I’ve come back from the brink of suicide, and I’ve visited that place a few times since. I know my experience may not be normal but it’s the frame of reference that I have to work with.
When I was suicidal, I was totally disassociated from my relationships. I knew on a basic level that it would upset my parents if I killed myself, but for whatever brain chemistry reasons, it meant very little to me. I couldn’t feel love or excitement or joy or compassion. I couldn’t share in that feeling of closeness with someone. I felt mostly nothing, with occasional world-shattering emotional pain and bleakness. I looked at my parents and said “I should love these people. Conceptually, I know I do. But I feel nothing towards them.” I completely lacked empathy and saying “I love you” to my parents felt the same as saying it to a complete stranger. It felt like a sham, an act I was putting on.
When people say they think depressed people are being selfish because they don’t care about the impact they are making on their loved ones, I have to take pause, because I remember how I felt, and my relationships were barely registering in my mind, let alone important enough to sway me in my decision to commit suicide. I felt like love was gone from my life, and that it had been meaningless all along, just something to slow me down, an anchor to drag with me through all of my life’s decisions. It was like somebody had turned down the dial on my ability to connect and on all of my feelings and emotions, and it made it so hard to relate to any feelings anyone ELSE might have had.
At the time I was feeling suicidal, I was incapable of empathy or having normal human feelings/emotions and it made me feel awful and also like I could not relate to anyone who might be sad about my decision to kill myself. It wasn’t exactly that I understood their their feelings but it didn’t matter to me–but more that their feelings were meaningless to me because I couldn’t experience any feelings at all.
I’m no longer suicidal, although I will probably go through cycles of emotional “flatness” and depression for the rest of my life. When I see other people struggling with the decision to commit suicide, I don’t assume others had it like me. But I can get to that place in my head where not living seemed like an equal-or-better alternative to living like someone who is already dead inside for the rest of my life. It is an awful feeling and you can’t always convince yourself that there is something worth living for when all you can feel is terrible or nothing at all. My only advice is to seek help because, hopeless as it may feel, there may be ways to jolt your brain back into working order, and if you don’t, you may miss out on feeling the joy and love that you deserve to feel. That may not sound worth it to you if you’re in the suck, because it’s hard to imagine if you can’t picture what the love and the joy feels like, but it’s worth a try while you still have the chance. You’ll just have to take everyone’s word for it.
My day-to-day life is miserable. I’m sad all the time. I’ve tried all kinds of medications. Nothing really works. I’ll be dead by the time I’m 25.