What you seem to be describing is passive suicidal ideation. The passive element essentially means that you may want to die but are not actively attempting to end your life. Put another way, you may desire death but are not actively engaging in suicidal behavior.
In studies about suicidal behavior, passive suicidal ideation was found to be a risk factor for severe suicidal actions. Clearly, suicide is on your mind. You mentioned it in your letter and even stated that it’s something you’ve always wanted to do. By your own admission, you are envious of someone who completed the act.
This is not a matter to take lightly. The desire to die is serious. It is not a natural state of being. It suggests a high level of unhappiness and dissatisfaction with your life. It means that something needs to change, an adjustment is necessary. It’s a red flag that should not be ignored.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2017, nearly 47,000 people in the United States ended their own lives. Often people consider suicide when they are unhappy or don’t know how to make positive changes in their lives. Suicidal people often develop a tunnel vision that focuses exclusively on negativity. This is why consulting a mental health professional is essential, to assist you in seeing the objective reality. There are a broad range of options available to you to remedy this problem.
I would encourage you to read about people who have attempted suicide and who have survived. Consider the story of Kevin Hines. Mr. Hines attempted suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. He was in a miserable state of mind. He believed that his life couldn’t change. He thought suicide was his only option. He writes about having regretted his decision to jump the moment his fingertips left the rails of the bridge. He instantaneously knew that he had made a mistake. Fortunately, he lived to tell that story and now imparts his wisdom to others. He lived to see that life can change for the better, with treatment. His story is hopeful, uplifting and demonstrates the will to live that exists in all of us.
There are many others like him, too. You can learn about some of their stories by reading this article in The New York Times titled The Urge to End It All.
I would also recommend this story about Marsha Linehan, an expert in mental illness who also struggled with suicidal ideation. Reading about their “lived experiences” can help to change your view on life.
By reading the aforementioned stories, you’ll hopefully understand that people who are suicidal really don’t want to die. They wanted their pain to end and falsely believed that suicide was a way out. It is not. Getting help is the answer. Whatever might be wrong, is correctable with treatment.
Studies indicate that there are millions of people suffering who have never sought professional help. Essentially, that means there are millions of people who are suffering with treatable problems. There’s no reason to suffer with treatable problems when help is available.
Contact your primary care physician or mental health professional and ask for their assistance. They will know how to help you. Call emergency services if you cannot protect yourself or believe that you might harm yourself. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle