One day I woke up and decided I needed a change. So I moved. I grabbed my car, my savings and left. I got a job as an assistant at a finance firm. I left after three months. It was only a matter of time before they found out I never really memorized the times table. The job helped me find an apartment. It was enough to show my landlord there was some stability. But I wasn't stable. Mentally I never was. I'd always been depressive and suicidal. I contemplated the thought of suicide constantly. I still do, but not as much and not as real. Now I'm an adult so I'm stuck thinking about the consequences of suicide, especially to those who love me. Fun fact, my therapist has a theory about those thoughts. She says, because my mind is so messy, the thought of suicide brings me peace. She's not wrong. I did plan my death a few times. The most vivid memory is with my high school best friend, who by the way is winning at life. We were sick of the world, of the hypocrisy, of the people around us, the troubles. Imagine that. We were just teenagers and were already sucked up by how messed up this world can be. And Donald Trump wasn't even our president. We planned to cut the brakes of the car and drive through a road that lived up to its name, death road. I'm not even making this up. It had only two lanes, both going in the opposite direction. People always crashed on that road. I remember ten minutes of silence at our school on the regular. That could have been my best friend and I. Cassandra, that's her name. She picked me up at my parents and off we went. She was so peaceful and ready to die. I, on the other hand, struggled with the idea. We hadn't cut the cables yet. I don't even know if she knew how to cut the cables. I sure as hell didn't. As we approached death road, I decided it wasn't the right time for us. "Maybe it's not a good idea to do this today. Why don't we just go to the party?", I said. To the party, we went. End of that story. Later she moved away with her family to Colombia. I was heartbroken for a while. I graduated from high school and started college.
The suicide thoughts followed. I'd been doing the pills thing for a while. I'm probably messed up inside from taking more than the suggested dose. One day I woke up just wanting to die. I remember my eyes red and swollen from all the crying. I'd found these expired small gel capsules. I took the whole bottle. Shortly after, a tingle rushed from my feet up to my throat. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't speak. I was going to die. Suddenly, it was all too real. I didn't want to die. I wasn't ready. I couldn't leave my family. What if there was something better? How would I ever find out if I died at that moment in time? I had to stop this. I ran to the bathroom and forced out as much as I could. I vomited. I could breathe a little. I called a friend I'd met in college. She rushed me to the emergency room. By the time we got there, I was feeling a lot better. So good that as the nurse was distracted recording my info, I fled. In my mind, they would never know what brought me to that hospital. Even better, my parents would never find out. How ignorant of me.
Days later, there was a bill on the table, already opened. “What’s this?” mom asked. I pretended I had no idea. She knew. Both my parents knew I attempted suicide. Mom eventually took me to see a therapist. The therapist asked if I'd ever tried killing myself. I told him, “If I say yes, you're gonna lock me up.” He nodded, “I can't tell you that.” So, I lied. I told him no. Then, we went for a walk around the mental hospital. As we toured the facility, I saw people in hospital gowns and a part of me felt like I belonged there, but I wasn't willing to find out.
I never tried to kill myself again. The thought faded for a while, but then I got hurt. People, bad decisions, terrible friendships. They were constant contributors to my redeveloping suicidal thoughts. This time, they were more concrete. It was scarier because I didn't fear it as I did before. I was amused by it. I was just afraid of the act itself. How would I do it? I tried the pills. It was painful. Not as easy as I thought it would be. Jumping off a bridge or a building didn't guarantee death, nor did a gun. That for me was never an option, though. I didn't like guns. I find them to be cowardice. The only option left was hanging myself. It didn't seem so difficult. Everyone was doing it. Celebrity police reports were descriptive of every detail. Even the feces. That's right… poop. People shit themselves in their last breath. I don't know if it's from fear or just the pressure in the body. I haven't bothered to look it up. Here's my theory. You know when you have to go to the bathroom and when you finally do, you feel free? It feels like a weight has been lifted, literally. That’s relief, the not having to worry about life and all its excruciating occurrences. If my theory is correct, that relief only works for the person committing suicide. But again that feeling. The one I had when I was younger. What if things get better? How will I ever know? I won't. I never would because I'd be robbing myself of finding out. I'd be robbing myself of a future. Or maybe even getting hit by a tree or struck by lightning. Wouldn't that be ironic? I sure as heck wouldn't wanna miss that laugh.
I choose to live. Besides, things do get interesting. You’ll see.
Liz Diaz is a fictional character created by Jessica G. Ferrer. Any similarities to real life are coincidental.