choose to live or choose to die

I do not know who is reading this, and odds are I probably never will. I have been writing because my heart was torn apart. It feels like a lifetime ago that I could smile without questioning why — I am not really the same person anymore. I wish I could remember who she used to be. I do, however, remember my mistakes. I used to think love was the reason for all my pain, but the truth is the pain is just pain at the end of the day. Pain is the truth. Everyone hurts in their own way, and everyone copes in their own tears. Some days we try to make things work, but the plan does not always play out the way we expected or wanted them too. Life is so strange. For as long as I could remember I have always wondered what life is. Is it just breathing in and out? Is life a white picket fence near a beautiful house with a family? Is life not feeling pain? Is life not feeling sad? Is life even worth talking about? Maybe you are like me — socially awkward and hate small talk. Too hard on yourself so you listen to music until your eardrums bleed. Most days I cannot even tell if I feel too much or nothing at all.

I used to write to get the hurt out. It used to be the only outlet I had. I wrote until early morning. I wrote in my room, in the backyard, at school and wherever I could. I almost chose to end my life once. I wanted to take matters into my own hands because the pain felt agonizing. I was ready to greet death like an old friend. Thankfully, God told me it was not time yet. I have more guardian angels than I care to count. I still write, but the pain is not there anymore. Most of the time I write out of habit, and maybe I choose to live out of habit too. I feel like I am not at my fullest potential.

I have heard tales about children surviving watching their parents die, I cannot imagine the pain they had to endure. I have heard stories about mothers having to live with the guilt of abortions and stillborns, I cannot imagine the anguish inside of their fake smiles at work, on the bus, or out buying groceries. We have to fake it until we make it, that is what we are told. It does not work all the time, but it does work. I have betrayed loves, and I have been betrayed. I have hurt people. Most days I am not proud of myself.

Maybe you are like me — you feel lost more days than found. There is this empty spot inside of your heart that you have been trying to fill with material things. There is pain that you cannot explain because you are afraid that people will never understand — maybe they will laugh at you or maybe they will never even stop to care about anything you do. Maybe it is our nature to endure such pain. Maybe it is up to us as humans to search for compassion because we are all hurting.

Death does not sit around reading magazines. I would like to think death stands around waiting to pop our ideas about how to die. Maybe this is just us not knowing how to cope. A bottle of pills, a bucket to kick, your father’s bullets and his shotgun under his mattress, the sharp apology you have been keeping buried inside an old book, maybe you have been sitting on your rooftop and you have been keeping track of who walks around during this time of night to try to eliminate the casualties on the way down — the ways to die are endless. 

The ways to live are definitely more powerful though. How many forms of sadness exist? Figure that out and multiply it by 10, because happiness exists in the answer. It only makes sense. If you choose to die, you will no longer get to do the very things that make you, you. If you choose to die, there is nothing left. Of course, the justification is there. If you jump, you will no longer feel pain. It will be quick, and it will be late and no one is going to find you until to sun comes up.

I used to write because it hurt. Nowadays it does not hurt. I get more and more strangers asking me why they should stay. I do not have the answers, and I do not know why you feel the way you do. But I want you to know if you never ask for help if you never talk about it, the pain does not leave. Suicide is a messed up plan. I also cannot promise you that the pain will go away. It might always be there as a permanent scar on your heart. “Time heals all wounds” is such a silly quote. It is half true though. I think our wounds scar up after we stop prying, but we will always see them when we look in the mirror. Scares are not always a visible thing either, sometimes it is the mental and emotional scars that mess us up the most. There is a chance you will never be fully okay. Maybe when you are bleeding out and finished taking that whole bottle of pills, the world will go quiet, but who is going to be you when it is all over?

Maybe you are like me — you are not the smartest or best looking, you are not the coolest, you are not loved enough by people who you would want to love you, and you never asked for the pain, but it is yours. Pain does not stop once it is over, pain is a way to find hope and peace within yourself. Dying will not fix a thing for the people who do look out for you. They will wonder. I probably will never know most of you who read this. Part of me wishes I knew more about the strangers I met daily. That lady at the grocery store check out? Her son is having surgery tomorrow. That guy that cut you off in traffic? He is late for a very important interview. The girl you passed in the mall with all her friends? Her sister just ran away from home, and her parents are trying to distract her with money. That boy who hit a home run at the ballpark? He isn’t smiling because his dad still isn’t proud. I want to save them all. I am not good at anything important (like filing my taxes, cooking dinner, changing a flat tire, etc), but I like to think of writing as my superpower. I hope this reaches you in time to make that decision. And if I have to write every day about how much I want you to live and about how this pain will fade, I will write until my fingers prune. It is okay to now know how to go about it, it is okay to not want to live anymore, but you have got to try to hold on.

I want you to realize that life is so precious. Your hands are soft and tender, your heart is not the same because you love and then it breaks, your lips have not been the same since the kisses you so freely gave did not return home, your legs just keep running, your breathing just will not keep up with all the bullshit that is happening — I know. I do not know anything about the person that is reading this, but that is the beautiful part about writing. I do not have to know your name to know you or to tell you it gets better. You will heal. You will beat this. You are going to be stronger even if you are weak now. You are going to come out stronger. I promise. You have made it this far, do not let a moment of sudden defeat stop you from continuing. You are the only one who can conquer this. I believe in you. You are your hopes and dreams. You are your own conductor of life.

My friend used to cut up her body, and I told her that her body is a temple and it is sacred. Those who you give permission to enter should tread carefully. These words I write are not for me but for you, reading this. Death is not the answer, but life? Life is always a sweeter option. You have got so much to live for, and maybe one day you will finally be able to look into a mirror and say, “I look great today.” Maybe you will wake up one day and say, “I’m glad I read that post a few years ago.” Maybe this is just a very sad attempt to save a life, but if it works, I will have done something right. I will continue to write all night. I will know no summer but your laughter when you are finally feeling better. I will know no winter but the smile you provide when you see it is snowing outside. I will know no spring but the roses you will be handed when he falls in love with you. I will know no fall but your lips finally saying, “I am glad I chose to live.” I will know no love but the love you have decided to give to yourself. I will know no pain because you finally let yourself heal. Maybe even one day, I can even say I finally know you.


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