A New List

By Ellie DitommasoJanuary 20, 2021

This piece mentions the topics of suicide and suicidal thoughts. Please use your discretion.

Today I thought about the ways I could kill myself. A mental list formed in my mind. I have tried many times before and I know the outcome of doing this. But still, my mind veered in this direction once again.

As I sat there contemplating if I would be missed and how people would react, I started replaying the moments after waking up in the hospital. The way my mother’s eyes looked so exhausted and empty as she had to yet again pack me a bag, making sure to check my sweatpants and hoodies for strings. I remembered the times I caused my older brother to cry because he couldn’t stand to see me destroy myself. I replayed the conversation I had with my mother when she told me she was terrified to leave the house because she feared coming home to find I hadn’t survived another attempt. The next thoughts to occupy my mind were how my dog, cat, and other pets need their mother and someday I might have children who depend on me to stay alive now so that I can someday welcome them into this world.

I can’t leave now when there is so much left to see, experience, and become. 

I was always told to never make a person or another living being your reason to stay but from personal experience, I disagree. Some days my reason to stop making that mental list is that my girlfriend has made plans for us after she gets off work and the excitement to see her keeps me here. I want to stay so I can witness what will become of the life we are creating. My best friend is another reason I stay. Watching her life bloom and her kids grow up is worth fighting another day for. And since adopting him back in February, my dog has been a reason. He needs me here, alive so I can take him on walks and mix new foods to put in his Kong. Other days, my reason is my plants or my cat, gerbil, and fish.

When I’m caught in the darkest depths and making that mental list, I try to remember the words of a poem my grandfather wrote for me. “He wants to take all hurt away… give you joy and peace for every day.” I know my grandfather would want me to stay strong and alive.

In all my years in and out of therapy, one thing that has stuck with me the most is the description a therapist gave me of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)—that the whole point of it is to create a life worth living. It’s what I strive for every day by putting a halt to that mental list. I cannot control the hand life dealt me but I can control how I respond.

Every day I put those thoughts to the back of my mind, I win.

Every day I pick a reason to keep breathing, I win.

It’s time I start my day by creating new lists… A list of how I think my life may go, of plants I want to nurture, of recipes to try and foods to recreate, of ways to decorate my future home or names for future children, and how I am going to make this life amazing. It’s time that I wake up in the morning feeling like my life is truly worth living.

Whatever you are facing, there is always hope. And we will hold on to hope until you’re able to grasp it yourself. If you’re thinking about suicide, we encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool to locate professional help and to read more stories like this one here. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor.

Leave a Reply

Comments (6)

  1. amy

    if there was a way to leave quietly, not hurting anyone on my way out, i’d be long gone. aftermath is inevitable. and what keeps me here has nothing to do with me and everything to do with not inflicting that pain on my kids, my sister, my mom…
    i still go to sleep asking God to just take me peacefully. begging some nights.
    and i’m still here.
    my story isn’t finished. and neither is yours ❤️

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      We’re glad you are here, Amy. We know how hard it is to stay when you are struggling to find the energy and desire to keep going. Your family is grateful for your presence and please know that we are, too. We hope that you can find the support you deserve. You can always reach out to us at [email protected]. Don’t hesitate.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  2. Karen

    Thank you for staying. The world is a better place with you in it.

    Reply  |  
  3. Gabriel

    I struggle with Suicidal Ideation and in the past couple months I have been struggling harder than ever, I was attempting suicide every day, acting out every day, stuck in my own darkness. Then I got sent to a hospital and that helped a but only because I was being truthful and honest about my feelings. I have been in so many hospitalizations and none of them helped until this one because I would ‘fake it till I make it’ and I knew what I had to do and say to get out. This time though, I didn’t and I shared my real feelings. After I left that hospital I felt a better, obviously not 100% better but I felt at least a little bit better. Then I remembered TWLOHA and that is when I started reading hte blogs again. About a year ago a staff at my old residential introduced TWLOHA to me but after I left I had so much going on that I completely forgot about it. Recently, I found out some news and I started thinking very negatovely about myself again, almost going back in that spiral of suicide attempts. Instead I was able to talk to my mom about it but what helped and is helping most is reading these blogs and listening to music. There are 2 songs in perticular that I have listened to and that have helped me the most. They are: ‘The Village’ by Wrabel and ‘Since I Was Young’ which is also by Wrabel. I have begun to see a point in life again, to enjoy life again and These blogs have helped me the most. Thanks.

    Reply  |  
  4. Meghan

    I agree so much with what Karen said. “ Thank you for staying. The world is a better place with you in it.” 💕

    Reply  |  
  5. Alyssa

    thank you so much for posting this! every day i read a twolha blog it helps a little more. ive struggled with suicidal ideation since my freshman year and im a senior (in hs) this year. but for me a good song that reminds me what the after math would be like if i left. is Hold on by Cord Overstreet

    Reply  |  
Get Email Updates

Sign up for our newsletter to hear updates from our team and how you can help share the message of hope and help.