Suicide And Hope (Why I’m Glad I Failed)

For some people life can get overwhelming. Be a bit too much to bear. Death feels like the only way out. Times like that you need hope. It can be hard to find. This is for you. It’s a message of hope. From someone who once had none.

Sometimes when you feel like killing yourself the only thing keeping you hanging on is the thought of how a loved one would feel if you were gone. It might be a parent, a brother or sister, a good friend.

Thing is, if you were like me, there’s probably only that one thing keeping you hanging on. And what seems like a million other reasons telling you to give up. One against a million, like a sand bag against a flood, isn’t going to hold on forever.

I know that for a long time the only thing that stopped me was that I didn’t want to put my parents through the pain of losing a child. That’s the worst thing any parent has to endure.

And that worked. For years. But as the years passed, the emptiness got bigger, the darkness deepened. The black fog continued to consume me.

Until one particular night. It actually wasn’t any different a night from any other. I was just overwhelmed by the thought that although I loved my parents. They couldn’t live my life for me. They couldn’t lift the dark heavy cloud of depression that always hung over my head. They couldn’t answer the question that had been running through my mind for years. A simple question. A question with no singularly correct answer. What’s the point?

I couldn’t see any. And nobody else seemed to know either. Oh everybody has their ideas and theories about life. But they are all just that. Ideas and theories. There is no concrete answer. Nothing definitive. The point is….The question remained unanswered.

So I wrote a note. Put Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird on repeat. Loaded up on painkillers. And lay down for my permanent sleep. That was that. Job done. Game over. Bye world. It hasn’t been nice knowing you.

At least I thought that was that. It obviously wasn’t.

I can’t remember when I started being violently ill. I can’t remember how long I was being sick for before my parents came into my room.

I remember the look in my mother’s eyes when she saw the note though. I remember the guilt I felt. The shame.

An ambulance was called. I was taken to hospital. It turned out I was on the brink of liver failure. The next few days were a bit of a blur.

I spent 2 weeks there. They put me in a ward with an old man. It was just him and I.

Turns out he had cancer. He was dying. He used to look out the hospital window towards the direction of his home talking about how he just wanted to get back there. He never did. He died before my 2 weeks were over.

During my hospital stay I had to see a psychiatrist. He would ask how I was feeling. I would lie. I would say I was feeling fine. That what I did was a huge mistake. I would never try that again.

Only the last line was true. I would never try again because after seeing my mother’s eyes that morning I knew I couldn’t do that to her.

The real truth was that I felt as depressed as ever. Only now that depression was further compounded by the guilt and shame I felt. At that time I felt like a failure, a let down, a disappointment. I was such a failure I had even failed at killing myself.

I was 21 then. I’m 43 now. I’d like to say that I eventually got help. That my depression just went away. That everything has been fine since. I’d like to say that. But I would be lying now as I was then.

I didn’t get any help. I never talked to anyone about it. I even found it hard to look anyone in the eye who knew what I had done. I felt people, including my friends, treated me differently.

The one thing I did do was to resolve to myself that no matter how bad things got. No matter how sad and utterly depressed I got. No matter how pointless things seemed to be. Taking my life would never be an option.

It’s been a long time since. Another lifetime really if my life had ended then. Happily I can say there have been many joys in my life. Joys that I would have missed out on. Like the girlfriend I had who made me believe in love at first sight. Like my niece taking her first steps while we played together. Like meeting the beautiful and caring woman who would become my wife. Like the birth of my son. I could go on…

But let’s get real here. In between those times there have been difficulties and struggles too. My biggest struggle at the moment was that aforementioned wife leaving a year ago. How it has affected both my son and I.

Those storms of sadness sometimes still come around. There might be a reason. There might not. But storms pass. Sunshine will come shining through. The two go hand in hand. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s dark clouds and manure too.

You won’t always be happy. At the same time that means you won’t always be sad.

And the answer to what’s the point? I can’t answer that for you. No one can. The reason why there are so many ideas and theories about it is because you have to find your own answer. Find your purpose. And don’t worry if you think that will never happen. Your thinking can change. It will change. You can even make it so.

While mental health now doesn’t carry the same stigma as it once did. And while there are so many services out there to help people who are suffering. Back then it wasn’t readily available.

I never talked to anyone about how I was feeling. I always kept it inside. Tried to deal with it myself. I was wrong in doing that.

If you’re feeling suicidal. Talk to someone. And if you feel they aren’t listening or can’t quite grasp how difficult you are finding life. Or think you’re being silly or overdramatic. Keep talking. Keep talking until someone hears you. Keep talking until they understand. Make them listen. Scream it if you have to. Whatever you do, don’t give in.

Then get help. There is no shame. There is no weakness. Asking for help is a far greater thing to do than not. I know I should have. It would have made things easier.

Remember you are not alone. Others have suffered too. There are others suffering right now. There are also others who have come out the other side. Others who have passed through their darkest periods of life. Others who are more than happy to have done so.

Look, I get it, sometimes it feels there is no other way out. Sometimes you might think this world would be better off without you. That you won’t be missed. That there is no hope. Times like that, hope is hard to find.

Even hearing someone talking about hope makes you balk. Yeah, it’s easy to talk about it when you don’t need it. When you need it the most it’s the most difficult thing to find. I know, I was the one who once had none. And for a long time.

If I can give you anything it’s this. My story of going from hopeless to hopeful. You might not believe this right now but there is something special within you. A gift you might not yet have discovered. A strength within that is just waiting to be called upon. A strength that will change your life.

Find faith. I’m not talking about faith in some deity. Although if that’s what works use it. I’m talking about faith in yourself. Faith that if you keep moving on, keep facing each new day, something will change. And it will. You might even make that change, be that change.

The world is constantly revolving. Everything is in a state of motion. You are too. Even if it doesn’t feel like it. With movement comes change. It’s inevitable. Just hang on until the right change happens. Hang on for all your worth. Just hang on. Even if that’s all you can do.

There will come a time when the good outweighs the bad. Where the weight of your sadness is lifted. Where you’ll look back and be glad you found a bit of hope to keep you going. Keep you alive. You never know what beautiful and wonderous things life has in store for you.

Just look at Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King, Eminem, Billy Joel. All these people attempted suicide before we even knew their names. Look at what they and the world would have missed out on. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity of finding out too.

That failure of mine has turned out to be my greatest success. It’s a failure I am proud of. It’s the failure that has kept me here. Kept me living. And despite all my problems. The difficulties I have and will continue to face. It has kept me alive long enough to realise what my point is. My answer to the question that plagued me for years. It’s worth hanging on to find out your answer too.

Find your hope. In hope lies your life.


P.s.   I don’t think I stressed this enough. If you are feeling suicidal get help.




27 thoughts on “Suicide And Hope (Why I’m Glad I Failed)

  1. This is great message Chris and people need this inspiration more than anything
    Your words are really overwhelming full of hope and despair for help!
    I can relate but my experience is a bit different and it needs more than a comment but let me as usually not disagree but let’s say emphasize on one point that we need to find a reason to be happy from within not just not take our life because we’re afraid on the people that love us, what they might feel which it was my concern the entire time but no one was miserable for me…we need to find our purpose as you said, whatever makes us happy! As I said before it’s easier to die than to live the way we want, the way that makes us Happy
    Mostly we must seek help, some mental illnesses are the reason for the suicidal thoughts, the depression so we need to get help and urgently, the silence will kill us…
    I never spoke like you, but I learned to be strong and I learned that death is not the answer at all
    Sharing your experience is really amazing Chris and I still insist that they should reach more people so work on that Chris 👍👍

    1. Thank you Huguette. I appreciate it is a difficult subject and one that brings up difficult emotions. I struggled writing it.
      You are right about needing to find our own happiness from within. That too is a difficult thing to do. I’m sorry to hear you have had experience with this also and it is so true that’s it’s easier to die than to live the way that makes us happy. It shouldn’t be like that. We should all feel free to live how we want.
      And whilst easy, death is certainly not the answer, and never will be. Having strength is what’s needed. I do think it’s harder for younger people to find that strength.
      I appreciate your encouragement Huguette. I have been trying to find out what to do. Just not clear on what that is. Am sure I’ll figure it out in time.
      Much love to you Huguette. I really appreciate your comment on this one 🤗

      1. Forget to tell you: so glad you failed to take your life 😊
        I can imagine how hard it is to write about such experience, it takes lot of courage but the world needs your experience and your light 😊

        It’s harder for young people because as we might have discussed before, we always learn from our mistakes no matter what others say or do! It’s pity! We could have saved lot of pain but we always think that my feelings are different, my case is different…my pain matters more etc…

        Told you to get in touch with Matthew, he might help (frown face haha)
        I’ll tell him about you seems you’re shy

        My pleasure always Chris, such an emotional topic but powerful as well and I love long interactions haha 😂

      2. I’m glad too 😊 But that is very kind of you to say Huguette. Sure you know what they say about what doesn’t kill us…
        It is harder to get through to us when we are younger. You’re right about the way we feel then. It’s like no one understands. That our problems are unique to us alone. If only we all weren’t so single-minded in trying to do it all by ourselves. Learning the hard way.
        Re Matthew. I wasn’t sure how to approach. Don’t want to be ignorant or disrespectful.
        Re long interactions. I love them too ha ha Especially with your good self as they’re always something to think about. They’re the only comments I have to take the time to sit and think about my reply. I like to give them my undivided attention 🙂 Plus I really like talking to you as there is no interpretation needed. You say what you think and mean. Sure it was your straight talking that made me visit your site 😊
        Much love and always a pleasure 🤗

      3. It definitely made you stronger! 👍🙂

        Yes unfortunately and it will continue to be the case for the current and next generations…otherwise they can check other’s experience in one single click, the entire world and knowledge in their hands…but many won’t do it

        I’m flattered that my comments make you sit and think and have your undivided attention 😊 Thank you for the compliment really!

        And always glad as mentioned before that you appreciate straightforward and direct, because it will always be the case, I can say the same about you with a touch of diplomacy I guess
        Much love to you and have a good night 💤

      4. You’re right again. A single click. It’s like we’ve went from no information to information overload in no time at all.
        It wasn’t a compliment. Just the truth 🙂 But if you are happy taking it as a compliment that’s great 😊
        I like being honest and people being honest with me. Makes things so much easier even if there is disagreement.
        Thanks for the love and sleepy z’s. Night night 🤗

      5. Good morning Chris, hope you’re good today 😊
        I believe honesty saves everybody’s time and I apply it in my life
        Wish you a great day ahead 😊 A bientôt

      6. Good morning to you too Huguette 😊
        All good here thank you. Hope it’s the same for yourself 😊
        Totally agree with your honesty ethic. No time for anything else.
        Hope you have a great day also.
        By the way whenever I type Hu into my phone your name is what pops up in my predictive text 😂
        À tout à l’heure 🤗

      7. Hahaha probably because you’re typing my name 100 times per day 😂 but I guess not so many words start with Hu also 😊
        Have a great day 😊

      8. Never would have imagined I would have a lovely Lebanese online friend. Very happy that I do. It’s been interesting and enlightening. Thank you 😊
        Hope your day is great too 😊

      9. Well I can say the same, this community is a total new level of communication and friendship, so glad as well to have an Irish friend 😊

    1. Thank you very much for reading. I appreciate your sentiment. I’m glad I survived too 🙂
      I hope you are keeping well and best wishes to you Alicia.

  2. thank you for writing your heart’s content, i hope it helps even just that one person if not many to see the point. It may not be the same point to everyone, but we need to find the reason to stay on. may i ask you a question? after you took the painkillers, did you ever for a moment feel sorry and want to turn back time? it’s ok if you don’t have the answer or not want to elaborate, just me wondering. I say this often but I am so proud of your journey, you give so much hope even as you hurt and try to rebuild your life. I am humbled to know such an amazing human.

    1. Thank you Gina although I am no different from the rest of us. We are all amazing in our own right. We just have to find that understanding and belief within us.
      In answer to your question. No. I expected to die. Waking up was not what I wanted. The hurt I caused and pain I felt was something I then did not want to face. I’m not proud of how I was then and the actions I took.
      If I had the choice now I would of course not take that particular action.
      It is very kind of you to say such lovely things about myself and my journey. And by the way I am happy to answer any questions you may have 🙂
      Best wishes to you and I hope you and your family are keeping well.
      Much love to you all!

  3. Yours has not been an easy journey Chris but it is sadly a very common one for many people in Ireland, particularly young men and sadly even younger teens now. You have penned this difficult story so well, what resonates with me, when I read your story is how you could be the hope people need at that difficult time, which as you well know, was any given day, where you and many like you pretend all is well in their world. I encourage you to approach your local secondary school with this post, don’t sugar coat it, be yourself, help others to be true to themselves too. Le grà, Marie

    1. You are right Marie. It is all too common. Especially amongst men who are pretty much three times more likely to do it. We know why of course. It’s the perceived stigma. That a man may be considered weak for speaking of such things. That has to change.
      I appreciate your encouragement. Thank you. If my mistakes can help others I’d be more than happy to speak to people.

      1. The stigma of mistakes also need to change because we need to see mistakes as a learning tool, as you have found, they are our best teacher. Your last sentence pretty much wraps up a possible ‘purpose’ of yours!

      2. You’re right Marie. We need to start pushing for that change.
        Funny you say that as I’ve been feeling a greater impulse to get more proactive in helping people. More action needed rather than words.
        The amount of positive, encouraging and inspiring people (yourself included obviously) I have been talking to today is unreal.
        Thank you kindly!

  4. Hi there! I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award and would love for you to take part, if you’re interested. Either way, thanks for always being a source inspiration and for bravely sharing your journey. 🙂

    1. Hi. Thank you very much for nominating me for the award. I am very humbled you would have even thought of me. It means a lot 🙂
      Unfortunately I’ve decided I’m not going to do awards any more. Even though I really enjoy them my time on here is sometimes limited and I would rather write things that might help people than talk about myself. I hope you aren’t offended as I am really honoured that you would have gave me such a nomination. Best wishes to you 🙂

  5. This was a hard read.
    Yet I am glad that I read it.
    I lost two brothers 11 years apart to suicide. I cannot agree more with you about the impact the this kind of death has on your family.
    My parents are not the same, nor will they ever be. How can you ever get over knowing your two babies died that way. Every memory becomes shadowed with the pain of losing them—the fact that they chose suicide. That never ends.
    Yes, the years dull the sharpness of the pain, but there is always that shadow over their memories.
    Anyone considering suicide, even if you can think beyond the pain just enough to think of one person whose life would be forever pained because of your choice, please think of them! They want to remember you without the sting of suicide clouding their thoughts of you!
    These thoughts are not well-crafted, but they are true from experience!
    Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. I’m really sorry that your family has had to endure such a heartbraking experience. There is nothing worse. Especially for a parent.
      This wasn’t an easy thing to write either. I only did it in the hope that maybe if it made one person think differently about taking that ‘permanent solution to a temporary problem’ then I had to put it out there. Maybe give someone a little light in their darkness.
      Thank you for your view. I’m sorry for the hard read on something so close to your heart.
      Best wishes to you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.