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My Struggle with Suicidal Thoughts and How I Overcame It

Part I

Many people struggle with suicidal thoughts; some never live to tell their stories. I am one of the lucky ones. I’m a suicide attempt survivor and this is my story. But before that, let me explain a little about myself.

I have been diagnosed with depression and suffer from severe anxiety. At that time, my mental health was in a bad condition. Months of quarantine worsened my condition, and I barely experienced any human interaction.

My childhood was filled with abuse and painful memories of being bullied and sexually harassed by my religious teachers. I decided to leave Islam at the age of 14 but I knew how Muslim society works. If I ever admit that I no longer believe in Allah, my life is pretty much done. Hence, I had to pretend to be a Muslim, which severely worsened my mental condition.

It would be four more years until I finally could leave my parent’s house. But until then, I kept praying to this God that I didn’t even believe in, 5 times every single day. I had to hide whenever I was eating during the holy month of Ramadhan. My school life was worse. I had no real friends and being abused by the teachers was a daily occurrence.

It got better, or so I thought. I left my parent’s house and finally was able to live without spending 1 hour every day kneeling on the ground. It felt good, but a hole was starting to form in my heart without me realizing it, a hole that Islam used to fill. I felt empty. Extreme nihilism then follows. Here’s the story about the night I attempted suicide.

A Night to Remember

That day was like any other day in this gloomy pandemic. I was at home doing what I always do. I woke up at 7 in the morning, ate breakfast, and went straight to my PC to work.

But that day was different, it felt different. I have been depressed for a while, but never like this. This is the feeling of someone who is suicidal. Someone who has nothing to lose. Someone with no purpose in life.

I brushed off all these terrible feelings, thinking I had just woken up on the wrong side of my bed and continued working.

“Why am I even doing all this.” I thought.

There I was, working a job I was not even interested in. The same routine day in and day out. Sure, the pay is better than my last job but that’s not the point. The thought lingers in my mind for a while as my focus deteriorates.

“I don’t want this, I didn’t ask for this. This life of mine, I don’t want it anymore if I’m going to continue suffering like this.” I thought to myself.

I shook my head, trying to get these thoughts out of my mind, but it just kept getting worse, so I decided to take the day off. I went straight to bed afterward as I no longer have the mental capacity to keep being productive.

———-

I woke up at around 8 p.m. I slept for almost the entire day. My room at the time was pitch black, and I could barely see my phone. I was still half asleep, I took my phone to check if any new messages were coming.

“I’m sorry, you are fired”, it was so bright that it took me a few seconds to realize what the words on my notification bar meant. I was neither shocked nor sad to see this message. My boss had been waiting for me to mess up at work so he could fire me for quite some time now.

The pandemic hit that company financially, and I can’t blame them for firing me. I didn’t feel any emotions at that moment. To be frank, I didn’t feel any emotions at all for the past few months before that. I was trying my best to cope with my depression to the point where I no longer felt anything.

I was still lying in my bed while reading that. My head on my comfy pillow, a blanket to warm me, and the silence of the night. I wish I could enjoy this sensation forever without having to worry about anything at all. But then I realized something, I realized that I actually could stay like that forever by taking my own life.

It’s a stupid decision, made by an unstable person. A nihilistic philosophy paired with the urge to ease my pain, a combination for disaster.

I was a Muslim. Years of religious trauma and brainwashing twisted my personality. When I left Islam, I was lost. There’s no God I can rely on anymore, and there’s no longer an end goal in my life. I was scared of almost everyone (openly being an atheist is dangerous in Islamic society).

I tried replacing Islam with another ideology so I could feel a sense of community and maybe repair my broken self. At first, I became a Buddhist, but it stopped making sense when I studied it thoroughly.

Next, I found nihilism, a radical school of thought where everyone is the same as me, depressed. Nihilism in practice is counterproductive and promotes suicidal tendencies. The basic principle of nihilism is just “everything has no meaning and there is no purpose in life.” However, not all nihilistic values are bad. Optimistic nihilism is one of the better versions of the nihilism school of thought.

My belief at that time was more radical. Extreme pessimism made me more narcissistic and selfish. I was a toxic person living a toxic life. I wanted it all to end.

I brought a bottle of paracetamol pills into the toilet with me. It’s a normal mid-size toilet, the floor is dark blue and the wall is turquoise. The floor was wet because I just finished showering earlier. I was standing in front of the mirror with the pills in my right hand. I’m trembling, still doubting my decision.

“What if I go to hell?”

“What if I didn’t die?”

“What if no one finds my body?”

“Will it hurt?”

Doubtful thoughts flooded my mind.

“I don’t even care anymore.”

I started taking the pills, one after another. It’s not as easy as how it is portrayed in the movies. I have to drink a lot of water just to properly swallow the pills. I swallowed about 20 of them before having a mental breakdown and lying on my wet bathroom floor. I cried thinking about my stupid decision.

Is this what I wanted? To give up so pathetically and not even try to achieve my dreams. If I have enough courage to commit suicide, why not use that courage to chase my dreams?

That was a moment of clarity for me. I finally escaped my societal cage and expectations.

I stuck my finger into my throat and started throwing it all out. It hurt and tasted disgusting, but I have never been more relieved. I’m glad I didn’t buy a gun illegally, I’m glad I didn’t jump off a bridge.

After spending about 30 minutes clearing my stomach, I passed out on the bathroom floor due to exhaustion.

———————–

The following day, I met my doctor. She said my liver was fine, but it might lead to some kind of complication in the long term. I don’t know what I was thinking at that time. I didn’t do any research on it, and I thought maybe I would just go to sleep forever after I consumed the pills. That’s not how paracetamol overdose works. It takes days until it actually affects you, or more accurately, your liver.

The following weeks were painful. Some of the symptoms that I experienced were abdominal pain, nausea, fever, and loss of appetite.

That amount of paracetamol is too toxic for our liver. If I hadn’t immediately thrown all the pills out after swallowing them, I might have woken up with a dying liver and died a very painful and slow death. I still regularly visit my doctor as an extra precaution.

Next – Part Two – What I Learned…

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