Trigger Warning
This article contains information about suicide, which may be upsetting to some people.
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Life After a Suicide Attempt: Why did you hold on?

This week we talked about suicide and how to communicate about suicide safely. More often than not, we stumble upon articles online reporting suicide. It can get a bit triggering for many and so if posts regarding suicide does trigger you, this may just not be the article for you.

We often don’t get stories about why people held on, and so we thought we’d ask those who have attempted or thought of attempting suicide, what made them stay? What is their light at the end of the tunnel? Why did you hold on longer?

Hopefully this gives you hope in this one precious life of yours.

"...try sitting your loved ones down and asking them what would they feel if I did follow through. You’ll soon realise that you’re loved more than you think."

“I was at my lowest in 2018. I was deep in my drug addiction and life became a cycle of just me in pain and trying to get through the day. One night, I was ready to say goodbye. I written all my letters and I made sure my room was clean. I stood at the edge of a cliff looking to the ocean with 8 pills on my hand. It was not until someone pulled my sweater that I ended up in a mental health ward.

It took me years of therapy to make sense of it all, but what keeps me living today are really the people around me. We think that they’re better off without us but try sitting your loved ones down and asking them what would they feel if I did follow through. You’ll soon realise that you’re loved more than you think.”

- IS (21)

"I am curious of what life has in store for me."

"I had plans, but I never actually attempted. I was in a dark place and I had constant suicidal thoughts to the point where it was overwhelming. The fact that I had those thoughts alone were overwhelming and scared me. I managed to searched up ways to kill myself and I had already choose which one was best for me. I still don’t believe that life has so much more to offer than pain, because that’s all I’ve known all my life. But for now I am curious of what life has in store for me, and if I’m being honest that curiosity is what has stopped me from going through with it. I am not hopeful, but I am curious and that’s enough for now."

- EW (25)

"...there IS hope. There IS that light at the end of the tunnel, it DOES get better."

"A horrible breakup was what prompted me to do it. It was soul-consuming and I couldn’t deal with the pain. It felt like the end of the world, at the time, it was the end of the world. I can’t tell you what stopped me, because the only thing that stopped me from killing myself was that I failed and got taken to the hospital instead. But I can tell you the things I’ve experienced, the things I’ve seen and the things I’ve felt since I failed. It took me years to recover and it took everything out of me to change my mindset. It was a hard journey, but it was a journey that was worth it.

Now, it’s been five years since that attempt and I’m now married with a kid on the way. Happily married, and in love with the man I’ve always needed. I have a great job now. I feel content and secure. I never thought I’d have this, all of this. I never thought I’d be happy. I have felt an immeasurable amount of happiness from time to time since. Of course, life is still hard and it still sucks sometimes. But that feeling of being so hopeless that death seems like a better idea is long gone. But all of this that I have now, I never would’ve gotten to experience them if I had gone through with my plan. I’m not saying life is always 180 degrees better after an attempt, all I’m saying is that there IS hope. There IS that light at the end of the tunnel, it DOES get better. And this is coming from a woman who was once so incredibly cynical and pessimistic about life. I don’t deal with failure well, but for once I was glad that I failed at something in life."

- CJ (28)

"If you feel that your one and only life has no meaning, give it meaning by helping other people."

"These past few years have been a tough one for me. The slightest inconvenience can sometimes tip me over to a spiral where I am lost in my own thoughts and easily see no value in staying alive.

Finding a reason to hold on is a hard one but I had the opportunity to talk to a lovely lady in the hospice I worked in. She said, 'place your hand on your chest, it’s still beating isn’t it? — If you feel that your one and only life has no meaning, give it meaning by helping other people dear.'

That’s the light I still hold on to when it gets hazy."

- JB (22)

"For the first time, I saw it. Right in front of me. He was terrified of losing me, someone was terrified of losing me. He made me promise, and I promised him."

"It was something so insignificant. Something so small compared to everything else that was going on, or at least it seemed like it at the moment. I had a date. I knew exactly what to do when the time comes. I’ve ran over the plans a hundred times over. My affairs weren’t in order, but I was just ready. I had letters stashed in my room and I knew someone, someday would be able to find them. When everything’s dark and hopeless, I didn’t think anything was ever going to stop me.

One night, about a week before it was supposed to happen, my boyfriend at the time was spending the time with me. “Promise me you’re not going to go anywhere,” he said out of nowhere. He didn’t know what I was going to do, but there he was. For the first time, I saw it. Right in front of me. He was terrified of losing me, someone was terrified of losing me. He made me promise, and I promised him. That was the only thing I needed to hold on. I held onto that look on his eyes everyday of my life since, and here I am still today. Because of him, I’m still here."

- JP (23)

"What’s keeping me here is my mom."

"What’s keeping me here is my mom. She’s a single mother. She has lost so much in her life and I can’t bear the thought of being another source of her pain. I’m still struggling, the thoughts are still constant and I still feel like death is the only thing that’s keeping me going. But then I look at my mom and sometimes I feel that flicker of hope. She doesn’t know what’s going on I think and I’d like to keep it that way. Sometimes she asks me to do some things, little things, like household chores or running errands but that makes me feel needed. Other times she tells me she’s glad to have me around and other times she tells me that she’s proud of me. How could I leave her then? I still don’t know how I’m gonna get rid of the thoughts of killing myself but I’m still here today because of my mother. She brought me into this world and she’s also keeping me here."

- JW (25)

"I choose to live because I have a daughter that still needs me here."

"I decided to turn the other way because of fear. To be honest, it was because I was afraid that if I failed and did not die but have to face consequences such as paralysis due to the attempt, I would be more of a burden to my family.

Now, I choose to live because I have a daughter that still needs me here. I want her to grow up with a father present in her life, I want to be able to see her achieve her dreams, I want to be there for her when she gets her heartbroken and I want to support her in everything she wishes to pursue."

-  Anonim (26)

Whatever you are currently going through, know that you are not alone. Life can get bleak, tough and ugly; it’ll kick you to the ground but know that there are so many reasons to stay alive. Seek the help not just because you need it but also because your life deserves that chance.

If you or someone you know is in imminent danger of suicide take them to a hospital or call emergency services on 119.  If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, contact the following list of mental health hospitals which are available to provide crisis support.

  1. RSJ Amino Gondohutomo Semarang (024) 6722565
  2. RSJ Marzoeki Mahdi Bogor (0251) 8324024, 8324025, 8320467
  3. RSJ Soeharto Heerdjan Jakarta (021) 5682841
  4. RSJ Prof Dr Soerojo Magelang (0293) 363601
  5. RSJ Radjiman Wediodiningrat Malang (0341) 423444

To read more about seeking help, click here.

To read more about preventing suicide in Seribu Tujuan, click here.

To read more about talking about suicide in Seribu Tujuan, click here.

To read about how to open up about feeling suicidal in Atrium, click here.

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