If you ever feel like giving up on life, read this.

When you’re an “overly emotional” person like me, thinking about quitting life can hit you anytime, anywhere. It was one evening in August when the thought recurred to me. I don’t remember the exact words that were thrown at me earlier that day that led to this decision… Well actually, I blurred it out of my mind because just the thought of it puts me back to that really dark night.

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That night was pitch black not only for the long day’s over but also because I am in the corner of the house, the only place I could cry. Nobody in there bothered to ask how I was holding up so I managed to stay out of their way. Even though the sound of the rain through the roof was piercing through my ears, all I heard was that my opinions don’t matter. I was invisible and they won’t listen. I wasn’t being treated like a person and it was so frustrating that I began to question the whole point of my existence.

I felt pain in my back for leaning towards my own hands to wipe my own tears and for the baggage that I have been carrying my entire life. I couldn’t see through my swollen eyes and the tears that ran like a river. As I gasped for air, it felt like drowning in the shower and lighting a stick or two was the switch. It has always helped me take deep breaths and sort my thoughts. I usually call my friends for a bottle or two in the process, but not that night. Everything was closed due to the pandemic – even the roads, as imposed by the curfew. I finished the entire pack and got no other lifelines.

If you are reading this in the midst of wanting to quit life, there is a chance that your experience is way worse than mine. Heck, you might even be so sure! But let me tell you what: it’s not a competition. Being in a dark place feels the same for everyone – suffocating… and it seems to be the easiest way out.

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People say “that’s life, live with it” a lot, but what if I don’t want to live with it? I don’t want to continue living in the dark. I don’t want to wake up to hate and anger anymore. I don’t want to keep waking up day after day to see that nothing has changed or nothing ever will. Well, I won’t tell you to “live with it.” Instead, I will ask you to go on and quit it because I did. I quit THAT life.

Somewhere in the dark, I decided to take a sharp turn and led my life in a different direction. I realized that there are struggles that I would rather brace through than what I was given as default. I discovered that there is a different kind of life that I could be living and ever since I did, my mind has never been this peaceful. I have chosen a battle where I can heal my old scars rather than just letting them bleed the life out of me.

I stopped waking up every single day waiting for a miracle. That one day, things will magically change. For the longest time, I wanted them to listen and see me eye to eye but they never did. I knew I had to deal with the problem in a different way to achieve a different (and hopefully better) result. I decided to take control of my life because if I never want to be in a dark place ever again, I will not let myself be trapped and left without a choice. That’s why I refocused all my energy on creating the life I wanted to live.

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Like how a plant outgrows its pot, sometimes you just need to pull yourself out of what constrains you and put down your roots in a much healthier environment. It might be your job, partner, or maybe even family… and I’m not saying that it’s easy. It will take a lot of sacrifices but you will need to empty your hands to make room for growth. I used to see emptiness as an unfortunate thing but now, I have associated it with ‘courage’ for the best time to take the leap of faith is when you’ve got nothing left to lose.

Dear person reading this who is hurting right now, I know it’s hard to get out of bed when you can’t see the light. I hope that instead of letting go, you find the courage to hold your breath until you can finally pull yourself out of the tears that drown you. In my experience, I was able to grab a pen which saved me by releasing all the pain in writing. I hope that you, too, can stretch out your arm to grab your own lifesaver because, underneath the pain, you will find happiness. Clear the path towards it and live it.

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