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The Fine Line between Life and Death l Xiaojie’s poem

September 19, 2019

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The Fine Line between Life and Death l Xiaojie’s poem

September 19, 2019



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,


But tighter


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

Goodbye, life”


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,


“To live”


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.


Talk Helps


Please call the lifeline because things do change even when you feel like they aren’t going to.


400 821 1215 - lifeline Shanghai 



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