I felt I couldn’t go on anymore and suicide seemed like a reasonable choice. The only choice. A rational decision. We’re just dust in the wind and oblivion is inevitable, right? In the other words my distress had no meaning, so what’s the point? I was on the edge, literally and metaphorically, in a shadow cast far and wide by a ruthless angel of death. But I’ve felt like this before and managed to find light and purpose; life became wholesome again. A good friend had been encouraging me to call the Suicide Callback Service for some time now and in that moment I reached into my pocket, took out my phone and dialled. I had a long conversation with someone who mentioned something that stuck, although its effect did not become apparent till later. “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” he said. Temporary!? What’s temporary about my pain? When I struggle emotionally it’s for a long time. It doesn’t feel temporary. At the time of the call I was in distress, and although I felt uneasy about the call and embarrassed about what I said to the counsellor, it was comforting that this stranger on phone was willing to step into the darkness with me. Walk alongside me. Anguished and confused I walked home. Later that day I realised the impact the call had on me. I began to get some clarity. Do I really want a permanent solution to my problems? I don’t know. I thought I did. I remembered there have been times when I’ve been more resilient and not so hurt. I know what quiets my mind and nourishes my soul. Everything I need to help myself is within me already; I realised happiness requires effort. The next day I saw a counsellor and with her help I joined a gym and began running. I set small realistic goals. After two days of training I felt a small shift. Weight bearing exercises inspired me and gave me clarity. Whereas running calmed me down. Some days I felt so hopeless, and my body felt so heavy, even getting out bed took enormous effort. On those days I went for a walk. Something is better nothing. I certainly wasn’t out of the dark but I knew in my heart I didn’t really want to self-harm or die. I just wanted the pain to stop. My distress was now bestowed by meaning; I can help others, and I remembered how rare and beautiful it is to even exist. Suffering was still there but I was no longer in distress. The knot the devil handed me had no more power over me. It was comforting thinking about and planning my suicide; knowing I have the control to end it all was easing my distress a little bit. I was problem solving, that’s what we do. But I forgot that suicide is only one solution, and a permanent one.