Beyond The End

This first step is so hard; knowing where to begin, what to say.

Many of you aren’t at a place of considering ending your life… but some of you are. So I’ll begin as if you who are reading this are at your end and this one chapter may be your last resort. And I’ll begin just talking, and trusting that it will carry you where I hope it may carry you.

Everything feels different, when you arrive at this place of feeling like there is nothing left for you other than death.

When you had some measure of hope, you were still trying, you had some spark of energy for the effort. You were busy inside your head trying to figure things out, panicking, casting about for options, grasping at the littlest hope. Feeling terrified, angry, despairing, frustrated, lost, seeking, buffeted back and forth between all your pressures, fears, unhappiness. You’ve been so immersed in the drama and turmoil of your failing life, a life that has been plummeting downhill, likely for years. A life which seems to have finally run out of any options that allow you to live further. Finally you fail, nowhere left to turn.

And then something inside you crosses some invisible line, and you feel: it’s over. You let go of the battle. It’s no longer a matter of ‘deciding’, because deciding means you still have energy, still have options and choices. No, you arrive at this place of having no options other than to surrender, to let go your battle.

But there is a while, between.

There is some amount of time between arriving at the place of giving up on your life… and taking that final step. And in that pause–minutes, hours, maybe even days or longer–everything feels different. Suspended. You might still be in a state of trapped panic, lost blindness, marrow-deep fear, barren sadness; or those extreme feelings may leave and you may experience almost a semblance of peace when you enter this in-between place.

Not true peace, because the feelings that brought you here still remain; you’ll still have your fear, some anguish, a deep sadness, you’ll feel the loss of a life you wish you could have made better, you’ll feel the irretrievable finality of what you’re about to do. But whether panicking or in some peace, you will still feel life differently now, because you know it’s the end.

And because you’re leaving, you feel some things losing their grip on you, some of those things that forced you here. That’s why you’re leaving: to make those painful things lose their grip on you. As soon as you arrive at the place of realizing you’re ready to end it, much of the grip these things had on your life… dissolves.

And other things dissolve their grip, too. The people and world moving around you are still so busy, so entirely caught up in their striving, their wanting, their thinking that everything is so important, they’re still holding strongly to their stresses and worries and everything they want and must try to achieve…

…And you’re going. You’re now outside of all that. You’re here among them, yet you’re detached and separate. You’ve left whatever they’re still in the middle of, you’ve left whatever you used to be in the middle of. You’re stepping outside of the great whirl of problems that led to your failed life.

And it’s strange, it’s new ground for you: it took your realization of this being the end, before you could finally let go of all the mess you were in. When you know you don’t have to face tomorrow, don’t have to face any more tomorrows filled with pain and hopelessness and consequences, then the huge part of your turmoil–how to face tomorrow, what to do today and tomorrow, how to solve things–dissolves. Just knowing you won’t be around to face it all, dissolves so much inside you.

And that stuff was taking up a huge amount of space in your head and your life. Now that it’s dissolving… there is some new open space in your head, in your feelings. A part of you becomes kind of blank, now that the survival struggle has gone. You can’t try anymore, can’t go back into that life that was killing you. So it’s just a matter of how long you dwell in this in-between, before you receive the signal that tells you it’s time for your final voluntary movement as a live being on this earth.

It’s a strange new limbo to be in; just existing, at the end, waiting for the signal.

Your consciousness feels different. You know what sleep feels like, what awake feels like, you may know what being drunk or stoned feel like, being depressed or manic, all shadings of consciousness. But now your entire consciousness feels a little different, day and night. Almost like, now that the rest of your life has shut down, you’re waking up a little, before the end. Maybe you almost feel like it’s the first time you truly know what you’re leaving, now that you’re faced with actually leaving it.

If you really have arrived at the place of knowing it’s the end for you, then you will know what I’m describing. You’ll be feeling it, in your own way. This in-between, this limbo. It might be pretty messy for you, still much turmoil and panic, or it might be calmer and clearer; you’ll each experience it in your own unique combination based on your mind and your circumstances. But you’ll feel some of that essence I described, some of that difference in how you perceive everything. Your mind is altering in activity and reality, so you have to feel different once you arrive here.

And I’m sorry that your life up until now has been so hard on you, sorry it has put you through the grinder of pain that brought you here, to awaiting the signal for your next and final step. Because if you’re in this final holding-area, this in-between of feeling resigned to your end and just waiting for the signal to do it, then you’re so close to the edge that you have only four possibilities left:

First, our minds change so quickly, often in response to the most subtle thing. You never know what will suddenly occur to you to change your thoughts, feelings, and situation entirely. You don’t know the depth of your own mind, none of us do, and no matter how lost you feel… there is something in you far deeper than your current knowledge of yourself. Something that just may rise from the depths and illuminate you, shake you, re-shape you, re-wire you, save you.

Second, there’s the possibility that someone or something else might swoop in and save you. It does happen, and very often. It’s amazing how often people reach ‘the end’ and can no longer save themselves, but something or someone swoops in to save them, in ways that are too varied and unpredictable to possibly imagine or hope for.

Third, you can also be so isolated from others, and so hidden and private with what you’re going through that, for whatever reason, you’re not reaching out or you feel you can’t reach out, and others can’t get to you.  Let’s face it, many people don’t hear any deep inner voice that arises to save them, and that outside person or event doesn’t appear. If something wondrous happened to save everyone, there would be no such thing as suicide, would there? But there is suicide, it happens, people run out of the ability to save themselves and an outside savior does not always appear. So you arrive at the only option you see to escape the pain:

You feel your final option is to take your step into ending it all, to ending you. Sometimes, all too often, this is what happens. You can’t seem to rescue yourself, nothing else saves you, and you receive the ‘it’s time to check out’ signal, and you take the steps to end your life. Thankfully, even at this stage, often it isn’t the end, and something happens to save you even after you’ve taken the step. The world, the people around you, whatever ‘presence’ you believe in or have lost faith in, there are a lot of forces trying to save you, even if you don’t see them and you don’t think they’re there.

But let’s not go to that third option.
Not today, okay?
I want you to allow a fourth possibility.

Rocky Ground

The rocky ground you’re on… is small, definable, compared to the illimitable that is available to you if you only…

This possibility is a giant step beyond all previous options. It’s taking a massive step beyond ending your life. It’s a step that takes you into territory you’ve never been, and it’s the option that your entire life has been driving you to but which you could not see.

Sometimes
The last resort
Is the first thing
You must do.

I hope you can step beyond, into total surrender.

Killing yourself is not the furthest step you can take. Killing yourself is not surrender. Killing yourself is still far, far back there. It’s still stuck in the same behavior, the same way of thought, the same way of living your life, that led to everything crashing down and imploding into your life-failure.

Killing yourself is still trying to control your outcome. Your life so far has been about trying to make things happen: make things better, make a change, make it work out, make something–anything!–change for the better. And all your making just didn’t work out. Everything you read that told you how to succeed and save yourself, everyone who told you that you could do it, succeed, solve your problems… it all fell short. It didn’t work. You couldn’t make it work, and they couldn’t make it work for you. All that making, making, making, trying, trying, trying, forcing it to work but you could not make it work.

Your ‘making’, your effort to try force a better outcome, did not succeed. It failed. It failed in a big way, a way that ended up in your total life-failure. And now things are so hopeless and painful and scary, you still want to ‘make’: you want to make it all go away. And since you can’t make it go away, now there’s only one thing left you know you can make happen: the end of you. You can make you go away from the pain.

You, who failed to make anything you wanted to happen, now wants to try force the one last thing you can control and succeed at. It’s still the old you, still the failing you, ‘making’ that decision and ‘making’ that happen.

Beyond The Shadows

If you can’t seem to make anything better… can you just LET? If you’re stuck in the shadows, maybe if you can just let, it will open you up to the bright ocean beyond.

So why not go beyond being like that?

You have never tried going beyond.

Why not extend a tiny little trust to this new ‘in-between’ area, and see where it takes you?

You do not know what will happen.
You do not know what should happen.
Open, and stay open.

Why not let go of waiting for the signal to end it all? Why not keep letting go, as if you were still dying… only don’t take your own life, don’t make that final action happen. Why not stay in this place for a while? Indefinitely? I don’t mean re-entering your old failing life of hoping and searching for something better, a way to work things out. I mean… let all that go, too.

Let the signal go. Let the suicide go. Let the trying and hoping for something better, go. And just ‘let’, and nothing else?

Just let.

You’ve already given up your life. You were going to kill yourself. So you have nothing to lose by just letting. If anything saves you, you don’t need to start grasping for it again, you just let it save you. And if ‘it’ is going to kill you, then it will. But why help it? Don’t do that to yourself anymore.

Just let. Let some deeper force shape your life, and all that is happening in it.

Please trust me that far, and let yourself JUST LET.

Let yourself breathe for awhile longer, and leave everything else to just letting.

I’m trying to buy a little time, with you. If you weren’t at your very end, then you’d still be reaching out to whoever you could, calling a friend, seeing a therapist, calling a suicide hotline or people like the Samaritans.  And it would have been fine for me to send you to other parts of my book and website, the rest of my writings will help spread open your mind and life and will help illuminate just what brought you to this lost state of your life. What I write is very real, it’s not just recycled from the plethora of feel-good motivational spiritual fluff you have to wade through these days.

But as I write this, I have to assume you’re at the end of things you’ve tried, and for whatever reasons you don’t seem to have access to anything or anyone else that can offer help. I have to assume that I’m your final reach-out for help. I have to write this not as if you have a lot of time and options to try other things, but as if I’m your last option. That’s the only way I can write anything that is real enough to maybe pierce through to you.

If you haven’t realized it by now, I’ve been to the edge. Quite a few times, and over a few decades. And the fluff and motivational stuff never worked for me. The spiritual and religious stuff never worked for me. So I had to go deep, head straight toward what was chewing the life out of me. I had to have the ultimate sit-down with myself and face all of me in the mirror. What I found reflected there is what I have to give you, to say to you. And it is all I have to give and to say to you. So I have to dig deep.

I cannot save you, I know that. But I can speak from a place that is so open and unadorned that I know you’ll recognize it’s coming from someone who has been to the edge… and I’m still alive now, and I’m still facing everything. And I hope that is enough to keep you listening a little more, trusting what I say just a little bit.

And if so, then I hope I’ve bought a little more time with you. I didn’t solve anything for you on this page, I just shot for the absolute minimum: I wanted to get you to the end of this chapter, and then I want you to get through the next chapter. And after that, the next. I want to try buy a lot more time with you, and my price is how well I hear even some small part of your voice. And whatever further time I get with you, I want to use that time to keep planting more and more powerful seeds in you, and to get each of those seeds sprouting from your dark ground out into the air and sun, just enough sprout to maybe grab hold of a reason for living again.

I want to get you through the next few chapters. One by one. Everything that brought you to this place of wanting to end it all, is in these first few chapters. Everything. And whatever can be done to save you, is also there. No matter what your issue is, it’s all in there. After those few, the rest of the chapters just help you continue from there, move you past survival and into coping and resolving. But the first chapters… that’s the stuff that will save you, if you can hear it.

I don’t want to lose you. You matter to the world and to me.

Please, please, get to the next chapter, and then the next. I’m currently hoping to rewrite everything better, and add so many more words to fill in the many gaps; when I first wrote this site I had a small window of life with which to do so. I wrote from the heart and from experience and tried to say as much as possible, but there is still so much missing. I would really like to write those many missing parts, and one day I hope my life takes a shape around circumstances which allow me to complete this.

***A brief note: in my years with this website, I’ve never linked to an outside site. I have considered starting my own forum, where people can talk with everyone about their issues, but I have not done that yet. However, a site has recently begun, and they are doing it better than I could. If you don’t want to read more articles by me, and instead you want to interact with others who are either considering suicide or who have ‘been there’, I recommend heading over to www.SuicideForum.com. I have no affiliation with that site… but they’re doing something I wanted to do, and they’re doing it well.

For now, if you wish to continue reading on my site, please begin Here.

There Is Beauty

Just me. Not a male supermodel, not rich (often broke), not famous, not much of anything. But I love things, I love people, I’m still here, I still face everything, and I know that you do matter. And I know there is beauty in the world.

There Is Beauty

There is beauty in the world.

62 Comments

  • jps says:

    I have been so selfish and irresponsible all my life. I’ve squandered everything I was given and didn’t realize it until recently. I thought I was doing ok but now I realize how many people I have let down and how selfish I have been. I want to change but I can’t seem to do it. The worst thing is I have a daughter who is only 12, I’m in my 50s, and her life has been turned upside down because my financial irresponsibility has caught up with me. I have scarred her by letting her see my pain and confusion, I actually told her I thought I was losing my mind before I was hospitalized. God help her and me. But every time I look in the Bible now, I see the same messages. Such as, he who has something will be given even more, and he who has little will lose even what he thought he had. I thought I had love in my heart but it wasn’t enough and now I am going numb. I am even too selfish to kill myself. And afraid it would make things worse for the people I’ve already hurt. I feel like nothing I do will matter now, I’ve already ruined so many lives but they just don’t realize it yet. They think if I just keep taking the meds, etc., I will get better. I can’t afford any more treatment and they tell me not to worry about the money. I can’t even stand to look my daughter in the eye, her baby pictures are killing me, how could I have been so selfish. And the worst thing is I think I was selfish to even bring her into the world knowing how messed up I was. I had trichotillomania and have to wear a wig. I smoked too much weed and now I am clean but it’s too late. Now I am selfishly laying this in front of you but I know there is nothing you can do. I have physical symptoms that they say are all in my head, and no energy. I just want to eat and sleep. I am trying but all I can do is go through the motions. My husband calls me from work to make sure I take my meds and I take them. I will end up driving him crazy too.

    • Bannen says:

      Hello JPS, I’m reading something deeper going on with you, something running below everything you just said. Something that’s been eating at you for a long time, perhaps since childhood, and which has led to all kinds of painful choices for you. I’m reading a very hurt sense of self, an empty sense of worthiness, and other things… I have emailed you.

  • Maddy says:

    It’s so long, I’m so apathetic. I’ve tried looking up so much advice but it’s too difficult to find the motivation to read it. I’m so lonely. I’m not in crisis but I think that one day I might be. And I don’t even have the energy to read past the first few sentences of most help pages. I just want to sleep all of the time.

    • Bannen says:

      Hi Maddy, you’re lonely and out of energy for a reason. Those aren’t the problem, those are the outward symptoms of something that is going on at a deeper level. I could guess in a hundred different directions but it would all be guesses at this stage. It would be much better if you began by saying a few things about your life until now… I think you already know some of the answers but maybe you just haven’t said them out loud to yourself or to anyone. Would you like to start with me? I have emailed you.

  • Julia says:

    Bannen,

    I am crying while I write this because I’ve never read something where someone really “gets” what I’ve been going through– the raw, gritty feelings that no self-help book or psychologist can capture in words. There is beauty in the world, I keep forgetting that. I’m okay, I just wanted to thank you for your words. I do matter to the world and it meant so much to read that. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Notorious Ron says:

    I am terminally ill with multiple diseases . Bannen , when is it OK to say I have suffered enough ? The pain is at a level 9-10 most all the time now . Morphine is the only drug that relieves it for a short time . I am so over all this . When your dog is so sick and going to die you take it to the vet and put it to sleep . Why as humans are we left to suffer until our disease finally kills us in pain and agony ? Oh God Please take me in my sleep this night !

    • Bannen says:

      Ron, it is your life, your pain and joy, and your death. Only you can have the final say about when to let go of the struggle. I have emailed you.

  • Carol says:

    nothing here but me. every. single. day. nobody needs me – except my beautiful loving dogs and, well … I can find a home for them (but it would break my heart … oh wait it’s already broken). Guilty tho because they are my family now. downsizing can’t come fast enough. I started downsizing thinking about positioning for the next phase of my life – nearing retirement. now I look at it differently. downsizing = less of a mess to leave behind. peaceful in a way.

    • Bannen says:

      You say nobody needs you… but is that what you are measuring your life by?

      What would you like from your own life? What would give you joy to do, to create? What would give you fulfillment, to do and to create?

      Is retirement such a loss? Or is it an opening to something more authentic, which you hadn’t considered before?

      I have emailed you.

  • Kathleen says:

    Oh yes…..you do “get it”. Just knowing that someone does, is very helpful. I’ve been to the edge of the dark abyss and have managed to avoid just letting myself slide into it…..although at times, it has been seductive, telling me that if I just “go”…..my pain will disappear ….a surcease from all the troubles/heartache….then I grab hold and tell myself that the abyss lies…..it is the ultimate deceiver. I must still have some value in this world…..and to others. That nascent belief is what keeps me here…although, at times, the abyss still seductively whispers…..

    • Bannen says:

      I sense a real thinker and a poet in you, yes? And also a person who has had her share of suffering (maybe that creates the best thinkers and poets…). I have emailed you, Kathleen.

  • Arm's says:

    i dont know why im even here writing when i dont believe anyone can help, but please respond. i cannot live with myself anymore.

  • Jules says:

    I have been dead inside for ever now. There isn’t another point to try and break through this when people treat you like a reject. The only thing that makes me happy now is thinking about my own death. I hope others make it through but not me. Life is just pain and suffering. If I told you my age you wouldn’t understand. So goodbye world. Forever

    • Bannen says:

      So you have a lifetime of feeling suffering, and you’ve been treated poorly by others, either because there may be something ‘different’ about you, or you happened to have a life within a circle of people who are not good people, or there is something about your culture that causes others (and you) to think poorly of something you are, but something which is natural and you have no control over.
      Your ‘external’ life shapes who you are. So if you have a life where people make you feel awful or unworthy, you grow up to believe that and that’s what you start to think about yourself… miserable, not worth living, suffering, rejection.
      But you also have the option, the chance later in life, to let go of how others make you feel and think about yourself, and begin to explore who you are to YOU, and only you. You have the opportunity to define yourself, without anyone else’s input. If you do that… who will you discover? I have emailed you.

  • MADHVI says:

    PLZZZ help me fight against my family specially my sis plzz help me to get her out of my way they are driving me crazy .

    i stay with my family in a good city. m 26 years old . i lost my father when i was 6 years old my mom bought us very well we were financially well . i lived with my mom and my elder sister. prior every thing was allright our life was very smooth we had some quarrels but not such. later after some year she got engadged to guy we suported her in all manner but later they broke up and she went insane and drived us crzy by all her unwanted tantrums and everything by trying to commit suicide and all but my mom and i gave her full support in her harsh time all though she gave us such painfull troubles like tried to kill me several times and even during my board exams she threw my books in well so i cannot study and all things. then too we barred all things and tried to get her back normal.

    later we married her to a person. every thing was good as she left our house we were in peace but she continued her attitude at her in -laws house because her husband did not gave money at home so ever then and now my mom has to visit her place and sort each and every thing and at time back at my home i was left all alone at home i had some friends but did not liked to hang out with them i just like to seat at home and like to liesten songs and just be alone. in that time duration i met a person and fell in love with him went good all the time but gradually with time interval we got brakeup whole again due to the lot of interferance of my sister as she always keep on cunning to my mom so my mom was at the same age of 20 we should get marry but we neede to settle so we got appart.

    i was down for some time but consoled my self that it was my destiny. i moved on happily in my life.

    after some time my sister came back home with her husband and started leaving in our house form last 5 years. and that is the day i haven’t till date took breath of peace in my life every day there is fight at home like a fish market only noise.

    she do not work any where she just seats at home and do cunning.

    my mom do not understand me and now i’am sick of alll this thing either take her out of my life or else i will quite my life plzz help me i beg you guys help me i don’t want to leave nw.

    bcoz to the person to whom i love is miles of away from me in canada and ‘m in india he cannot come back as he haven’t got his pr yet and back in my home i keep on liestning every day go o your home altjough i have an independent business but do not have that much money that can either buy my own home or else i go to canada to my love.

    plzzz help me. plzz help me

    • Bannen says:

      To my readers: sometimes people grow up in certain cultures that really trap them and make life miserable or even unlivable. I hear from many like this. Many countries in the world provide options and help to trapped people, but many cultures do not, they only make the trap worse. If you’re in the trap, you have no money, no power, no one to help you, no apparent escape, and life is intensely hard for you every hour of the day… what do you do? When ‘doing’ is no longer an option that helps you, all that is left is ‘not-doing’. Surrender. Letting. It is not passive, it is very powerful and it takes courage. And when ‘doing’ doesn’t work, surrender is all that is left to save you. And it usually does. I must write my chapter on Surrender soon.
      To Madhvi, I have emailed you.

  • Star says:

    I walk that void wasteland totally disconnected from everyone and everything around me and in reading your work I know that Oour footprints have crossed over one another in the barren wilderness.
    Star

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