The Fine Line between Life and Death l Xiaojie’s poem
Updated: Aug 20
You are in China. You have depression. You feel all alone. You want to check out. I don’t know who you are. But I know what you are going through, because I have been there. You may think nobody cares, but I do.
On this year’s World Suicide Prevention day (9/10), I wrote this poem for those…
whose light is dimmed by depression,
for those who feel so much pain and despair, and are ready to go,
for those whose life hangs by a string and nobody knows.
I hope this poem can bring you the strength to hang in there.
It’s disappointing, when you look in the mirror every morning,
It’s terrifying when you stand on the tip of a cliff with no space to back away,
It’s hopeless: lost in the ocean without sight of the shore,
It’s painful: when the music plays and the heart aches,
It’s suffocating, when you try to breath but it feels like you are in a vacuum.
The rest is nothing, pulseless, numb
One day, you hear a voice in your head that tells you to end it all
It’s scary at first,
But soon, the never-ending pain makes the voice sound gentle.
You look inside
Your soul has already rotted
You can be surrounded by people who love you
But still feel totally alone.
There’s only pain left, the undesirable pointless pain
One day, you decide it’s time to follow the voice
Then comes the plan
You can’t think anymore.
You know it’s gonna hurt people around you.
You have said sorry to them in your head thousands of times,
For the pain you are going to cause them.
You wrestle with following the plan,
You call the suicide prevention hotline when the world is asleep.
You are talking to a person on the other end about your life.
There’s not much to talk about,
You just don’t get why you feel this way.
That person makes you promise not to kill yourself
You say the words you know they want to hear
Only to find the voice in your head is louder
One day, you write a letter,
To people that you know will want an answer
You pick up the pen
There seems to be so much that you want to say
But words don’t come
You write while tears pour down your cheeks:
“Sorry, I can’t do it any longer. I have depression. I am too sick to get well. I am
Strangely, some days you start to feel a bit better
Knowing that you are going to rest in peace
Other days, you feel nervous
Not knowing what’s after death
But you decide to take a gamble
You are already burning in a living hell
The rest of the days, you see the world in slow motion
You frame the smile of your friends in your head
You take a snap shot with your eyes,
The corner of the road you turn every day as you pass by
You dance with your friends for the last time
After your favorite song
You hug them as usual,
You are saying goodbye
But no one knows that you are saying goodbye…
You are scared when the day comes
You’ve never been that scared
Your body is shaking because it still wants to live
But your mind is determined to destroy the demon that torments you
Taking your life is the only way to do that
You affirm to the voice
And you close your eyes
“I never imagined it would end this way
Your body isn’t ready to go,
It fights back
You wake up feeling disoriented and useless
For a second time, you have to make a big life decision,
I never knew I could come out of this
Now every day is a given
I allow myself to be frustrated, sad, angry or broken at times
I am glad depression didn’t take me
I am grateful to be able to smell, see, hear and feel
Life is a miracle
My life is a miracle
Please know that depression is a medical illness. I got through it, and so will you! You can’t promise that life won’t try to take you down, but you can promise your life to try battle it.
Please call the lifeline because things do change even when you feel like they aren’t going to.
400 821 1215 - lifeline Shanghai