If you feel like you want to disappear, this is for you.

Words from a teabag: There is a beauty in your presence

When I first read it, I didn’t even cry. I just pursed my lips and sharply breathed in.

Then I took the tiny piece of paper that was attached to the tea bag string – and slid it into my pocket.

 

I always used to be angry at people who’d committed suicide. Furious, actually. How the fuck could they do that to their family and friends? How??

Then, a few years ago, I was having an awful time. Awful. It felt like everything in my life was falling apart. I swung between secret sobbing and numbness.

The only comfort? Thinking about ending it. Disappearing from life.

I knew I wouldn’t do it. I had this intellectual understanding that it would be a terrible thing to do to my mum. But I honestly thought no one else would really mind. I mean, they’d feel they should, so they’d probably say they did. But really, it wouldn’t make a big difference to them. They had their own stuff going on. So I didn’t tell anyone how I felt.

I’d find solace in daydreaming that I could find a way to disappear without consequence for my ma.

 

Words from a teabag: There is a beauty in your presenceThat afternoon in the kitchen, I put on the kettle and unwrapped a teabag. In theory, I like that Yogi tea has a little saying on the paper that attaches to the string; in practise I often found them a bit obtuse, and eye-rolly.

I didn’t roll my eyes at this one.

There is a beauty in your presence.

Through my numbness, it stung. A pinprick to the heart.

 

I didn’t believe it was possible. I couldn’t for a minute imagine that this could be true of me.

But if the people who make the tea wrote that message to have universal appeal, then…maybe it was. Maybe it could be.

And so, I slid the paper into my pocket.

 

That evening, I took it out and put it on my bedside table.

Every night, I’d look at it and wonder. It stayed there, a tiny reminder of what could be.

 

Months later, when I finally was able to believe those words, I put it away.

Sometimes now, I think back to that time and try and imagine what it was like.

Then I remember that little phrase, and how I felt when I read it. It makes me cry. I’m crying as I type.

If you’re reading now, I want you to know that it is true of you. Right now. Just as you are.

There is a beauty in your presence.

Hold on.

xxxxxxxx

 

If you’re in a dark place and need help, please tell someone you know. Or there are people who are here to help you.

US: You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255

Canada: You can call Crisis Services Canada on 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645

UK: You can call the Samaritans on 116 123  or email jo@samaritans.org

Wherever else you are, if you just google “suicide” and your country, the number will likely be the first that shows.

 

Thank you for reading. If you know someone that needs to hear this right now, you can share this blog with them by clicking on one of the round buttons below, or just HERE to share on Facebook.

You rule,
xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

 

PS this story was part of my (free) Advent(ish) Calendar of Stories. It’s now finished for the year, but if you’d like storytelling advice in your inbox – some of which I wouldn’t put on the internet, pop your details in here*:

Photo via Illsie G on Pinterest

58 Comments

  • Matt Kowald

    Reply Reply December 27, 2017

    Such a powerful article! (may have created a few tears)

    Thanks for sharing this story!!! It’s beautiful how you found such a powerful message, in an unusual place… It’s crazy how much needed messages you need get to you.

    Thanks for the continued inspiration to write my own stories, that I’ll be able to share with the world one day :)

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Reply Reply December 29, 2017

      Can’t wait to hear them, Matt – and to work with you on some in 2018!

    • Al

      Reply Reply January 16, 2021

      It simply shows you don’t know what is the feeling of who really wants to be vanished from all this unfair existence, you were just a little depressed no more ,

      • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

        I’m so sorry that things are so hard for you right now. I hope things ease soon, and that you can hold on until they do. xx

  • Gretchen Hanson

    Reply Reply January 5, 2018

    i love this story & i love you for sharing it so bravely…there IS beauty in your presence.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      And in yours, Gretchen!! Thank you so much xxx

      • Down

        Reply Reply December 3, 2020

        What is it all worth.. Nothing really matters anymore

        • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

          Down, I’m so sorry you’re having a such a hard time. Please know that this feeling, as all encompassing as it might be to you right now, is not permanent. I hope you can hang in there and maybe even find some support.

          If you feel moved, please do read the Matt Haig quote in my reply to Poppy’s post, towards the bottom of the comments.

          Thinking of you. xxyyM

  • Sophie Green

    Reply Reply March 12, 2019

    I’ve been going through a really bad and terrible terrible time for a long while now, ( I’m in middle school). But this article has been pretty helpful for me. Thanks

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Sweet Sophie. I’m so sorry you’ve been having a rough time. I promise it’ll get better, and you’ll look back and be like, “Bloody hell that was hard.”

      Hugs, xxyyM

    • Johnathan Ram

      Reply Reply June 29, 2019

      I am also in Middle school, actually, I just graduated this Wednesday. I’m going through a rough time too. if you do end up seeing this dear stranger, know that not only did this story help me but you did too. You matter to people, and you’ve made me realize that there are other people in my age group like you and me who need help too. So thanks Sophie, and have a great life.

      • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

        Jonathan, thank you so much for taking the time to leave that note for Sophie. The fact that you made the effort to do that says a lot about the kind of person you are. I’m sorry that you’re going through a rough time. Thinking of you.
        Hugs xo

  • Jade

    Reply Reply June 9, 2019

    Yeah… um I am a very depressed person with a past suicide attempt. Sadly I lived through it. I didnt attempt again because obviously I’m here for a reason. The doctors said I should have been dead from what I did. But I honestly wish that I weren’t here at all still . Thru all medications I still have Terrible thoughts. And a dark mind. I’m also a realist. So a note on a teabag that Anyone could get just on chance wouldn’t even bring an incling of meaning to me. Now if a spirit had said it or it was made JUST FOR ME,then I might believe it. But everyone is gonna say nice things to you … another universal reaction. Although, while this is largely eye rolling for me, I cant tell you how glad I am that it was able to help you and save you. Makes me very jealous lol… keep smiling and doing whatever keeps you going!

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Hello,
      I am so, so sorry to hear how much pain you’re in. I totally get that something like this wouldn’t help everyone.
      Hugs (if you’re a hugger, a warm smile if you’re not) and hope that you get some peace soon.
      xxyyM

  • Carmen

    Reply Reply July 13, 2019

    Thank you. I needed this today…

  • Francis Xavier

    Reply Reply September 10, 2019

    Of course, there is beauty in my presence. But what’s in it for me.
    It hurts

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Reply Reply September 13, 2019

      I am so sorry, Francis. I wrote this because trying to believe that helped me. But if it doesn’t help you, then I really hope you find some relief in some other way. Thinking of you.

  • Anda

    Reply Reply September 13, 2019

    You lost me from here: “How the fuck could they do that to their family and friends? How??” Many people have terrible relationships with families, being desconnected and not understood at all, narcisist parents, dominants, and force to live with selfih people that would kill you for inheritance and back stabbing friends that are not happy when you succed something or steal your business or boyfriend. And I don’t want to hear anything about the freedom of choice in a world where humanity shrinks with the speed of sound. Nevere a help line will replace a very dark and wrong place we are forced to live due to lack of money, family contracts, lack of oportunities, lack of people who really care about each other and help each other in order to gain energy and fulfill their lives, are only energy sucker until you cannot longer get up from bad and bed and sickness. I am therapist. I can’t replace an environment though and a corrupted society. I can understand people why commit suicide but is not in our power to help them for real. A ONU representat once said ” la justicia social is more important than therapies and medicine”. I agree with him.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Reply Reply September 13, 2019

      Hi Anda,
      I’m guessing if I lost you there, you didn’t read to the rest of the piece where I discovered, in great pain, empathy for the exact people I was judgemental towards. Everything you say is true — families, trauma, dreadful systemic discrimination and problems can affect people in all sorts of ways.
      Let’s keep fighting those systems AND remember that there is a beauty in our presence, if that helps.
      Thanks for the important work you’re doing!

  • ms.spock

    Reply Reply September 23, 2019

    Thank you

  • Charly

    Reply Reply September 25, 2019

    What a bunch of bull shite

  • Fareeza Subhan

    Reply Reply October 16, 2019

    This is beautiful, and you are for sharing it. Thank you. But is there really beauty in my presense?

  • Lilli

    Reply Reply December 5, 2019

    Hello. I can relate to this but something on a teabag won’t help me not have suicidal thoughts. I just feel like I want to disappear without the consequences. I just don’t want to be here anymore. I’m in middle school and when I tell my family how I feel they just say I’m being dramatic and that I’ll be fine. It doesn’t feel like I’ll be ok. I tell people that things always get better but for me, they don’t. They say that I should follow my advice but it’s not that easy. I don’t know what to do anymore. Should I just give up? The world would be better without me anyway.
    xoxo- Lilli

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Sweet Lilli,

      I find it hard to accept that the world would be better without someone as articulate and thoughtful and kind as you.

      I’m so sorry it feels so hard. All I can tell you is that I’ve been in that dark hole and then with time, and talking to one or two close, trusted people, I began to find I was climbing out of it. I know your family are trying to help, and I know it *doesn’t help when you feel this bleak.

      I hope you’ll be kind to yourself. And that the very least get curious about what might happen ifyou can stick around for a while longer. You sound great.

      Hugs, xxyyM

      • Zing

        Reply Reply November 5, 2020

        Beautiful written, but this might not help for ppl with mental disorders.

        • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

          It’s true. Not everything can help everyone, but hopefully it *can help some people. Hugs xxyyM

  • Jay

    Reply Reply December 11, 2019

    Thank you, this really hit home for me. I don’t know when it began but for quite some time, I’ve been feeling this way myself too. I understood the impact I might have if I just died on my family and friends, I just can’t do that to them, so I simply kept thinking of how nice it might have been to just disappear, without a trace, as if I’ve never existed. I feel so bad because my family was fine. My life was fine. Yet, I couldn’t help but keep think like this. I just simply struggled, and I can’t seem to get out of it to do anything about it. But I’ll keep trying

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Please do keep trying, Jay. This — what you’re describing, and what I am in my story — is what’s called “Suicidal ideation.” It’s a real thing and it’s really hard. And there is a way out. Hope you manage to get some help and find some peace. I definitely found having at least one person I could tell helped me. Hugs xx

  • J

    Reply Reply January 16, 2020

    The emptiness is the worst pain I face through depression/anxiety/(whatever other label there is). When it’s present it’s constant and destructive. And it keeps coming back, time after time. Ever more frequently. I don’t know if it will pass again. It’s been here too long.

    If a painless and blameless escape existed. I would take it.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Dear J,
      I’m so sorry you’re in so much pain. This longing for painless and blameless escape has a name, Suicidal Ideation. I tell you because I found this helpful, that I wasn’t alone in feeling that way.

      I hope you find some reprieve from the emptiness and pain. I am thinking of you. Hugs xoyyM

  • kessa

    Reply Reply September 7, 2020

    i just want my pain to end.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Reply Reply September 8, 2020

      Sweet Kessa,
      I’m so sorry you’re in so much pain. I know very well that feeling, of wanting it to end. Here is what I also know: this pain is not going to stay the same forever. I can’t say it will disappear or things will change dramatically for the better. But I can tell you that you will not always feel the way you feel right now. Nature — including us — means change, over and over. Things will change. The way you feel right now will change. Hold on. Hugs xxx

  • Sri

    Reply Reply September 26, 2020

    It helped me a lot. One more suggestion is that just come out of that dark room and explore the things. Failure is first step to success. Everyone will fail at one point of time life even I did. Went through the pain. Read books, it will help you a lot. Thanx for sharing your story. *sorry for bad english*

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Reply Reply September 26, 2020

      Sri, your English is beautiful and this suggestion and comment even more beautiful. Thank you so much.
      xxyyM

  • Ray

    Reply Reply October 27, 2020

    Thank you for reminding me I’m not alone in feeling this way. There’s comfort in knowing others have felt so lost and they’ve come out the other side still here. Sometimes I hold my breath and close my eyes hoping I’ll just evaporate. I’m holding on for the time things feel different. xx

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Oh sweet Ray. I have done that exact thing before. I’m so sorry it feels so hard.
      They will feel different, one way or another. Hold on. Hugs xxx

  • poppy

    Reply Reply November 4, 2020

    hi, im poppy im currently caught in a mental storm and i feel like there’s no way out.we lost very close family member in 2015, my dad broke down and this almost resulted in my parents divorcing, my mum also wasn’t in the best state either. my brother was 7 at the time and become quite violent again putting strain on the family. 5 years later my parents are still together somehow and still love each other as much astray felt their wedding day. I currently suffer from anxiety and depression, i and living proof that bottling metaphorical demons up is 100% a bad thing. i felt like i had to keep it in to protect my family and try to keep it from collapsing and if i let it out then it will make everything so much worse. so i bottled it yup, I’ve contemplated suicide. many times. but i could never do it because i would always think about who/ what im leaving behind and the collateral damage it would have on my family and friends.i felt incredible selfish every time i even thought about it, This made me dive deeper into the black obis of my mind. im currently seeing an art therapist who is trying to bring up all to help me.at the moment i dont want to kill myself i just want to disappear. that’s it. im doing my GCSEs at the moment and the coursework is piling up and again i just want to disappear because I’ve taken a GCSE i dont have the passion you need, therefore im going to fail. im extreamly lacking in confidence and self esteem. honestly i feel completely stupid writing this, i guess im just paranoid.

    so thats a summary of why i want to disappear. i dont know what else to say. oh this is the first time I’ve written a brief insight into what happened/ what’s happening in my head.so yeah. what do i do?

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Dear Poppy, I’m so sorry you’re in such anguish.
      First of all, please don’t feel guilty. You’re not *choosing* to be in pain like this, and anyone who thinks you are is just afraid of emotion — that’s on them.

      Secondly, please do talk about this with people you trust, whether that’s your art therapist or a trusted family member. When I was a kid, I kept pain to myself because I felt like I had to protect my family. Now I have a family of my own, I want ONLY for the kids to tell me if there’s something wrong, because I love them and I want to help them. You are young. You’re not in charge and it’s not your responsibility to hold everyone else together, even if it might feel like that sometimes. It’s ok not to be ok.

      Finally, as a 43 year old woman who’s had TWO successful careers, please let me be the first to tell you that GCSE’s are a nonsense, in that having to choose a subject when you’re 14 is absurd. At 14, I had NO IDEA what my life would look like, which is how it should be. While I don’t think there’s no point in going to school and further education if that’s an option — I learned loads from both — I can tell you that in both the careers I chose (being a radio DJ and then being a storytelling coach and trainer), the marks I got in school have been IRRELEVANT. Again, that doesn’t mean don’t bother trying at school. It just means if you fail a couple of GCSE’s, it’s TRULY not the end of the world.

      I know how it feels to want to disappear. It’s not stupid or paranoid. One day, you will come out the other side. One day you won’t feel like this and you’ll think, “bloody hell, THAT WAS SO HARD!”

      Saying it even better than me, here’s a quote from Matt Haig’s book, Reasons to Stay Alive:

      “You will one day experience joy that matches this pain. You will cry euphoric tears at the Beach Boys, you will stare down at a baby’s face as she lies asleep in your lap, you will make great friends, you will eat delicious foods you haven’t tried yet, you will be able to look at a view from a high place and not assess the likelihood of dying from falling. There are books you haven’t read yet that will enrich you, films you will watch while eating extra-large buckets of popcorn, and you will dance and laugh and have sex and go for runs by the river and have late-night conversations and laugh until it hurts. Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.”

      Hugs, Poppy. You’ll get through this

      xxxyyMarsh

  • cheryl

    Reply Reply November 12, 2020

    Today was a horrible day.
    my parents treats me unfairly, my friends think I’m useless, and I feel like disappearing. Forever. And never come back. I- I don’t think anyone will care anyway, since I’m so unwanted.. am I being too dramatic? I don’t really know… I give up…

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Reply Reply November 12, 2020

      Cheryl, I’m so sorry you’re having such a horrible day. That sounds really, really hard.
      I know how it feels to want to disappear and feel like you don’t want to come back. I don’t care if anyone else thinks it’s dramatic, what matters is that this is how you feel right now. Honour that. That doesn’t mean you have to disappear. It just means you’re in a lot of pain. It will pass, but if you’re able to accept that this is where you are right now, I think that helps.

      Right now, focus on just putting one foot in front of the other. Get through the next day, or even just the next hour or 30 minutes. Breathe. Feel your breath inside your body. Do something kind for yourself. You deserve kindness, even if some part of your brain tells you you don’t.

      Hugs xx

  • No

    Reply Reply January 12, 2021

    Stop clickbaiting your content. I didn’t ask for the bs. Idk what it is with people and always thinking y’all have the answer to suicidal thoughts & tendencies especially when you clearly stated it’s not something you’ve really dealt with. You had a couple bad weeks & bounced back & now you think you got the answers ¿ bye , I don’t wanna hear it. I’ve had a bad decade & a half. Don’t tell me abt no beauty in my presence. Tell me how tf to disappear

  • Lar

    Reply Reply January 26, 2021

    I think its great that you are still answering comments, and its also great that you wrote this, I stumble into your article from time to time. It doesn’t eases the pain but it helps in a weird kinda way to know that ones feelings are not alien nor weird. I’m in that point again in which I feel so utterly helpless and annoying that I just want to disappear from everywhere. I don’t have friends and my family is in bad terms with me so I don’t have anyone to talk about this. In online spaces I always feel like I don’t belong and annoying, I’m in a nice group atm but I feel like I shouldn’t be there, they are nice people, they never treated me bad, and still I feel like I annoy and disturb them daily just for being “there”, thats how I’ve felt in every group I’ve ever been with, both as a teen and as an adult, I’ve never been able to grow out of it. Of course there are good days or neutral days in which that thoughts are very dim, the problem is when I feel like this, just like today, and I feel the urge to disappear and stop bothering everyone. I wish I knew where does this comes from so I could tackle it, I try my hardest to not do anything stupid while I feel like this, I can cry quietly bc crying too openly might annoy and startle my family and I don’t want that. It feels really frustrating to know that everything you do, say or think is wrong.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Oh, sweet Lar. I’m so sorry you’re feeling like this. Let me tell you what I know to be true:

      Just the fact that you had the courage and the means to come here and write this tells me all I need to know about what kind of person you are. And tells me that you are not annoying and disturbing just for being there. On the contrary, I feel highly convinced that you are the kind of person people would be grateful to have in an online space. I’m very glad you’re in mine.

      I’m glad you are still holding onto the good days and the neutral days. This iSht is cyclical, and so just as the good days don’t last forever, the dark ones won’t either.

      I know how it feels to feel like you’re bothering everyone, but I promise you are not. I know how it feels to want to disappear.

      Please don’t. Please hold on. We need lights like you in the world. I know it feels like everything you do, say or think is wrong, but I promise it’s not.

      Thanks for sharing. Hugs. xxyyM

  • Aj

    Reply Reply February 6, 2021

    No one cares about me and I seem to not matter if I exists or not.Everyone dislikes me,I’m a disappointment to everybody even my family , I love life but I simply don’t seem to enjoy mine, please help me I’m in middle school and I’m desperate to be loved like every one else is.and I’m not posting this to brag about how sad I am, I just need to be heard and I wanna know how it feels like to be in someone’s heart .

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Reply Reply February 23, 2021

      Oh sweet AJ. I know how this feels. I promise you that, even though it absolutely feels like you’re a disappointment and disliked, this isn’t the case. I know social media makes it look like everyone else is super-loved and happy, but it’s not always true. I bet more than you think feel like this — just look at some of the other replies.

      ALL of the best years of my life came WAY after middle school. All of the times I’ve truly felt like I’m in someone’s heart happened when I was older, so this is ahead of you. I care that you exist. Just your wanting to be in someone’s heart shows me how big yours is. Please don’t let that someone miss out on the opportunity of loving you. They’re going to be so glad you let them when it comes. Keep the faith.

      xxyyMarsha

  • Niall Stewart

    Reply Reply February 11, 2021

    Your experience really struck a chord with me as I have been going through feelings like these for quite a few years. I look after my elderly mother and, though I have often wished to end my life, I know that I could not hurt her in such a way. I find loneliness to be crushing. Although I’m 50, I have never had a girlfriend. I also find that as I got older, friends have deserted me. Your article has given me much to think about.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Reply Reply February 23, 2021

      Oh Niall, I am so sorry. This sounds hard. Looking after elderly parents is not for cowards, is it? Remember that it’s never too late to make friends (or girlfriends!) Keep the faith. There’s beauty in your presence, I PROMISE.

      xxyyM

  • Aries29

    Reply Reply March 14, 2021

    Thank you for your story I cried when I read it coz that’s what I felt. I’m lost and I want to disappear for good. Everyday I’m stuck between life and death. I used to laughed so loud but It kills me inside coz I don’t even know if I am really happy? Or my heart get numbed.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Oh, I am so sorry you’re feeling this way. It’s so, so hard. Please trust that this is not a permanent place to be. And have a read through the comments to know that you’re not alone. Hugs xxx

  • Jud

    Reply Reply April 5, 2021

    Thank you for this. Lately, no matter how many people I am around I feel so lonely and just feel like if I were to disappear nobody would care. People might care for me a little but as time goes on I know people would just forget about me. It sucks

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Hey Jud,
      I’m so sorry you’re feeling like this. It’s so hard. I promise you, they would not forget about you. You matter. And you won’t always feel this way. Hold on.
      Hugs xxxyyM

  • Dani

    Reply Reply April 13, 2021

    Thank you for this. I know it will pass. I will it’s all feeling too much, too heavy, too complicated to recover

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