure and a burden, no more annoying mother nagging me constantly about mother, no more stress of life. No more me. This sounds so lovely. I could end it all and not have to battle every day to get out of bed. I don’t have to fake smiles anymore. I don’t have to laugh as I am voted class clown once again and don’t have to shudder as people tell me to become a stand up comedian. I’m told I’m funny all the time but it’s just a mask I wear to hide the thoughts of suicide and escape.
I don’t want to stress for the future. If I take care of myself and take a break from school, I fall behind and come back more stressed than ever. What’s the point? Why not kill myself and relax and forget it all?
These are thoughts I battle everyday. Every single day, someone who struggles with a mental illness commits suicide because they decide to stop fighting. They can be called selfish, cowardly… but I don’t see it that way. In fact, I’m envious. I want to stop fighting too. Those with mental illnesses are the oppressed in this society of pulling yourself up by your boot straps, in this culture of I am so great and I can just “get over” it. We are the ones overlooked because nobody can see our disabilities. I would actually love to wear a tag that says, “I suffer from depression and anxiety. Please love me louder today.” so people know. I feel so uncomfortable talking about it even with people I live with because they don’t understand. I’m not mad at them or bitter, I just feel even more out of place and it’s confirmation that I am rejected and not made for this cut throat society where the weak are cut off from the rest and thrown away because they “didn’t try hard enough”.
I’m seen as lazy for skipping class. I’m seen as annoying for asking for notes. The reality is, I’m lucky I got out of bed that day. I’m so thankful I didn’t slit my wrists in the bath tub as I showered. I’m so glad I ate to keep my body healthy even when I had no appetite. I’m so lucky I didn’t go near the sharp objects to cut myself. I’m proud of myself for even getting dressed and out of bed that day.
These are my small victories that I am looked down for. The oppression needs to stop. I need to be excused from missing class because I’m trying to stay alive and away from an anxiety attack. I am too overwhelmed to be there. I need to be excused from various things not because I’m lazy but because I’m trying not to become a statistic of another person that committed suicide this year. I don’t want my disability reflecting inaccurately my ability to succeed. Do you see how hard it is to stay alive in a society that makes me feel like I shouldn’t be because I’m a failure?
I’m sure I’m not the only one crying not for a hand because I’m drowning in this society. Most people will let us slip through the cracks because we can do it ourselves if we try hard enough but that’s not the case. To those who are willing to stand out and grab a hand, thank you. Thank you so much.
We need your help. I don’t want another suicide to happen because they didn’t get help due to shame. People will hear about a suicide and feel upset for a couple days but then move on with their lives quickly forgetting all of the messages to be kind. I can count about five suicides that occurred in a span of five years when I was in middle school and high school. That’s too many. Not one more, please.