A Letter From Your Suicidal Wife

suicidal wife

If you or someone you know needs support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

I know what you’ve just heard me say is a shock. Something that should make my skin crawl is on my mind and I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s like that itch in the arch of your foot as you scramble to pull your shoe off and scratch it. But that itch is ending my life and as each moment passes, it grows with intensity.

What I want to tell you is that I’ve actually been trying to tell you for some time now. I’ve written out a message to you several times, but deleted it. I’ve picked up the phone to call you, but hung up before I dialed. I don’t want to bother you. My brain is telling me that you are too busy and you don’t care. My brain is telling me that I’m being selfish to ask for your help. My brain is telling me to not send that message; delete it.

So what I’ve just told you has been rehearsed in my head a hundred times and typed out a thousand. I am gritting my teeth to scream for your help after being silent for so long. Please listen. Please listen to my scream as I whisper to you my deep dark secret. I have told you my truth that I have been holding in for so long. I have told you I have an itch. What I can’t explain to you is that this itch isn’t just recent.

It’s actually something much bigger than that. You see, since I was a child, I have been putting together a puzzle. I have been planning my own death and with each new found realization surrounding my death, I place another piece in place. As I settle on the location, the method, the time of day, my last letter and my will, I build my puzzle.

Unfortunately, as time has gone on, my puzzle has become stronger. Piece by piece, the details of my death become solid and I grow more and more content and comfortable with the idea. As my comfort and satisfaction grows, the danger increases and my dangerous puzzle threatens my life every waking moment. But you hold a piece; the most important piece.

You are an important part of halting the completion of my puzzle. Your refusal to allow me to put that piece in place is refusing to allow me to complete the puzzle and refusing to allow me to see my puzzle come to life. This is the last piece and you hold it in your hands.

I know that it’s a lot to ask. I am asking for your emotional labor and your time. It is a lot of me to ask of you to be so involved with my thought process and to swim in my emotions with me. I know it will be exhausting and sometimes you just simply won’t be able to do it. I know that you have your own emotions and thoughts to tend to and it is truly selfish of me to ask you to dip into mine — but I need you to.

When you can, I need you to hold this puzzle piece tight. And I need you to battle with me. You have always told me that you support me in my battle with suicide, so I am here to tell you what I need you to do. I am here to tell you that there is a battle to fight and that battle is me.

I need you to fight with me. I need you to tell me reasons to stay. I need you to remind me of my daughter’s face. I need you to remind me of the years I would miss, the love I would miss. I need you to tell me that I’m not harming anyone and I am not a burden. I need you to tell me that it’s been a bad day and tomorrow will be better. I need you to tell me that the pain will pass, it always does. I need you to argue with me because I don’t believe it.

I may seem like a child, but my thoughts are telling me that I am literally physically causing you harm by existing and the only cure to end your pain is to end my life. I believe that an imaginary woman will replace me and fill all the voids I will leave behind. This person is smarter, funnier, calmer, happier and acceptable. I should be disposed of as soon as possible so I can allow my replacement to step in.

But I need you to remind me that you love me. I need you to tell me that I am valuable. I need you to tell me that no one will replace me. I am important, I have purpose. I know it’s ridiculous and I am asking a lot, but I need you to help me fight this battle with me. I need you to argue. I need you to find reasons for me to stay, even if it’s just one. Maybe my cat would go hungry without me or I would miss our son’s graduation.

I know it sounds childish but this is what I need. You hold this important piece of my puzzle in your hand and you can easily set it down and walk away. Many people have done this to me and I have had to fight the urge to pick up the piece and complete my puzzle. One day, I will not be able to fight that urge and I will put that piece in place, the puzzle will be complete and I will be gone.

Giving you this piece is asking a lot of you, I know. I don’t mean to be so demanding and to ask for so much emotional labor. But the reality is that this is how it is and this is what I need you to do. You say that you love me and support me in my battle with mental illness so I need you to act on that. I need you to fight alongside me.

So now that I’ve come to you to whisper my deep secret to you; the itch that I must scratch; my fantasy of my own death, I need you to not allow me to scratch it. Hold my hands and help me breathe. Tell me why I must not scratch it. Remind me that it will pass. I know it always does, but I’m just caught up in the moment and I’ve forgotten. I believe the pain will never end. I believe I am already dying from the inside out.

But your refusal to give me that puzzle piece halts the completion of my puzzle and forces me to continue to exist even though I have spent nearly every day of my life wishing otherwise. This incomplete puzzle, this scratch I must itch, haunts me every day. It is always there, though some days it is louder, but it is always whispering to me to do it. Complete the puzzle.

The message I’ve sent to you just now has been typed out a hundred times but I didn’t want to bother you, I know you’re busy. I know I’m not worth your time. But I’m begging you to please help me. I am drowning in the ocean and I have this one second to hit “send” or whisper to you my wish to end it all. You have this one opportunity to not give me the puzzle piece. You can refuse to allow me to complete the puzzle. You are what will save me from myself.

Maybe this isn’t a good time for you and you can’t fight right now, I get it. I know that you may have your own puzzle going on, and it’s a lot to ask of you to keep my piece. So I ask that if you can’t fight with me today, please hand it to someone else.

Someone else may be able to fight with me today in your place and it’s OK, I’m not mad. I understand. But please don’t set the piece down and walk away. Because one day I won’t be able to fight the urge to put that piece in place and complete my puzzle.

One day, my puzzle may be complete and then it’s game over. I will really believe that I am better off dead. The world would be free of me grip. In my mind, I would truly be saving you from me.

So now that you know what to do, please know that I love you. And that’s why I’ve told you my secret today. That’s why I have reached out. That’s why I have finally dialed your number and told you about the missing puzzle piece. I know that it’s a lot, but your acceptance or rejection of this piece is life saving. So I need you to take this seriously and I need you to battle with me.

I need you to not allow me to complete the puzzle. I need you to not hand me the piece titled, “No one really cares (they shouldn’t, I’m a loser) and the world is better off without me (because I am causing everyone pain). So I should just end it all; end all of the pain and suffering I experience and have caused.” Your refusal to give me this puzzle piece is saving my life. So please help me today. Help me fight this battle. I need you the most today. You will be saving my life. You will be saving me from myself.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I know that you are busy with your own battles to fight and your own worries to have. I know that I’m asking a lot of you to listen to me today and in the coming weeks, months and years. I’m asking for your service. But I love you. You said that you want to support me, so here is what I need you to do. I need you to fight with me and argue with my brain. I need you to battle.

Signed,

Your suicidal wife

If you or someone you know needs support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.


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Duckie May
Author, mom, wife and living with Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder