Why should I stay alive when I want to kill myself?

by Anna Wieder

Dear Me who wants to die,

I know are you in so much pain right now. It feels unbearable and I am SO sorry. 

I know it feels like the pain will never end. 

It feels like it is crushing your spirit.

I know the terror you feel in your heart. The fear and panic feel like they are running through your arms and body, even piercing you like needles. 

I know everything in your brain might be fuzzy as your body sensations overwhelm you.

Stay here, in your body. BREATHE.

It is OK if it doesn’t change anything in this moment. 

Keep breathing.

You are strong and can do this. You are BRAVE and GOOD and STRONG.

Get ice if you need to, put it on your head or neck or face. Put your hand on your chest. 

Feel your heart.  It is beating so fast?

Yes, you are alive, your body is fighting for you to live.

It is not fair, that you must sit like this. IT IS NOT FAIR.

Know this now: your body is safe. You are safe. 

You have people who will hug you and love you, when and if you are ready.  

Your only job right now is to be alive.

It is OK to cry, to stare, and to be angry, to scream or to stay frozen for a little while.  You can handle this pain, YOU ARE STRONG. It will subside. It ALWAYS does, even when you swear it will not. 

You do not need to hurt yourself even though you hurt right now. I know it feels unbearable AND I am here to remind you it will pass. Just observe.  

It seems appealing in this moment to die, to leave and to make it final. The pain of dying would be temporary and lead to an end, a nothingness.  The crushing shame and fear and exhaustion you feel would be gone, so hear me now shouting to you, “THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT!”

As You who wants to live, I am shouting to you, “You are STRONG and NEEDED and have so many HOPES and DREAMS! You deserve PEACE.” Keep fighting!

If it will help, look at all the things you want to do and the reasons to stay.  There are a lot, so many. But you do not need to look right now, either.

It is OK to simply curl up, feel the heaviness of the blankets pressing on you and pinning you in place.  Falling asleep is an OK option, too.  You will wake up feeling differently.

Imagine breathing in relaxation and out the hurt and bad dreams and fear. Breathe in hope. And being brave. You deserve compassion and kindness.

It is a feeling, NOT the truth, that you want to die.

The voices that say you are disgusting and worthless and unloved are liars.

I am not tricking you.

I do not want to hurt you.

My heart aches for you. And I know more than anyone how hard you have fought in life to stay alive, and I am begging you to keep fighting. I KNOW YOU.

I want you to see the sun and the beach again. Float in the ocean. Hike in Maine, read books that have not been written, love people who are yet to come.

I want you to laugh. I want you to teach. I want you to know all of the happy things again. You deserve the best things.

Keep fighting. KEEP FIGHTING.


Me who wants to live

Note from Anne Moss: This is a letter Anna wrote to herself to read when she is suffering thoughts of suicide. It’s her coping strategy to stay alive when her brain is telling her she is worthless.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: 741-741

Wikipedia: International Suicide Resources/phone numbers & Suicide.org International suicide resources/phone numbers


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13 thoughts on “Why should I stay alive when I want to kill myself?”

  1. You have truly saved lives whilst writing this piece. I know you saved mine. I can’t imagine how difficult it was to write this, and how vulnerable its made you feel putting it out in the open, but your piece, it’s giving some people hope. Just that little glimmer of hope, and sometimes that’s all you’ve got left to hold on for. Your piece should be shared with the world, and I’m sure soon, as people continue to share it via sm, you would of helped so many people, every person who thought they were alone with all there pain. Thank you so much for writing, please continue everything your doing. We all support you.

    1. Milly-Mae, your words mean more to me than you can know, and I will hold them in my heart. It is a privilege to share what I have written and to know it is affecting lives. Please read my letter whenever you need – you too are NEEDED and STRONG and DESERVING. Make it your mantra. You are not alone, even when it feels that way. I know how it feels, too. But it is a lie, we are not alone! Keep fighting! I am cheering you on, Milly-Mae, as you have cheered for me. I have so much HOPE for us both.

  2. Anna,
    I understand your struggle. I have experienced the same. I know the fight to stay alive. You don’t want to end your life, just stop the pain. Hold on to your dreams. They sound fabulous and are so worth fighting for. Free yourself from guilt and allow yourself time. Keep sharing your thoughts, reaching out to others and try something new this year. Sometimes distractions get us through the toughest of times. Big hugs to you and lots of prayers for your pain to lessen.

    1. Jacquelyn, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. It was so scary to share this part of myself, but I want to help others who suffer and feel alone.

  3. Wonderful words of encouragement and life affirmation. You have an amazing gift of expression that is so helpful for those struggling.

  4. Thank you for sharing you thoughts and feelings so openly and honestly. By doing so, you are helping remove stigma and helping others. You are strong and brave ❤️

  5. Such honesty and love in these words. It’s so generous of you to share your feelings and your tools that you have developed to keep you safe. Keep fighting. You are worth it.

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