Suicide Is No Longer An Option

September 10, 2012 Karl Shallowhorn, MS, CASAC

I have been blogging about mental illness and addiction for two years. I have covered a wide variety of topics that, at times, have been very intense and revealing. One subject I have not touched on at great length is suicide. It is something that I have not been willing to disclose, but I do believe there is healing in the process of sharing one’s feelings, even if it is about something so personal.

A Cry for Help?

I have attempted suicide four times; all in the 1980’s. It’s interesting the comments you hear people make about suicide being “a cry for help.” I believe this is true but I think it is so much more than that. For me, it describes the end of the road where I am alone and lost. A place I would never even wish my worst enemy to be.

My first experience was in college. It was fueled by a major psychotic episode and aided by my relatively new addiction to marijuana. I will not go into the method because that is not the important part. What I will say, however, is that this experience changed my life forever. In that moment I felt that I had nowhere to turn and no one I could trust.

My successive attempts came over the next five years. The difference was that they were due to major depression. The kind that makes you feel like you’re in a 15-foot hole with a 10-foot ladder. You know, like there’s no way out. I just wanted the pain to stop.

Fortunately, I was able to receive help through empathetic counselors and insightful psychiatrists. More importantly, deep down inside, I wanted to live…and not feel the crushing pain of depression. Another crucial part of recovery was my choice to stop using drugs and alcohol. By putting down these harmful substances I was able to get a clearer picture of what my problem was. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Findings New Options

I do recognize what I could have done differently back then. Instead of bottling up all of my feelings, I should have reached out for help. It was just that at my immature age I was afraid of what people would say.

Looking back at the time, suicide appeared to be my only option. Now I know that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have been able to develop a viable support system comprised of family, friends, church, 12-Step members, and my Higher Power. I am no longer alone.

APA Reference
Shallowhorn, K. (2012, September 10). Suicide Is No Longer An Option, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Author: Karl Shallowhorn, MS, CASAC

September, 16 2012 at 1:09 am

Happy you found your way out of the hole, Karl. There was a plan for you. You needed to stick around and help people.

September, 11 2012 at 8:39 am

I am grateful to say that suicide is no longer an option for me. In the past I have attempted it and have been brought back to life once. Admitting this is not the easiest thing but truth and acceptance is crucial in recovery. I have been battling mental illness for the past twenty years. Currently I am stable and work daily to remain that way. I permanately closed the door on suicide last year. I have thought about it since but I know that it will never be attempted again. I have the knowledge and skills as well as a great support system to rely on when thoughts of such a tragic thought comes up. I do not want to die; then, now or ever by suicide. Sure I struggle at times but I know it will pass and better times will come. The biggest part for me was making it no longer an option. Closing the door on it forever. Accepting it as a fact and always willing to stand by it. Glad to be alive!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2012 at 1:39 pm

Beautifully said Laura. It is time to move on. I know, from experience, that when I can come to terms with my past I can go forward knowing that I no longer have to struggle. Keep up the great spirit!

mental health girl
September, 11 2012 at 8:36 am

This blog is brilliant i can really relate to alot you say, i had a very bad experience with marijuana, i didnt become addicted to it but it did trigger my mental health problems off so i can definately see the harm it does and how much of a difference not drinking smoking or taking drugs has, i also understand the feeling of depression and thats exactly how i felt like i was stuck in a tunnel, its lovely to read about other peoples experiences, just hearing about someone which has been through the same or similar issues is a help, il look forward to reading future posts :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2012 at 1:36 pm

MHG - It is incredible when we share our experiences we discover how much we have in common. The problem that with so much stigma surrounding mental illness, and especially suicide, people are often reluctanct to bring up these topics. Once we are willing to open up the real healing begins.

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