It makes me want to kill myself

(Please note, because of the time that has passed since I wrote this article, it may no longer reflect my current views or the most accurate and complete information available on this subject.)

IMG_1161.JPGEvery now and then (and several times recently), I'll hear someone use That Phrase, and it tends to be jolting. They have a troubling experience, and when they are recounting it, they say "it made me want to kill myself." Variations often include "it made me want to slit my throat" or "I wanted to blow my brains out" or, less violently, "Oh my gosh, I just wanted to die."

I know that the people who say these things usually intend them to mean "I was so embarrassed/disturbed/upset/whatever by that experience that it numbed my senses and temporarily made me unable to function." And I suppose that in an age where finding just the right expression to boldly and cleverly convey our complex emotions (perhaps without really revealing what they are) is all-important to being cool, using the very raw and attention-getting experiences of suicide, death and dismemberment as material is an appealing way to go. When someone says that something was merely "horrible" or "shocking," it's easy to tune them out since there are so many horrible and shocking things shown to us every day. But when they effectively say "it made me want to end my life," we're not yet so desensitized that we don't sit up and pay attention, at least for a little bit.

When someone tells me that they want to kill themselves, I can't help but take them seriously for longer than a little bit, and when what follows their statement is a laugh or a twinkle of the eye, I feel a bit used and drained. Maybe it's because of the various people I've known through my life who have ended their own lives or who have tried to commit suicide, and who were very serious about it. Friends, colleagues, family members, acquaintances. I think about a friend from college who told me so many times how depressed he was, who gave off so many signs to so many people, and despite the help he got and the incredible releasing and healing progress he made later, still chose to use a gun to end his life. He wanted to blow his brains out, and he did.

I don't claim to understand the compulsion to end life as a solution to one's problems, but I do know that it is at work in the world, a painful and all-consuming feeling/experience that affects more people than we might know. I know that there are probably people I encounter every day who have seriously contemplated suicide, some who have actually tried. And then there are the majority of us who have probably experienced the end of a life (by other means - there are so many ways to die in this modern culture) of someone we love, still just as significant and full of emotion.

So I guess statements about ending one's life in this particular way as a vehicle for conveying emphasis on a matter don't work very well for me. I know that I'm probably desensitized to plenty of other kinds of similar statements about violence or harm to others, and so I'm not sure why I would choose to remark on this one. Maybe it just reminds me of a wish that the people I have known who have genuinely felt compelled to end their lives would have been that obvious about their intentions. Perhaps then I, someone, anyone could have taken their statement to heart and done something more about it.

Or perhaps it's because when I hear it from someone I'm talking with, I feel I should be able to respond in some useful way, to reflect back to them these raw and potent words coming out of their mouth. Words have meaning, words have power - don't we deserve better from each other than to abuse them this way?

5 thoughts on “It makes me want to kill myself

  1. I was just thinking about him the other day. I have a new aversion to this phrase nowadays. All the clients/consumers/patients/humans I see at my workplace have either had active thoughts or attempts at suicide. It is very painful place to be. Well put as usual, Mr. Hardie.

  2. hey all my name is tina ang 20 from india i made up my mind it was time it was over ofter we had come so far i think there ,s enough pieces of forgiveness ,somewhere in my borken heart ,so tell me i what to killmyself welli have to go hell reincarnat if i do? i what to die ,to killmyself to finish my life because i see on whyout of misery if believe that ever afther death , everybodys hurts my feelling so i dont like a live life i what to die,

  3. Even when your life has hit it's lowest point, it's wierd how things can turn around for you. while you're laying there like a broken butterfly with crushed wings, make a move to survive, be smart about it, surround yourself with positive things to the best that you can to help you hang on untill you get yourself to a better situation, and then when you finally do get out of the darkness, you feel so happy, and so glad that you kept going.
    Life is not easy, it never will be, but know this, there are 2 powers in the world, good and evil, evil is always trying to find a way to get you down and depressed and wants you to succumb to it's effect, that's why people who try their best in spite of terrible circumstances are soldiers, it's not easy, but if you're willing to accept it, God can help you through all the difficulties of life, not to say that he comes down in a chariot to snatch you up every time a tough time comes along or he makes your enemies or problems fall into a big hole in the ground, not to say that it couldn't happen, it just wouldn't be very effective in most situations in teaching you how to overcome. When I get down, and I'm feeling like I'm can't make it any further I cry out to God in any way that I can, and I get an extra measure of strength to get me through

  4. You are so right, If some one says the want to die and it is just used as a phrase or termanolagy, some one shohul put them in there place and tell them that it is not funny. People in the world say that and mean it as a cry for HELP. As someone fighting depression and having suicidal thoughts and have acted on them more than once. It is not somthing to joke about. I know that I realy want to live, but the presures that to me seem so overwhelming and devistating and uncontrolable can get to the point where you feel that you can not take the pressure any more that you cannot handle any more that you are worthless and the world would be a better place with out you. this is what drives some people to attempt suicide. When they do and they are unsucessful which I pray all are. This is a CRY a LARGE CRY for help. They need the support of friends, family, co-workers anyone who will grab hold and make the decision for them to get help. because they are past the point of self reasoning. I know this because I have been there and I am still working on my recovery, it is a very long road back. What makes it worse is that you look normal on the outside to anyone who sees you, yet inside the emotions and feelings are at a constant battle with each other. Many times people do not realise that you have a devistating condition, this is where you friends and family support group needs to be there, to ease you away for situations that they know will cause you emotinal stress or get you angry which can lead to anxiety attacks or get you so frustrated that you may get to the point of doing somthing that in your heart you realy do not want to do. So to any own who reads this, if you know someone who has suicidal thoughts or has attempted suicide. encourage them if not take them to a cricis centre there should be one at a local hospital. get them help and stand by them, dont let them go through it alone. The best help for them is a good support group of famaly and friends, but they have to understand and be commited to help. mine however are not but I do have a great social network of friends I can rely on when needed. So if you hear someone using the phrase out of context put them in thier place for some of us it is the only life line we have to throw out in hopes it gets caught.

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