I Wrote A Suicide Note

I hope you can learn from what I have to say

Photo by author

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

There it is, above this text for all to see. Yes, I wrote a suicide note.

It happened last weekend. I was at home, alone, sitting in silence with my mind and body at war with one and other.

My mind telling me to do some grotesque things to myself, while my body, imagined the pain that would occur if I was to succeed in going through with it.

From slitting my wrists. Overdosing on whatever pills I found in the cupboard. Maybe doing both. Perhaps I would’ve thought to do something different: slashing my neck or stomach while I downed a bottle of whisky to help combat the pain.

I was constantly conflicted. Constantly wincing at the what-could-be pain. Constantly clenching and releasing my fists. Constantly squeezing my eyes to feel the tears. Constantly trying to navigate through the storm that didn’t seem to be weakening.

Constantly! Constantly! Constantly!

Then, as time went by, I grew weaker and realised that winning wasn’t an option.

Suddenly, I didn't want to win.

Suddenly…

I wanted to die and leave this fucking world.

Suddenly…

I felt relieved that I had made this decision. I felt relieved that perhaps there could be an ending to the pain I had been experiencing for so long.

I began to plan out the end in my mind.

The place. The time. The way I was going to do it. It was all being mapped out.

It wasn’t until it got too much when I decided to have a meltdown in a toilet, look at myself in the mirror, and tell myself to pull it together.

Here I was, a 34-year-old man at home feeling sorry for himself.

I was a mess. Quite frankly, I still am, but not as bad as I was. For the time being, I am balanced. For the time being, I am being chased and not put to the ground while the darkness wraps itself around me while it cuts off the oxygen.

This wasn’t the start of this journey — far from it. It had been — maybe even a year — that this feeling of lifelessness had taken over me. Back then, I was like a yoyo. Now, I felt pathetic. Alone. Unable to smile or laugh at anything anymore. Now, the battle was coming to its conclusion.

That’s what depression does to you: it creates a bubble to encircle you as you watch the outside world getting on with their lives while you jump and scream in an attempt to get their attention.

Unfortunately, this is happening on the inside. Externally, you have become stone: unable to show nothing more than fatigue and a lifeless voice to share with the world.

However, if no one can see it, and all they see is the mask that we put on to hide our true feelings, then all one can do is wait until they get home to hear the voice amplified again.

Many times that happened to me. Working in a hospital. Surrounded by the activity of patients, doctors, nurses and support staff — their sounds all battled greatly to push back the voices somebody like me struggles to contend with.

It wasn’t until it got too much when I decided to have a meltdown in a toilet, look at myself in the mirror, and tell myself to pull it together.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

When the books failed to launch and make me into the man I wanted to become, I began to panic and crumble.

How I got here is something that transpired a long time ago.

I was in my twenties. I was hopeful. I had big dreams. I wanted to be something that people — especially my family — could look up to and smile and say, “you did it, you finally did it.”

I had, I think, all the credentials to climb the mountain of success and look back, throw my arms up into the air, and scream at the top of my lungs. That is all I wanted to do.

Now here’s the thing. The huge thing that lurked in the backdrop awaiting to pounce: high self-expectation. You may be surprised. You may not be. But, the fact still remains that millions of people around the world struggle with high expectations.

This creates two things (in my experience):

  1. A path toward disappointment, and later, a grieving process birthed by past failings.
  2. Or, a never-ending sprint that ends with total burnout.

Mine is the first one. I had all these hopes and dreams that I would become this worldly-known fictional writer. I would have it all: the house, the adapted films, my family living the great life. Everything, thanks to my expectations, seemed to be possible. Seemed to be…

Coming soon.

As fast as a shooting star lighting up the night sky.

“Not meeting your expectations can easily lead to frustration, disappointment, anxiety, and even depression. Expecting too much from yourself can also lower your self-esteem and destroy your passion in the process.” — nerdycreator.com

With my high expectations of myself to achieve such feats, I created an illusion: the harder I tried, the quicker it would arrive. I tried and I tried and I tried.

I wrote book after book and couldn’t find it in myself to stop, look around, and see that there are plenty of other paths out there that I could explore. I didn’t want any of them.

When the books failed to launch and make me into the man I wanted to become, I began to panic and crumble.

My heart was broken.

My soul decapitated.

My love for writing fiction eliminated.

All because of the high self-expectations I had for my immediate future. All because I was in a race to the top to become a superstar.

No kids, that is not how life works.

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in your mind.” David G. Allen

Being at the age I am at now, I strive for patience and self-kindness.

I don’t want to be angry at myself anymore for “failing” to achieve the climbs I wanted to make back then.

Don’t get me wrong, I fucking struggle massively. The majority of the times, I am neck-deep in self-loathing that I find it difficult to stay afloat. Depression is difficult and so is the after-effects of the constant inner critic impatiently telling me to achieve things quicker.

It is an ongoing battle that I know I’ll always be fighting. I still wish to write. I still wish to create a good-sized following who enjoy reading my posts. However, the modification that I desire to master is patience.

I would also like to reveal that I am doing other things that I enjoy now. Instead of purely focusing on my writing as a career, I have begun a podcast with a close friend of mine.

Not only that, I have started a new job at the hospital and, in two weeks, I will be seeing a therapist.

I am also attempting to try new things: I have joined this walking club in my hometown on a fantastic app called Meetup. This will give me more opportunities to battle my depression and make new friends.

I have also joined a dating site. I am now (fingers crossed) on the verge of meeting some fantastic women. Who knows? One of them may lead to something more.

I have a good feeling now that I have the mechanisms in place to keep pushing forward while — in the meantime — staying patient.

So what if I haven’t reached where I want to be yet. It doesn’t matter. What matters is this:

I am still here.

If I can do it, so can you.

Before I end this, I’ll leave you with a quote from the great Tim Denning’s It’s Never Too Late To Get Started:

The only time it’s too late is when you’re dead and that’s the harsh truth that you probably will find hard to see while you’re still alive.

This is something I hope to master.

I struggle. We all struggle. Let us all struggle together. ASD community. Writing from the heart. Riley_48@hotmail.co.uk

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