The sum of your life is minimized to a single thought: I want to die. Sometimes it’s not so much that you want to die but that you no longer want to bear the pain of living. At your lowest, your mind can be dominated with disillusioning thoughts preventing you from feeling hopeful. It feels like a black hole, but it’s not. These thoughts are creating tunnel vision. There are blind spots in your perception, and you can only see what’s right in front of you: pain.
I’ve been there. Lots of people have been there. You are not alone, and that moment of utter despair will pass. It may feel like you have no other options, but you do. You just can’t see them when you have tunnel vision. You won’t be cured of your mental health issues, but you can survive that one moment. Some days, you need to take life hour by hour, even minute by minute, until you can make progress in healing again. When these thoughts come up, your only job is to keep yourself safe until the pain fades.
There’s a couple things you can do to keep yourself safe. Put some distance between your thoughts and actions and talk to someone (whether it be a friend, parent, or counselor) about how you are feeling. You may feel like you are a burden to others if you ask for help. Maybe you don’t have the motivation to ask, but talking about what you are feeling can help you get out of your own head and possibly find a way to help you cope better.
It’s important to recognize when you start to feel bad, so you can address those feelings before they get worse. Be proactive and create a safety plan before these dark thoughts occur. Determine an activity that makes you feel good, and identify a person you trust who you can call. If possible, have the contact information for your counselor or therapist. Save the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (988) and the Crisis Text Line (text “MHA” to 741-741) as contacts on your phone.
These are merely suggestions, and I know it can feel impossible to claw your way out when you are feeling this way. But what you are experiencing is real—and not something to take lightly. If you have these dark moments regularly, talk to a mental health professional about treatment options such as therapy or medication.