Contemplating the Unspeakable

Age: 20-Something
Journal doodle

If you are contemplating suicide, please seek help. You are worth life and you are not alone.


I hate admitting this, it’s unspeakable, and writing it down makes it even more real. I’ve been thinking about killing myself a lot. If I didn’t know the horrific trauma that death causes on the people who love the dead person, I think I’d have done it already. I think I’d have done it already. But my death could have disastrous consequences for some people. Not many, but a few. But then again, maybe not. Maybe it would end up being a relief in the long run.

No more emotional outbursts. No more worry. No more concern about the bad choices I make. And the pain of trying to walk through a world I don’t know how to navigate. I’ve looked up the most painless ways to die. Thought of jumping in front of a train. Throwing myself off the balcony. I don’t think I’ll do it.

I cut myself on my leg. On the arms, I drew blood. Feels like practice for the pain if I ever decide to slit my wrists or my neck.


Cut my arm again and also my leg. Drew blood. It’s like a way to control pain. I feel way too much. It hurts, but I made it hurt on purpose so it’s controllable. Self-inflicted pain is a reminder of life. It is a way to keep me here. I realize that by cutting myself, to the point that I feel pain, I remember that I am alive. Otherwise I just panic to distract myself from the anguish.

Light flickers throughout the room. The television is on. It’s animal planet on and tigers are fighting. I turned the sound off a long time ago.

I’m hoping my glass magically gets vodka added to it. I should have bought two flasks, not just one.

The cuts on my thighs are bleeding. It takes a few minutes for them to show up after I drag a sharp knife across my skin. The upper thigh is a pretty safe place to do it. Most clothes cover it up (besides bathing suits) and there is so much skin and fat I won’t slice to deep and make that move that I can’t take back.

How do other people make it through?

When mortality stares you in the face? Whispers in your ear to let you know life is over and the world will spin without you and everyone you’ve ever known and loved and given everything to care for will move on from your memory.

The next day…

I’m alive and that is a big deal.


These experiences are shared to help us all talk about stigmatized topics: mental illness, addiction, domestic violence. If we fear we cannot speak about it, then the shame will keep us from seeking help when we need it most.

I'm going to make it,

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  1. Alice Lynn on December 13, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I hope this is a literary and psychological article and not a reflection of your state of mind or actual deeds. I am alarmed. Please quiet my fears!

    • Kristance Harlow on December 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      This is not my actual state of mind currently. I am 31 now, so this is the far past. It’s meant to combat stigma by exposing what so few people talk about.

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