How To Live When You Want To Die

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

On the day you were born, a little ticking clock inside you was activated. That clock was set to stop ticking on one day: your deathday. Yes, no matter who you are or where you come from, one thing is certain: you will die someday. Nobody knows when that day will come, but it will come for sure. This knowledge alone should be enough to motivate all of us to treasure life. Unfortunately, due to challenging situations, chronic illnesses, or mental disorders like depression, some of us struggle with everyday life. Sometimes, we want to end it all because it seems impossible to go on. In other words, depression makes us feel like there is nothing to live for. In times like these, when life feels hopeless, joyless, and meaningless, it is crucial to find reasons to stay alive.

Your Reasons To Live Don’t Need To Be Groundbreaking

Owing to inspirational success stories and hustle culture, many of us are made to believe that we all have some great purpose to fulfill in life. This purpose is what keeps us going on the hardest days, when everything is bleak and tiresome. While it’s great if you have found such a purpose, it is not necessary to look for it if you haven’t. In fact, it’s probably better if you forget about purpose when you are feeling suicidal. Instead, look for multiple reasons—big, small, and aspirational—to stay alive. Diversify.

Stop taking yourself seriously. Forget about leaving a legacy. Just focus on staying alive, and try to have some fun in the process.

Have Something To Look Forward To

If you need something more than reasons to live, try this exercise: close your eyes and think of at least one thing that would make your life better. Now make a plan to make it a part of your life. Again, your “one thing” doesn’t need to be groundbreaking, what matters is that it is meaningful to you. Working towards it will give you hope for a better tomorrow and as long as you have hope, you will be able to stay alive. Indeed, hope is crucial not just for depressed and/or suicidal people, it is crucial for all of us to keep moving forward in life.

Break the monotony of everyday life and push yourself to do something you wanted to do in the past. Push your boundaries. Now is the time to get wild and adventurous.

Focus On Helping People Or Animals In Need

One of the most effective ways to cope with passive suicidal ideation is to distract yourself from your problems. And what could be a more wholesome distraction than helping those in need? Volunteering at your local animal shelter or feeding the homeless will help you to escape from your issues in a healthy manner. You will also feel better about yourself and may even find purpose in improving the lives of those who society has given up on.

Helping others is also likely to give you a new perspective on resilience, recovery, and life.

Suicide Opens The Door To An Unknown Realm

Life isn’t easy but at least we know some facts about it. Suicide is not the answer to your problems because nobody knows what happens after it is successful. Death is 100% guaranteed at the end of life anyway. While alive, you can get help, respite, distractions, and even some moments of surprise and joy, if not recovery.

Taking away your life means giving up all of the above permanently and entering an unknown realm. It’s okay if you don’t think life is beautiful…I don’t think it is either. But it has its moments, and we have to spot, appreciate, and create those to keep living. Please fight for yourself. You matter.

Whether you are experiencing passive or active suicidal ideation, do not suffer in silence. Here is a list of free helplines where you can talk to someone for support:

If you cannot get through to a helpline or need more support, consult a licensed therapist. There are quite a few free and affordable options listed at

Recommended Reading:

22 Answers to ‘Why Should I Stay Alive?’ 

5 Real Reasons to Keep Living, Minus The Fluff

51 Formerly Suicidal People Explain Why They Decided To Keep Living

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