Lies My Mind Told Me

We're all born with hope inside.

No infant takes their first steps and expresses their first words and says, "I am bad. I am wrong. I am a mistake."

No child sits at their desk at school, thinking, "Someday I'll be unemployed. Someday I'll be homeless. Someday I will live only to take whatever substance I can, to quiet the torment inside of me. And someday I'll decide that it isn't worth it anymore; I can't live even one more day.

How does it come to this?

The people who make this decision are known to us: family, friends, colleagues, and idols. Good and talented people. Gentle and loving people.They are not eager to end their lives so much as to see an end to the suffering they are experiencing. That they took such a drastic measure only tells us that from the individual's own perception, all other possibilities were exhausted.

What could make them think this?

So many things—things people hide because they are ashamed, or proud, or scared, or doubtful that anyone would care.

As a podcaster and a registered social worker formerly employed in the mental health field, I wanted to craft an immersive vignette to put an average listener into the mind of a person considering ending their life. A good person, slowly succumbing to a lifetime's worth of bad thoughts. They have reached a point where, from their perspective, no amount of good they do will ever validate their existence. On their worst days they believe they are a failure; on their best days they feel like a fraud.

It's a dark story. If you wait for light at the end, you'll be disappointed. Sometimes there is no winning. Just a stalemate. Temporary escape.

Depression feels like this. Utter helplessness. Like being staked to the ground. Your body feels empty. Your limbs feel powerless. You can lift your head sometimes, but it’s weighed down by all your thoughts and experiences in totality. Old memories; new anxieties. They coalesce like a tumour.

Escape into alcohol and drugs and risky sexual behaviours can feel like a reasonable escape, albeit a temporary one. The messages can change from day to day. Your own mind knows best what will hurt you most. The doubts in your head can be vociferous, but even when they speak quietly, they’re cruel.

Suicidal thoughts are the quietest. They don’t shout, they beguile.

Listen to "Going Nowhere - Lies My Mind Told Me", and try to imagine that this is you.

  • If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, don't keep them to yourself. Bring others into the conversation. A friend. A family member. A doctor. A helper on a crisis line. If you're not ready to talk, please read about the options: has a wealth of information.
  • If you suspect that someone is considering suicide, talk to them. About 80 percent of those at risk send out warning signs.
This recording also appears in Toddcast - Season 3, Episode 9 - Surviving Suicide and Addiction, with SanDee Vandal.