Suicidal? Scroll down to get straight to the advice.
For years, in my darkest moments, I would type those words into a search engine. Every time, the same advice would come up, no matter what website I opened. I am sure if you have found this page, you have already read the standard advice from Google’s first results page, and so I won’t relay it to you here. Much of it is helpful in theory, or helpful for people who are moderately depressed. However, none of it helps in a suicide crisis. When I was ready to kill myself, I just wanted a technique to avoid killing myself, but there was nothing. No peer support chats helped, and the last resort, a suicide helpline, was always someone trying to get me to promise not to kill myself and see a doctor the next day so they could get me off the phone as fast as possible. There was simply no help to be found. In my despair, I vowed to try everything I could to find ways to cope when I want to kill myself, and then share them with you.
This is what to do when you want to kill yourself.
I have successfully used every one of these techniques during a suicidal crisis. Not every suggestion will work for you, so please read every one before leaving the page, it could save your life and give you a better tomorrow.
It’s OK to be suicidal for a long time.
There is no rush to kill yourself. Just because you have wanted to kill yourself for weeks, months, or years, that doesn’t mean you are weak, it actually means you are strong. There is no shame in waiting for another day to end your life, or waiting for another “final straw”. There is no shame in not having a reason to live, or it taking time to find one.
Your painful feelings cannot kill you.
Even though it is pure agony in your chest, a misery that feels like a sword being driven through your heart, it’s helpful to remember that feelings cannot kill you. Only the harmful things you choose to do to your body can kill you. Even though the emotional pain is excruciating, you can survive the pain. You have already survived the pain up until now, and you can feel proud of that accomplishment.
Get away from the cause of your pain.
If a certain person or place is the main cause of your pain, try to leave permanently as soon as possible. If you can leave the situation that is causing your misery, you must try to do it before killing yourself. Even if it is scary and you don’t know what will happen, do it anyway, because at least it gives you a chance at a new life. Suicide removes any possibility for improvement, which can happen in almost every circumstance. Suicide prevents you having any options, but keeping on living means you still have suicide as an option for later. You can always kill yourself tomorrow, so why not try a few more things before you head out forever?
Speak your mind aloud.
Right now I am certain that you have a lot of painful thoughts rushing through your mind. The experience of this inner monologue is torture. However, when you speak your thoughts out loud, they are not as agonising. The reason why speaking your thoughts out loud is less traumatising is because when you can hear them with your ears, and you actually have to finish each sentence. This prevents any overlapping thoughts or multiple thought streams from overwhelming you. You can spend hours or days doing this if you need to. It is best to do this alone because other people might say hurtful or triggering things.
Revert to an infant state.
Most of our suffering comes from the painful experiences associated with growing up or being an adult. The world inflicts so much pain on us, and at some point it just becomes too much to bear. Because we are in a “grown up” body living a “grown up” life means we assume that we have to deal with our problems “like an adult”. However, there is no rule that says we have to look and act like an adult all the time, even in the privacy of our own bedrooms. So wrap yourself in a blanket, grab a teddy, a glass of milk and cookies, and put on a baby cartoon or nursery rhymes. Let your mind relax into this innocent state, and tell yourself that you are “never going to be an adult again” and that “it’s better to be taken into care than to be dead”. However, chances are that after you spend a while free from the mental stress of being an adult, you will feel safe to get back up and tackle something, even if it’s something as small as getting a snack or having a wash.
Hide in a safe space.
The world can feel like it is attacking you from all angles, and it seems like there is no escape from it. In times like this, animals seek shelter in small, dark places away from danger. Our human minds are not all that different, so it can be surprisingly helpful to do the same. Find a small dark place in your house, such as a cupboard. Grabs a few pillows and a blanket, climb inside, and relax in feeling hidden and safe. If it helps, you can decide that you are “never coming out”.
“Die” right now.
Everyone knows how hard cravings are, and most of us give into our cravings. One of the excruciating things about feeling suicidal is the experience of desperately wanting to do something you cannot do. It is one of the only things that humans can crave but cannot indulge, because once it is done, it cannot be undone. As the craving for suicide cannot be quenched, the insatiable craving adds to the suffering. However, you can experience the next best thing: Go to your couch, your bed, or even the floor. Lie down, and “die” there. In your imagination, picture that you have finally completed whatever suicide method you have been craving, and now you are lying there “dead”. You are finally at peace. Whenever your imagination goes back the thoughts that make you suicidal, you can tell yourself, “well, there’s nothing I can do about it now, I am already dead” or “that can’t hurt me any more, because I am dead” or “that’s no longer my responsibility, because I am dead” or whatever is suitable for your situation. Lay there for as long as you need to be “dead” for. If you need to lay there for days, so what. You have retained the chance at a new life, and that is much better than removing that chance from yourself.
Go for a walk in nature and decide to “never return”.
If “dying” at home is not suitable for your situation, take it outside into nature. Gather some supplies, and head out into the woods. Once you find a good spot, repeat the process above. Lay down and “die”, imagining that you have completed the suicide method that you desperately crave. The peace of nature will help you to connect with yourself and the realities of mortality. After a while spent in contemplation, you will probably want to return to the comfort of your house, and take with you a fresh perspective.
Look at videos of death.
When thinking about suicide, you are probably imagining very specific methods of doing so. This fantasy, like all thoughts, isn’t really an accurate representation of what it would be like to actually experience it. The fantasy is probably quite painless, quick, and certainly doesn’t go wrong. However, the chances are that the method in your mind would be much more traumatic than you realise, and could very well go wrong. In order to really see how such suicide methods play out, you can a watch videos of people’s death online. On websites such as liveleak (and other sites that can be found with some basic searching) footage of your desired method can be seen. When you see the reality in all its raw clarity, the desire to actually do the same thing yourself is going to be reduced. The reality of death just isn’t how you imagined it. Our society is very sheltered from death, so facing the reality of it can be sobering.
The reason to wait until tomorrow.
Out of the darkness of suffering, hope can emerge. I was self-harming from age 5, and suicidal from age 14 to 30, but now I am at peace, full of joy, and I have hope for the future. I promise you that, if you want to, you can transmute your suffering into enlightenment. This misery you are experiencing can be the foundation upon which you build deep wisdom. Hold on to that vision for yourself. You can be someone who is strong, capable, and wise, it is a real possibility for you. Let that vision keep you going when you are in your darkest days, remembering that your suffering has a greater purpose which you will understand one day. If you keep seeking after that Truth, you will find it.