Conversations about suicide


“Is this how you feel everyday?”


“then I understand why you want to die”

-Still, undoubtedly, the most compassionate thing anyone has ever said to me.



“But you’re okay now?”

“Yeah, well, you know, I’m okay”

-I hate that question.  It’s a fait accompli. No, I’m not okay.  I’m very far from okay.  But I’m alive and you don’t want to hear the rest.



“I never thought I’d be someone that ended up in here”

*gentle laughter*

“That’s what everyone says, isn’t it?”


-My admission interview upon entering residential psychiatric care for the first time.



“Will that be everything?”

-The day I thought the self-service checkout had gone existential on me.



“You are valued and loved and needed”

-Thank you.



*Sobbing* “I’m going to kill myself on Monday and I’m writing my suicide letter, but it’s just awful.  It’s horrible.  I don’t know what to say to my Mum.  How can I explain it so she’ll understand? It’s just too hard, too awful.”

“Why don’t you just stop writing the letter and do something else?”

-Genuinely sage advice from the mental health helpline I speak to.  It actually made me laugh out loud at one of the worst points of my life.  I did do something else.  In fact, I phoned a friend, went shopping and bought a take away.  For a few hours, at least, it was okay.  


“I don’t want another picture in my living room with a black ribbon round it.  I don’t want to plant a tree for you.”


-I know and I’m sorry.  But some days it is just too hard to live.  Even for you.


“I want to die.”

“No, you don’t want to die, you just don’t want to live.  There’s a difference.”

-Quite right.


“I want to f***ing die”

-The constant litany of (one of) the voices in my head.  


“I don’t understand how people stand it.  Why don’t they all want to die?  How do they get up and walk around and do stuff if they feel like this?”

“Most people don’t question it – just are alive and that’s it.”


-Me, coming to terms with the idea that suicidal ideation is pathological.

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