Moderators - forgive me if this is in the wrong forum. Thought I'd share it within an active one where it is most visible and potentially helpful to others. ================================= I'm just like you. I'm someone who has contemplated suicide. A tiny forest spider convinced me not to go through with it, which eventually led me to this forum. I'll explain. I'm middle age, approaching 40. All of my life, all I've wanted is to be happy. I think most people are looking for this in one form or another. It seems so elusive, this thing called happiness. Even when burdened with the seemingly endless trials of life, we ache for a return to being happy. I know this all too well. Over the years, I'd have bouts with very deep depression, mostly relating to feeling limited by money and being out of control of life. One time, I literally could not get out of bed. Fairly recently, I was lying in my bed wondering if I had anything to contribute to the world. Being the age I am and having virtually no accomplishments, some debts and very few friends, I wondered if I would ever experience a sense of fullness or joy. I felt so mediocre. But then, even the wonder went away. Why even bother thinking about it? Why get up in the morning? Hopelessness, despair, LONELINESS - feeling so separate, alone, unloved. A meaningless, empty, flat existence where you wonder if anyone would notice if you were gone. Why bother? Why try? Recently, I started having thoughts about killing myself. I'd thought about it before, but this time it had an ominous finality to it. Nobody seemed to care about me, I wasn't where I wanted to be in life, I have so little to offer the world because I have little to begin with. Why try? Why go on? Why even bother connecting with people or things - they will just let you down, no happiness there. I'm a selfish, closed, helpless, unlovable failure. An incomplete, utterly pathetic mediocrity who pretends he is on par. These were my thoughts, and they would recur over the years and very strongly a few weeks ago. That is, until I took a walk in the forest. I slumped down next to a tree, put my backpack on the ground and got a small knife out of one of it's compartments. I kept it there in case I wanted to cut anything. <mod edit - methods> I saw the blade glinting back at me as I contemplated how painful it would be. Just end it there in a forest, unceremoniously, in some poor sap's back yard. They'd find my body eventually, but not for days or weeks, possibly. What would it be like if I were gone? Nobody would care. Why not just do it? As I had my agonizing, twisted conversation with myself, I spied a spider - a daddy long legs, crawling along on my leg. I flinched and reflexively blew it off my leg and watched it stumble into the forest heath beneath me. Then I watched as this tiny, miniscule being got its bearings again and started gingerly crawling across the forest floor, unfettered by the misfortune of being tossed asunder into the wood by what amounted to a tornado touching down on its frail little body. It simply got back up, and delicately started ambling to where it felt it instinctively needed to be. Part of me was intrigued. And the distraction felt nice. I watched it with intent. When she would encounter a twig, leaf, or pile of dirt in the way, she would expertly find a method to avert or overcome it. She would feel around her, test the ground with her sensors. She navigated through relative piles of craggy terrain, stories of kindling and miles of rubbish blocking her passage, until she came to my bag. Surely, she wouldn't try to climb it. That's when I noticed she was missing a leg. No matter. She kept going. She found my bag, extended her delicate legs, felt the textures and pulled herself up. And she kept going. She didn't stop, even with that missing leg. She came to rest in a small nook on the side. At this point, I broke down and bawled to myself. This tiny creature, whom in other circumstances, I would have sneered upon, humbled me. Here she was, traversing heaps of earth, climbing my bag, and doing it so gingerly and effectively with one leg missing. I was humbled, amazed, so appreciative... and resolute that I would not kill myself - ever. If one tiny, inconsequential spider can find the muster and will in itself to overcome amazing odds with one leg missing, what right have I to complain? Once I had a few moments to contemplate my realization, I gently nudged the spider from my bag onto a nearby leaf and let her traverse the forest floor once again, thanking her. I got up and went back to where I was staying. Surfed the internet a couple of weeks later and found this forum. Reading the experiences here has made me realize the depths of despair... and compassion. I'm not alone and neither are you - not by a long shot. The tough thing is seeing it when you are drowning in depression and hopelessness. And it seems like such a distant possibility to recover when you are merely reading a stranger's words on the internet. Believe me - I know it. I know what it is like to be in the lowest bowels of the helliest emotional hell on Earth. You may be solitary, but you are never, ever alone. Look at all of the other individuals on this forum. They are just like you! You think you are alone or useless? No way! Reading some of the accounts here made me think of what my death would do to my mother. She would be destroyed. There is absolutely no way I could ever take my own life simply on her account. She would become non-functional. The heartache and break would be too much to bear. I don't want to write much more than that, otherwise I wouldn't have the focus to write anymore. Suffice it to say my heart breaks when I read of so much suffering in this forum. So many good people in quiet desperation. Compassion pours forth for you! More importantly in my case, reading these experiences (and others on a suicide survivor forum and how devastating suicide is for those left behind) has cast out thoughts of suicide from my mind forever. I will never go through with it. I suppose you could say the forum's writings have helped to save my life. And it was all thanks to a spider's wisdom and the experiences I read here. For anyone who is feeling suicidal, or has felt this way for some time - there is ALWAYS a way out and it need not be taking your own life. It may take time to feel better, or longer than you'd like, but you can do it. I know how lost, lonely, small, far removed, unloved, limited and worthless you feel. I know you are in mental and emotional anguish, the pain is unbearable, and has been for a long time. I've been there, and it is a dark, dismal, hopeless place. You are NOT ALONE, no matter how separate and lost you feel. I know how you pretend things are OK, going through the motions. I know how disconnected you feel, wishing you could reach out and say something, but afraid of being judged or dismissed. I know how you act like the strong one, but underneath, you wish it could all end. Maybe you even have a plan to end your life. There ARE people who love and care about you, who won't judge you for sharing how you feel with them. Maybe it's your mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, friend, or stranger on the internet. You can talk to someone and they will listen. I'm one of them, by the way. I'll be here if you need me to listen to you, without judgment. There are ALWAYS better ways than taking your own life. You are supremely valued and can offer this world a treasure just by being here. Hang in there, keep going, never stop. Be that daddy long legs in the woods, friend. So maybe now is the time to give yourself just a little appreciation, just a wee bit of compassion. You've been through a lot. Don't you deserve to give yourself a little leeway, understanding? I don't know you, but I think you deserve it. Life can be rough, so why not quit being so hard on yourself for just 5 minutes today - give yourself that gift. And keep going. It can get better if you allow it.