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

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.

 

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

40 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 :)

  • 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.

  • 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

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