I Took My Life. Please Don’t Think I’m Selfish.

I know you’re hurting, but I’m here to say I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. In fact, my brain constantly and overwhelmingly convinced me that you are better off without me. I truly believed that I was doing you a favor. Now that I’m gone, I understand how sick I was. I get it. And I’m sorry I hurt you.

I didn’t know any better. Mental illness clouded me. It enveloped me like a thick fog and all I saw was darkness. Everywhere I turned. Darkness.

You see, even though the world will often say that I didn’t consider my friends and family at all, that I was so selfish, you were actually the only thing on my mind. I understand now how mental illness works. And just so you know, God understands it too. He’s here with me…or I’m here with Him. However you want to look at it. It’s cool. I’m good. 

I was in so much pain on earth. I just knew. I knew how much of a burden I was to you. I knew your life would be beautiful if only you didn’t have to worry about my problems. Yes, you tried to convince me otherwise. And I love you so much for that. I love how hard you tried. And I know you loved me fiercely on earth; I see that now. I saw it then too, but my mental illness didn’t let me care. Sometimes I wanted to, but here’s the thing…I was really good at hiding the pain. I just didn’t want you to have to worry, and I didn’t understand I was doing more harm by not being honest…by not accepting the help you tried to give. Mental illness just wouldn’t let me; it held me so strongly in its grasp. So you need to know one thing.

This was not your fault.

Truth be told, it wasn’t my fault either. Mental illness won in that life, but it didn’t win in the life I’m in now. It is a disease…not unlike other diseases that cause death. I’m in no pain. It’s beautiful here. I’m okay.

I did take my own life, but please know I wasn’t trying to be selfish. The pain was intense, but not for myself. The pain I felt for you, for the pain I truly believed I was causing you, was unbearable. I love you now. I loved you then. I’m excited to see you soon. I’m here.

All my love,

Me.

~ Written by Jeremy & Bailey Koch. Jeremy, a five-time suicide attempt survivor, has lived to explain the reality of suicidal ideations. Bailey, his wife and primary support person, stands beside him and helps him accept help and share his story. This post was written based upon a suicide note Jeremy left for Bailey in 2012. As of today, Jeremy is nearly 3 years free of suicidal thoughts. Healing happens. Hold onto hope.

~ If you are experiencing any of the feelings described in this post, please reach out and accept help. You are loved, wanted, and so important. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

~ Follow our journey on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jeremyandbailey/. Our website is at www.jeremyandbailey.com. On social media @jeremyandbailey.

61 thoughts on “I Took My Life. Please Don’t Think I’m Selfish.

    • I feel like my mom wrote this to me too she weighs so heavy on my mind. Her suicide date was feb 8 2016. I miss her terribly I have been so badly depressed ever since. Sometimes we just got to make it one day at a time and breathe and know that life is still beautiful and we are still blessed.

  1. My daughter Kelli took her own life on April 19th 2018. This was just the end of a terrible journey with an eating disorder that took her from us in so many ways. She isolated herself especially from the family that wanted what was best for her. She did try recovery groups but it just always came down to her wanting to date and men especially did understand the magnitude of her disease. She begin to have severe health issues that involved 2 pacemakers 1 for her bladder and another 1 for seizures. She eventually lost her insurance and became more and more depressed. She took her life at a boyfriend’s home where he enabled her with alcohol which just magnified her mental state. I am not placing blame on him she asked for the alcohol. I had prayed for healing and seeked out counseling from the beginning for her but this was the outcome. I just feel like she is not in pain anymore but the pain she had to endure and then what she must have been feeling that day. I would give anything to have 1 hour just to tell her how much I miss her and how much I loved her.

  2. Thank you! This is exactly what I believe my husband was thinking when he took his life. After battling this disease for 11 1/2 years and never finding any relief from doctors or medications, I believe he had enough. I will never be angry with him because I do know how hard he tried to get the help he needed. I miss him terribly but I know he is in a much better place. I love him and he will always be a hero in my eyes. Thank you so much for writing this. It really felt like he wrote this.

    • I feel the exact same way. My therapist asked me if I had gotten to the part of grief where I’m angry at him. I told her no, and if that’s where I need to go to grow, than I’ll be stunted because I cannot be angry at him for his choice. It was his to make and, like you said, he was just done. He suffered with suicidal ideation since childhood. He’s at peace now; that gives me peace.
      Btw, I am recovering from this loss, without anger. 😉

  3. My nephew took his own life too. He battled depression for over a decade. He was put in a mental facility 6 or 7 different times, tried an enormous amount of different medications and lastly had TMS treatments for 6 weeks. A week later my family found him in the woods over 2 miles from his home. I told my sister, his mother, God must have seen him struggling and wanted him to be in a better place. I miss him so much. Mental illness is a disease. A lot of people don’t realize that. He is no longer suffering.

  4. This is exactly how I feel. My son took his life in aug 2018 and now I spend every day knowing I will join him soon. He was my whole world. All the rest of my family is hours away and all they do is worry about me. All I do is bring them down when I visit. The suicide help lines are a joke. No one wants to help you financially when you’re so screwed up you can’t work. Nobody is there when it’s too quiet and the voices in my head start screaming out. This is my life, except there’s no light in my tunnel

    • Monica… I’m so sorry you feel this way. Please reach out to family or a close friend. You mattter and they love you. My cousin died of suicide in 2016. I have so much guilt, could I have done more?? Somedays are unbearable. She was more like a sister. Please don’t give up there are organizations to help you financially. Please.. Reach out to someone. My prayers are with you and so sorry for your devastating loss of your Son. My aunt her Mother felt thecsame way and was alone. I called her everyday for a year and finally decided to send for her and got my mother involved. (Her sister) a year later she is working, driving…. Has the pain left? No. It never will, but we get through it and keep going on for them. Please reach out to the American Suicide Foundation. They provide counceling, amongst other services and most of all, if it takes staying with family until your able to get your stregnth back. Please do so.

    • Monica, I am very sorry. I don’t know what to say but I wanted to reach out to you. I am very very sorry for your loss. I am very very sorry about your pain. My heart is hurting for you.

    • My son also took his own life in Aug 18 and yes it could of been him writing this. This world got too much for him to bare. I will never be angry with him,I will never get over losing him. I just hope he is in a better place now. RIP Mark 9/7/77-23/8/18💔

    • Monica, there is help,We have helped many people in this situation because many times the voices are ancestral from unresolved disconnect or from childhood trauma, If you can find someone in your area that does family constellations that heals the issue energetically. We swim in blame, shame and guilt in this realm but we do not know how to access love, light, and truth which is the healing process. I am in Utah, not sure where you are but help other than drugs is possible. http://www.journeyintotheheart.net is my website. I can help you find a facilitator in your area if you are interested. .

    • Monica,
      I’m so sorry for your loss. While I have had close family members take their own life, I cannot begin to understand the depth of loss associated with burying your own child. It’s just not right.
      I do read some things in your post that concern me about you. Please take care of yourself. You may not feel it, but you do make the world better. By your post, you’re educating people on the despair that some people around us are feeling. That will make those who read it more empathetic and responsive to people around then in need. Please continue to share those thoughts in forums like this. It’s very important.

    • I’m sorry you’re struggling. It sounds like you know how your child felt. Please don’t give in to the struggle. Can you find peace in the fact that your other family members will suffer, as you are, if you DO take your life? The pain won’t end because you do, it will just be amplified and passed along to everyone you know.

    • I am so sorry! I’m sending you positive thoughts your way. & I hope with a little time you’ll be able to get thru life a little easier.

    • Monica I don’t know you at all but having read your note, please know that you can talk to me. I’m a complete stranger and I’m boring as shit sometimes, but if you need someone to talk to when the voices are screaming, you can talk to me. You are still here because you’re surviving. Please don’t think this is an empty promise. I’ll listen x

    • Oh wow. I am so sorry for your loss and what you must be going through. I can’t pretend to know because I have absolutely no clue. However, you did mention a family that worries about you. They love you. Turn to them and let them in, let them know how they can help, even if it’s just a phone call to vent. I know I would want to be there for someone in this situation but would have no clue what their needs are.

    • I know I’m just a stranger on the Internet, but I need to tell you that you are loved and worthy of love. Your family’s worry may be bothersome to you, but I’m almost positive it’s because they love you and care about you and your well-being–I can relate. Nobody knows what the future holds, which can be scary, but we do know that whatever it is is full of possibility for so much more than it seems right now. One day at a time.

    • I’m so sorry that you have gone through so much pain. You’ve probably been given countless pieces of advice – I’d like to offer one more. There’s a group called NAMI that has truly changed my life. It’s the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They have chapters in most counties, and are staffed mainly with volunteers who are in recovery from their mental conditions. Please give it a try?

  5. My son left us on june 25th 2017 he was a good son father and friend. One of the last things he said to me was.he was.a burden i told he wasnt then we.said i love you . And he was gone . I cant stop crying i am very sick and have to stay home so all i do is think about him and if we had just stayed home that day he would still be here
    I am so sick of people who say he is not with god or he is in purgtory he is in he** my son i was.sick not shelfise

    • I lost my 28 year old son to suicide on June 15, 2017. I was told by several different pastors that if Kevin had accepted Jesus as his Savior, that he had been forgiven of ALL of his sins, including taking his own life, and that he is spending eternity with God and is no longer suffering from the pain of his mental health. He is at peace and has the answers to the reasons for his depression. I have faith in the Lord and know that we will be together in Heaven. My prayers are with you. Vicki

    • Nobody can know another person’s heart, only God knows. I’m sure that if/when we love God, He will take us in his arms when we leave this world.
      Purgatory and consequences for “death by suicide” are beliefs usually attributed to Roman Catholicism, a religious organization. These beliefs are not biblical.
      God does not turn His back on someone because of their decisions when they are suffering from a mental illness.

  6. Thank you so very much my daughter was 15 when she took her life last year and when reading you’re letter it felt like my daughter had written that to me. Ty so much for sharing and please dont give up! The world is now a better place because of u at least for me thank you

  7. Wow! That was beautiful and I am in tears. But happy ones. Many years ago a close friend of mine DJ did commit suicide. It changed me. I have gone through stages of being so mad at him and loving and missing him at the same time. Reading this- he could have written it himself! I could almost hear him saying so much of it. It helped me put some things in clarity and I think I am going to feel differently about it all from now on. Thank you. Thank you a lot.

  8. You aren’t alone. Tomorrow always brings the chance for that light to shine through. That is hope. When people let you down, reach out and pray with all your might. Medicine, therapists , friends and faith can turn your life around. Rainbows are for our pleasure. So are flowers and puppies and sunshine. Someone who loves you created those things for you. May God hold you until you can walk on you own again.

  9. My fiance committed suicide Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 at the age of 37. It was 10 days before our wedding. His bipolar Depression and Anxiety were to the point he barely could speak. He asked me not to let the kids see him that way. It is a long story and I don’t have much time to write tonight as I have to work tomorrow. 1 year and 5 months later I found the note. I had kept his night stand the same as it had been before he died. Hurricane Irma happened and the towel on the night stand got wet. I picked up the towel and there was the note. He said he was a failure to me and the kids and our families and friends. I couldn’t understand that at all because he was the kindest most giving person I had ever met. The funeral director told his mother that he had to quit counting at 1,000 people that came to pay their respects. The words in your writing are like the words he would have said to me I’m sure. But no matter I still will always have a sense of guilt because no matter how many dr.s or specialists we saw, no one could find one and we could never get his medicine straight. One of the things he said in his note was that he just wish they could get his meds right. My heart was ripped from my chest that day , I will never forget the memories we shared.

  10. Thank you. My husband took his life 5 years ago and my guilt is always with me. This helps a lot. I know how much pain he was in so thank you .

  11. My little brother died by suicide 10 years ago while I was battling cancer. My mother died when he was 11 and I was 15. Our father was not in the picture throughout our lives. I promised my mom I would always take care of him. I live with the guilt of his passing every day. Depression runs in our family history. I myself suffer with it. I get through the pain by helping others. Sure, I need help but won’t admit that. I put a smile on my face and forge ahead. One day I will be with my mom and brother in heaven. Not any time soon. I believe god has a purpose for me to make a difference in the lives of others. That’s what I tell myself anyways. God bless all of you and know there is another tomorrow. I hope you are all there with me. One day at a time.

  12. the pain that eats the soul and never goes away. the tears that hit the pillow and never stop. the ache and longing for relief that never appears. death is silence. it will creep into the mind and distort the heart but it is relief. my heart and my prayers go out to any person who has suffered from suicide. it is real. there is an answer. it is not me.

  13. This made my heart drop to my feet… I have a 16 yr old daughter who has been living with mental illness for 3,yrs now. It’s been a very long and stressful. I’m a single parent and doing this alone. I have a few friends that I can talk to besides the phyciatrist. Everyday is a struggle. But I keep plugging away at it. An put it in God’s hands.😢😢😢😢

  14. Thank you so much for this… my dad took his life shortly before I graduated high school… at first I was angry but over the last two years I have come to see he was in too much pain and now he is at peace. I know he wouldn’t do something to hurt us like this but in his eyes it was the only option.

  15. I think she shares this article for me . I hope she sees this comment that I really want to help her and give her love , I wish I can stay with her forever:)

  16. From a mental state of mind!
    My name is Lori, I struggled through 20yrs of my life suffering from a undiagnosed mental illness. Getting the diagnosis was a blessing and a curse. To be told that my destructive behaviors wasn’t my fault,and that the torment and chaos in my mind had reason… lifted a burden that was unbearable at times. The blessing turned into a cures when I was expected to cure myself overnight by many whom did not understand the illness and that a cure wasn’t in my future, only maintenance to maintain a somewhat productive life. That my illness will remain a constant struggle. Many don’t, and wont understand mental illness. (I don’t get that) For me… it was a chance to gain some kind of control of my life, but if only for a moment!
    I want to scream to the world that Mental illness is not a pity party or crutch for one whom is afflicted by it! You just can’t get over urself, deal with, and move on. Most of us do our part. Take multiple amounts of pills that drs hit or miss with, receive therapy for a condition drs don’t even understand, how can our council ! Shock therapy, long stents in mental faculties that are overwhelmed and unprepared for( Not saying unhelpful), and so many remain undiagnosed! Treatment is not a simple and easy thing to receive. Not everyone has insurance, or the money to pay for it. Let’s face it… in the world today no one wants to work for free. We become a lab experiment in a science even the specialist can’t figure out … because symptoms of the illness are so manic and ever changing. Dr get one thing under control and then something new rears it’s ugly little head!!! The cycle is torment and disheartening. So simply our reality become there will never be hope for us, that We will never be worthy of being loved or good enough. That we hv caused great destruction in all things. Our chaotic behaviors,poor decisions,self harming,disruptive behaviors, negative feelings, and our I don’t give a dam attitude about anyone but myself, is just that… Mental illness! You see us as selfish, not willing to change, and not worthy of your time if all were going to do is abuse it. When in reality… couldn’t be further from the truth! Every minute of the day is a struggle for us to live! So we continue on knowing that any given time we will hurt ourselves or loved ones so bad that the damage is irreversible! That one day there will be no one left on your support team that is strong enough to take the abuse and hurt any longer. That letting go is the easiest option for all involved, that u hv become nothing but a burden for everyone around you. So we will smile and act like nothing is wrong till we can’t. Knowing the darkness will always out way the light, and the only way to stop the torment is to stop feeling! We are not trying to hurt you, teach u a lesson, or lay blame, or make u suffer. We want u to have a life without the constant worrying of what’s going be next, or how much time you are having to take out of your day to help correct something else we hv chaotically done, and will continue to over and over. That we are wasting your time that is precious to others. that the burden we are laying on u must be overwhelming hard. We only want to be strong, live, love, laugh, to find peace, stability, a place in this hard enough world to live in. We Only… WANT TO BE ENOUGH! Yes to you we may sound and act selfish, out of control, and shameless. To us its torment, shameful, embarrassment and yes…UNCONTROLLABLE outburst of emotion. A darkness so great nothing can penetrate. It’s not an excuse we are crying for help we feel will never come. I know Sorry, please forgive me sometimes isn’t enough, and sounds like a broken record, but in this life… it may be all we hv to give. However in death… we know that the torment will stop! The silence becomes the only gift we have to heal the wounds we created! So please understand when I say Our endearment to you! … I’m sorry, please forgive me! May be all we have left to give. If u are struggling with mental illness and reading this, I say to you… work hard every second to live! There is hope when all feels hopeless, you are not suffering alone.! Reach out to others even when it feels everyone has lost faith in you. Don’t be lead by judgment… those people lack the knowledge to help you. Until we stand together and educate society’s ignorance, mental illness will always fall to the wayside. Life will be hard, don’t loose hope… God finds favor in those who struggle in torment from no fault of there own. He will always be with you no matter the outcome. He ask only that u give it your all… but only for a moment! If u have any doubts? Know God loves you, and I love you! Reach out! if only in conversation YOU ARE WORTHY!

  17. Reading this really resonated with me! I feel that I have written this letter several times using same or similar wording. I feel very empty and alone inside and wonder when my sadness will ever end! I just keep trying and that is all I can do.

  18. Thank you. My husband took his own life on 08/17/15, a day I will never forget. I still struggle everyday, people tell me he is in hell and he didn’t love me, but I know this is not true. He struggled with alcoholism and eventually pain pills, the two drove him off the edge. There were underlying issues from his childhood that caused the alcoholism. I know he is at peace now, but oh, how I miss him. Your story brought some peace to my heart. God bless you.

  19. I cried throughout all of reading this. To start with, my sons name is “Jeremy.” I lost him after his second attempt. He wasn’t as lucky to have a wonderful wife as mentioned. My son’s wife “pretended ” to care. His first attempt I received a “text” from her asking me to come over. I was at work and left immediately. (Sinking feeling). “I” called the ambulance. His second attempt, I get a text from her “please come over.” He was successful in taking his life. A lot happened in between the 1st and last time. He received treatment, and i begged him to move home and away from “her” but he loved her. End of story. He was my pride and joy. He didn’t like to fail at anything…he was 29

  20. Thank you for sharing that…i know that is how my son felt, too. So very sad. I always knew people who take their lives are not selfish and are not cowards…they just couldn’t take the pain anymore. God Bless us all as we keep one foot in front of the other.

  21. Jeremy. Thank you for your inspiring, brave, courageous story. I am glad you are here.

    Jodee
    Lost brother to addiction & mental illness when he took his life in March 2012. He was 39.

  22. My father took his own life in 1990. My cousin took his own life in 1998. My sister took her own life on March 26, 2017. The first two I was quite young and did not understand anything except the pain of losing them. With my sister, I felt the pain stronger than anything. Two years later I feel like I may understand something of how she saw things. The signs were missed because a person in that frame of mind is not thinking or seeing the world the way that others do. They do not see their situation like others do. They do not see the possibilities or the hope like others do. What might help someone in a difficult situation, such as with advice or words said to comfort, may not help someone who is already in a suicidal frame of mind because they think differently than is normal at that point. That’s the mental illness. It is important to be able to recognize the signs that differ between depressed and suicidal. A suicidal mind is at a much more advanced stage of depression, their thoughts are their own worst enemy at that point. Their desires are lethal to themselves. It’s important to be able to see the signs. In my sisters case, I see the signs in retrospect, like brightly coloured flashing emergency signs. At the time, I was blind to them. My efforts to help and comfort were applicable to someone having a hard time and looking for a solution, not to someone who is suicidal and sees death as the solution and the comfort to rid of the pain and stop being a burden in life. She hid it so well. Nobody knew the depths and reality of her true internal thoughts. And then she was gone.

    Signs of a person with suicidal thoughts:

    https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide

  23. Thank you for sharing this letter. It brings me to tears. I lost my sister, step-father, my nephew, and two brothers in law to suicide. I have never been mad at any of them. I understand their need to escape the pain. My sister’s letter was loving and kind … how I miss her and my loved ones who have passed in this way. Thank you again for sharing yourself in this way.

  24. I am a friend of two mothers who lost their children this way..it’s an unbelievable pain to watch them cry tears of anguish an realize they have to keep living when most of what’s in them has frozen ..my soul goes out to each an every family member who suffered this type of lost….forever prayers

  25. I lost my husband to suicide 10/7/2018. This article felt like he was speaking to me. I miss my soulmate, my best friend every second of every day. Thank you for this. I will be following you!!

  26. Our brother-in-law took his life after a terrible bout with depression. He had everything in life anyone could ask for…financial stability, a great profession that he loved, he was loved and respected not only by his family, but from his community. He was a Firefighter/EMT, and he was the best…at least this is what we all assumed to be. He fought his demons and gave little-to-no insight on how HE felt. My wife and I still cannot believe he’s gone. We ask ourselves why, and regularly say, “if only he reached out…”.

    EMS suicide awareness week began 1 day after he passed away…

  27. I write this thru tears. My husband battles de pression daily. His comes out in anger. Afterwards when je calms down for a bit he tells me he wants to die and get out of everyones way and doesnt want To hurt me anymore. He sees a therapist, counselor and doctor for meds for his condition but they dont seem to help much. What can i do To help him? I dont want him to die.

  28. This story is a true story. It must be, because it comes from the heart and soul of one who has actually “been there done that”. I suffer from chronic depression and have attempted suicide once. The feeling of despair is so intense and the loneliness is surreal. It is like you are in a dark hole and no one else exists. We all need a good support system and most of all have a close relationship with God. My depression comes and goes in waves, but I now have good people to go to and a good doctor willing to listen and help me

  29. Thank you so much, back in June I tried taking myself and I overdosed and I got the help I needed and then a few weeks later things got rough and I was sent to the hospital on suicide watch, things are some what getting better. People kept telling me I was selfish for trying to commit suicide but they don’t know what is going on. Things will get better I keep trying to tell myself that every minute of the day it is a battle but we can fight this. We are not alone.

  30. My fiancé passed sept 25 2018. I could hear him literally read this to me. I tell his sons all about him everyday. I miss and love you my marsh.

  31. This hits home for sure. I remember having an overwhelming feeling over me that my life was making everybody else miserable, and removing myself from the picture would bring others peace. It was one of the darkest days of my life.

  32. Thank you for sharing this. I feel as if I could have written it. I’ve battled depression for over 30 years and have tried twice to end the pain. I’ve finally gotten help, am on medication and in counseling, but it’s still a nagging thought in the back of my head some days. It’s good to know that with time that nagging thought can finally go away. I just wish it would be gone now for good.

  33. I have always felt this way about suicide. How much overwhelming pain a person must be in to think death is their only hope. Bless them and their families and friends who endure this. God is with you, and your loved ones. I pray you find peace in this.

  34. My son was 17 when he first told me he was having suicidal thoughts and was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder. They put him on so many meds and he felt like a zombie. He stopped taking them and refused to try again. He became a mechanic but continued to struggle with his mood swings. He made it to 34. He didn’t show up for work one day and didn’t call to let them know he wasn’t coming so one of his friends called and text but he didn’t answer. Richard went to his house but he didn’t answer the door so he came and got me. His brother and I went to the house and found him. I had prayed for him for years and worried about him more than I didn’t. One day several years before he died, during my praying, I opened my Bible and found John 10:29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I believed the and still believe God was telling me not to worry that he would be with me always. This verse gave me so much comfort when I read it and most especially after he died. I have always been told that suicide would ensure damnation but I don’t believe that. There is no difference in a physical illness causing death and a mental illness causing death. I greatly appreciate you sharing this with the world.

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