Suicide: The Door To Nowhere - Patient's Lounge - Patient Medical Experiences
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Suicide: The Door To Nowhere

Denise has struggled with mental illness most of her life. She also has family members with mental illness. She speaks from experience.

When we feel hopeless, we want to escape.

When we feel hopeless, we want to escape.

Was It Really Only Yesterday?

I was looking out from inside that door, thinking about the end. All I would have to do is walk out, close my eyes, and fall forward. That would end it all.

No more pain.

No more sorrow.

No more sadness.

No more thinking about what "should have been" or "could have been."

No more wishing and hoping.

No more seeing others walk by with their fancy duds and their electronic trappings, knowing that I would never be like them.

No more hearing their incessant songs of peace, love, and happiness that grate on my nerves to the point that I could scream!

No more would I have to look at the picture-perfect families in the grocery store, at the park, and passing by in cars, waving to strangers as if they were friends.

No more.

Where Do Suicidal Thoughts Come From?

Anyone can experience suicidal thoughts, whether or not there is a mental illness present. They usually appear as a result of certain conditions that come together for reasons that are beyond stating here. The combination of events, past experiences, feelings, and thoughts center on three basic areas:

  • Hopelessness
  • Worthlessness
  • Opportunity to escape

Like a cracked windshield in a worn-out vehicle, hopelessness distorts our view of reality. We are unable to see past the negative. It becomes such a part of us that we think that what we are experiencing truth.

Rather than being able to reason, we succumb to the victimization, the voices in our head taunting, criticizing, grating, and grinding us down to the point where it's impossible to see any light. All roads lead in a downward spiral as we sink further and further into an abyss of darkness.

With the opportunity to escape, the die is cast, the plot is set, the plan is made. The way is open. Suddenly, hope is rekindled and there is a relaxed state of mind. It is okay to go forward now, there is nothing standing in the way, and the steps begin.

Thoughts Associated With These Emotions

HopelessnessWorthlessnessOpportunity to Escape

There is no future.

You should never have been born.

There it is, a way out.

You have lost your destiny.

No one cares about you.

Do it now, there is no better time.

No matter what you do, there will never be enough.

You are less than the dust of the earth.

No one will ever know.

You can't do it, so don't try.

It doesn't matter any more.

Pain will come to an end.

This is the way things are, they will never be different.

You don't deserve to live.

You will have peace at last.

Why Didn't I Ask for Help?

Who would I ask? You?

Didn't you see me when you passed me on the street, my head down, my shoulders stooped, and my eyes filled with tears?

Didn't you notice when I brushed you in the marketplace, hoping for just a small touch of humanness to soften the blow of my emptiness?

Didn't you hear me cry out in the night when the demons were surrounding me, forcing me to drink the gall of bitterness, then suffocating me with shame and hopelessness?

Didn't you understand my plea for help when I said that life wasn't worth living?

Didn't you sense my desperation when you asked me how I was, and I hung my head and mumbled?

Why didn't I ask for help?

Because I knew that no one would answer... not even you.

Calling for help is embarrassing; it's a humiliating admission of need, and experiencing that kind of disgrace is the last thing we want.

— Fil Anderson

How I Have Coped With Suicidal Thoughts

We cannot just ignore suicidal thoughts; they do not go away by themselves. They must be addressed at the moment that they occur.

In order to do so, we have to see our thought patterns for what they are. The red flags are evident in the chart above. The words "ever," "never" and "no one" are blanket statements that give us those feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness.

When we get caught in the whirlpool of thinking that the whole world is against us, our reasons for living go downhill fast! Two tools we can use are addressed below: covenants and journaling.

Covenants

Decide now that you will never commit suicide. Making a covenant allows us to think through a problem ahead of time and make a decision concerning it while we are in the best position to do so. Once the decision has been made, we are able to go forward, knowing that we can depend upon the covenant to protect us.

For me, deciding not to commit suicide saved my life. My battle with mental illness often left me feeling that there was no hope for my future. Because I had already made the decision not to commit suicide, I was able to do what it took to work through the distressing thought process that was plaguing me.

Journaling

I found that as I wrote down my feelings, I could see the distorted thought processes more readily. Here are some excerpts from 11-05-2002:

"I feel that I have a mental block. I am in denial. I want to think that my physical well-being is at stake here, so I keep trying to rest to make the symptoms go away...

Knives. . . it is interesting that they should be the ones to trigger my suicidal thoughts. When I make a mistake, or don’t please someone, I feel worthless, like I have no reason to live anymore.

I know that is wrong, but that is what happens. That is how I feel right now. How can I lift someone else’s spirits when I feel this way? How can I even go on? What do I do when I feel worthless?

I know what I can do. I can listen to good music. I can read. I can seek for some kind of inspiration that will help me go on……"

Suicide is the some total only when certain variables come together.

Suicide is the some total only when certain variables come together.

What Could You Have Done?

Do you really want to know?

You could have looked at me.

You could have talked to me and treated me like I was a worthwhile human being!

You could have stayed with me while I was hurting.

You could have noticed when I stumbled and fell, and couldn't pick myself up.

You could have shared just a moment of your time with a weary traveler, wandering on a road to nowhere.

You could have seen the pain in my eyes, and given me just a small ounce of comfort.

You could have visited me when I was locked in the prison of my soul.

You could have....if you would have.

But now it is too late.

And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.

— D & C 88:91*

How We Can Help Those in Pain

Having a strong support network is the greatest deterrent to suicide. People who are suicidal often leave clues as to what they are feeling. If we listen to their verbal and body language, we can pick up on them. Our job is to act like a mirror and reflect them back to the person.

When they hear the same words coming from us, the shock factor might just be enough to wake them up to what is happening. The distorted thought patterns don't look so dangerous coming at us from the inside, but when we hear them coming from someone else, we realize how untrue they really are.

Our ability to encourage and strengthen others helps them to see that they are worthwhile people, that there is hope, and that they can go on. In the song by Sidewalk Prophets, "The Words I Would Say," we hear some examples.

Take the time to help someone today. You never know when you just might be the person who stands between them, and the door to nowhere.

The rate of suicide amongst those with mental illness is staggering. The dragons of depression, rage, anxiety, guilt, and other negative self-esteems eat us alive if we don’t have the tools to fight our battle against them.

— Introduction, The Emotional Survival Handbook

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2015 Denise W Anderson

Comments

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on April 15, 2015:

Thanks for sharing this difficult journey with us, Darcie. Rejection from the very person you love the most hurts the deepest. The promise made to your husband and children saved you and them from a tragic end. Your experience tells us that not everyone we reach out to will respond in a positive manner, but that does not mean that we are not loved. The journey back from these types of feelings to where you are today has been long and hard, but you continue to make it, each and every day, and many will be inspired by your example!

Darcie French from BC Canada on April 14, 2015:

An attachment disorder with my mother is what sources the feelings of worthlessness and the wish to die in my case. I did reach out to her many times and told her I was suicidal; the last time she essentially said she was tired of me and my problems and hung up the phone. I forgive her - she is somewhat of a narcissist - and it was up to me to realize that and not take her rejection of me personally. I promised my husband and kids that I would never commit suicide, and that promise kept me putting one step forward, one step at a time. It's especially tough when you do reach out and the one person you think should be able to help doesn't. I may have wanted to eliminate my mother's daughter to escape the pain .. but I could never do that to my husband's wife, or my children's mom. I appreciate this Hub, many thanks for sharing. We can use all the Light we can get! :)

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 28, 2015:

You are welcome, Ben716. I appreciate you sharing your experiences. I, too, have the thoughts come occasionally. It is usually a result of a number of emotions getting stacked on top of each other, and me not realizing what is happening. When I see those knives laying on the counter and the suicidal thoughts come, I sit myself down and have a talk. It is necessary to work through the layers of emotion and resolve the presenting issues, then things calm down and I am able to go forward.

Alianess Benny Njuguna from Kenya on February 28, 2015:

Hi Denise. It's encouraging to read there is someone who went through what I went and was able to conquer the suicidal feelings and is doing her best to help those who want commit suicide and also educating others on how to help those who are contemplating suicide.

This in itself is an encouragement, a motivation and inspiring. The thoughts do come up occasionally but when I read articles like this, am the more strengthened. Thank you.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 25, 2015:

Thanks, Joanna, for having the courage to come back and share your feelings. You are right. There are no easy answers when it comes to suicide. Some people show red flags, others do not. We do not know what happened in the minds of those who are no longer with us because they have taken their own lives. I only know what I have seen in my own life, and the lives of those who tried, and for some reason or another, still remain. May your story, and the stories of others like you, motivate us all to take the steps necessary to choose life, today and always!

Joanna Lynn from Indianapolis on February 24, 2015:

Hi, Denise. This is a very well thought out and written piece. Thank you for sharing it. I have to say, though, that it was very hard for me to read. I know you read my hub on suicide and left a beautiful note, so you understand what I've been through. I'm so sorry to hear of your struggle and am so glad you didn't go through with it.

While I agree that there are so many warning signs that most people give in little things they say, how they are acting, etc., I believe for some, like my husband, there were no signs for what he was going to do. I couldn't have stopped him. He had his mind made up and his plans were made very carefully and efficiently. While I agree with this piece and all you said, the first part was beyond difficult. Over five years later, I still struggle with what I could have done differently to possibly change the outcome for my husband. That is one of the horrible "gifts" of suicide to the survivors - the survivor's guilt can be so overwhelming. I read the first part of the piece and the guilt just came flooding back. I started reading it several times and had to stop and weeks later I am finally able to finish it. It's not that what you said was wrong, we can all treat people with much more care and love, but they are hard questions to face when you know you could have done nothing to stop a suicide but still question if that is really the case.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 10, 2015:

Thanks, Debbie, for sharing your experience with your father. Our families are special to us, and we look forward to seeing them again. My own father, is getting close to the other side. Sometimes, I think is halfway there, other times, he is still with us. We see him as often as we can, as we don't know how long he will be here.

Debbie Villines from Iowa on February 10, 2015:

Hi Denise;

I know the D&C as a child growing up, my father Pa stored, the RLDS. church; he read many scriptures from the D&C to all of us children, when recently he just passed on to Heaven; to be with his Heavenly Father. I am going to share a special experience here, on Hub Pages soon. Your post here is very inspirational, thanks for sharing the nice poem too;) Debbie

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 09, 2015:

Thanks, ChitrangadaSharan. I appreciate your compliment. My mission is to help others make positive choices in their lives, in spite of the difficulties that surround them. Each of us has opportunities on a regular basis to build the lives of those around us. Thanks for all you do in this regard!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 09, 2015:

What a great response to the challenge!

I believe this response is different from others and like all your other hubs sends an important message as far as emotional health is concerned.

Suicide is no answer to difficult times and through your hub, you conveyed it very emphatically. We should always try to help people out from the hopelessness they must be experiencing.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful and insightful hub, voted up!

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on February 08, 2015:

Denise, sometimes there are triggers but I try to think positive. Life is too short to live in the past. Thank you for your lovely poem.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 08, 2015:

Thanks, liesl5858. I am fine with you using my first name. I'm glad you liked the poem. It brought my friend some comfort. Since then, she too, has learned how to live with it, and has found joy and happiness.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 08, 2015:

Thanks, sallybea. It was a difficult time, and due to my own mental health issues, continues to be. Now that I have the tools, though, I can help others.

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on February 08, 2015:

What a lovely poem? I bet your friend loved it too. Thank you so much, Denise(hope you don't mind me calling you by your first name)you are so kind. I can't forget what happened but I can live with it now. Thank you for your kind comment.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 08, 2015:

Thanks, Joda. That is my hope, that one more life will be spared!

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 08, 2015:

Thanks, Faith Reaper! I appreciate you helping get the word out!

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 08, 2015:

It sounds like we were on the same wavelength, Eric!

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 08, 2015:

Thank, MsDora! When I saw the challenge, this was my first thought.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 08, 2015:

My heart goes out to you, liesl5858. It must be hard when the memories come. I have a friend who struggles with mental health issues, but decided that she will be there for her grandchildren because her own mother wasn't there for her children. I think of her on mother's day. One year, I wrote this poem for her:

I feel your pain this Mother's Day

The tears you cry

For days gone by,

Life was sweeter then.

I feel the sorrow in your heart,

Seeing her face,

Her womanly grace,

Longing to be with her again.

How can you stand it? How can you go on?

You loved her so dearly,

Yet she didn't see clearly,

Her life was a prison indeed.

Now she has taken it,

There's no use faking it,

Your soul from it never is freed!

Oh, I long to comfort you,

Yet I'm only human,

I'm simply a woman,

I cannot feel inside your heart.

Yet God up on high

Has seen when you cry,

His love he will ever impart.

He feel's your pain this Mother's Day,

For what was lost,

At greatest cost,

He reaches his hand out to you.

He feels the sorrow in your heart,

You'll see her face,

Her womanly grace,

You will embrace her anew.

Denise W Anderson (author) from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 08, 2015:

Thanks for saying it, Bill. It needs to be said. Most of the time, that is the case. We don't often see the inner struggles people have. Since I had this experience, I have become much more aware of what to look for and how to help.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on February 07, 2015:

This is a really different take on the challenge Billy set. One of the hardest things is for people to accept help or to ask for help when it is needed. I think that all of sometime in our lives feels a huge sense of despair and don't know who or where to turn to. I am really glad that you were able to get past this difficult time in your life. Thanks for sharing your own experience.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 07, 2015:

Denise you turned a wonderful but sad response to Bill's challenge into a wonderful and important hub as a whole. Everyone needs to read this so they know what goes through the mind of someone with suicidal thoughts and maybe, just maybe do something to help. Voted up and shared.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 07, 2015:

Interesting response to Bill's challenge. Suicide is certainly a door to nowhere!

You have provided great insight as well to helping those with suicidal thoughts.

Up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 07, 2015:

A great response to the challenge. I must admit that the first thought that came to mind with a "door to nowhere" was those in such despair that that door may be their option.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 07, 2015:

Denise, thank you for this important, insightful article. Really good counsel, as usual. Greatest answer to the billybuc challenge I have seen. Suicide is the ultimate door to nowhere. Voted Up!

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on February 07, 2015:

You have written a very good hub here about suicide which reminded me about my mother who committed suicide a few years back. I wish that I could have done something to save her. As you said it correctly, she felt so hopeless, worthless and helpless when she did it. It was a shock to us all. Well written hub for Bill's challenge. Well done.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 06, 2015:

Thank you, Denise, for raising awareness in this challenge. A powerful and important piece of writing. I've known five people who committed suicide....I hate to say this, but I never saw it coming. :)

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