For many years, my dream was to commit suicide. I had meticulously planned how I would do it. I knew what music I would listen to, the time of a day, even the time of a year. It might sound awful, but for me, it was the most luminous thought, as looking forward to a New Year celebration.
It all began when I was about 16, and I started contemplating that the world wasn't structured in the right way. Though I can't recall all the details now, this thought led me to the belief that everything happening in the world was devoid of meaning. Consequently, I concluded that life itself was meaningless. That's the logical underpinning of my suicidal thoughts.
However, carrying out such a profound desire required careful preparation. Thus, it was not just a dream but rather a goal, a strategic plan. I had to wait for those who would be deeply affected by my suicide to either pass away, move far away, or disappear from my life.
Around the same time, I started visiting a bridge. After midnight, I would spend hours gazing down the water. The bridge was a plain iron structure, constantly traversed by trucks. Tver had several beautiful bridges, but I chose this ordinary one, away from the city center and suited for heavy vehicles. Yellow lights reflecting in the water at night were breathtaking. Surroundings were cold, dark, and devoid of random passers-by.
I lived with the anticipation of my dream for fifteen long years.
Understanding that my dream was abnormal, I sought help to address it. Over the years, I visited five psychotherapists and even a priest. The priest forgave my sin during confession, while most of the psychotherapists merely skated around the topic or asked me about how I envisioned my funeral and who would be upset.
One therapist was from the Crisis Department of Moscow City Clinical Hospital 20, specializing in suicide cases, but he didn't inquire further upon hearing about my thoughts. At those moments, you realize that the person isn't ready to discuss such thoughts, and stop talking about it.
I find it confusing why psychotherapists are willing to treat depression, problems with parents, alcoholism, and various other issues, but when someone mentions suicidal thoughts, some doctors avoid addressing the matter directly. Of course, not all therapists are like that, but my personal experience is that only one in five therapists truly took on the challenge of working through this problem. People should not be afraid to talk about suicide as I think.
Whenever I tried to discuss my thoughts with others, I saw horror in their eyes, which scared them away from further conversations about suicide. But for me, discussing these thoughts is not frightening. They are simply a part of who I am, and I accept that.
When I finally got the courage to tell my parents that I needed the help of a psychotherapist, they were deeply frightened. Up until then, I had never shared this aspect of myself with them. That evening, my mother searched the internet for symptoms of depression. When the phrase "suicidal thoughts" appeared on the screen, she pointed at it, without saying a word, implying that if that's what I was experiencing, then I certainly needed help. I made a joke to lighten the moment.
My father insists that suicide is the lowest and most cowardly act a person can commit. He considers it a betrayal, one that would be unbearable for the loved ones left behind. That's why my plan involves cutting ties with my loved ones. As a result, I will never be able to share this part of myself with my parents. I fear the immense disappointment it would bring them.
My closest friend, though horrified and frightened when I shared my thoughts with her, was the first to discuss it with me. Thanks to her, I survived the darkest moments of my life.
My husband has been the greatest support. When I disclosed this part of myself to him, he asked me to talk to him whenever such thoughts surfaced. This simple request has transformed my life.
Unexpectedly, these thoughts sometimes emerge at the most inconvenient moments. While driving, I might wonder if the speed is sufficient and if that pillar is strong enough to crash into it and die. Or while sitting, sipping tea and discussing something pleasant, I might find myself wondering whether eight floors would be sufficient to guarantee a certain outcome.
However, sharing these thoughts out loud, recognizing their frequency and regularity, led me to the realization that it's terrifying! Although I always knew these thoughts were not normal, I had never been frightened by them until that time. This became the turning point, and I finally believe that my dream was a sickness.
Parting with my dream was an excruciating process. It left a void, an unfulfilled space. For many years, I had this dream, and it was gone. I recognised that it was flawed, but I still missed it. When I had the plan it provided a sense of certainty, knowing it would all end, and I knew I just had to wait a bit longer. But now, I've started to fear for my life, and I didn't know how to cope with this fear. It terrified me.
Moreover, I've realized that I don't know how to be sad or cope with a bad mood anymore. I can no longer retreat to my familiar corner of hope, believing that things will soon disappear with me if I just wait.
Now, I feel like a small child learning to navigate life, yet I'm already thirty years old!
In an attempt to cope with these new emotions, I tried to find something like Alcoholics Anonymous, a place where I could talk to others who share similar experiences. I wanted to hear about how they've dealt with this complex emotions. Unfortunately, I discovered that there is no such club or support group in Russia.
I found out there are clubs for Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous... Yet, I couldn't find one specifically for Suicide Anonymous. Only specialized hotlines and crisis departments in hospitals are available. Trust me, when you're feeling okay, you don't think you need to reach out, and when you're struggling, you might not even care.
And why is it considered normal to admit you're an alcoholic, but talking about suicidal thoughts is not?
Why is expressing such thoughts on social media seen as promoting suicide?
I truly wish there was a club like Suicide Anonymous. I yearn to help others and receive support in return. I want to be there for others and allow them to speak about what they are forced to keep silent. A community where people genuinely understand one another like no one else can.
I'm sharing this text because I firmly believe that we can help someone with suicidal thoughts. We need to stop being horrified and embrace the fact that this is just another facet of a person. Acceptance gives hope. Yet, society still holds onto judgments like:
"… On the contrary, every animal – from an insect to a beast – fights for its life, tries to escape from those and even harm those who want to kill it. So the suicide in this case is worse than an animal. - There are still people who are weak-minded by nature, people with an underdeveloped brain, the so-called "idiots". But don't these also keep their lives?" Archpriest Evgeny Popov “On Suicide”
Therefore, a potential suicide often has only one way - suicide. Because one cannot endure such a burden, and it is almost impossible to talk about it. But a person with suicidal thoughts is not bad, they just has a lot of pain inside, and needs support and help.
I want to listen
I want to help
I want to say that I love you
If you have suicidal thoughts please reach for help
Contact Suicide Anonymous or use a hotline number in your country
I believe you deserve a joyful life and you can get it!