Pills for Breakfast: Fighting Suicidal Thoughts

Pills for Breakfast: Fighting Suicidal Thoughts

The pain in my ribs has been particularly horrible the last few days.

I’ve rarely been able to get out of bed or off the couch. I’ve been absent from conversations. And I’ve been trying to sleep whenever I can because it’s the only relief I can find.

Crystal Lindell

Crystal Lindell

I don’t want this life.

I don’t really much care if “God has a plan for me.”

I don’t really care if I’m “still needed.”

And I really, really, really don’t care if I’m supposed to “learn something” from this awful experience.

I started taking Cymbalta about a month and a half ago, and I have to admit that it has curbed the visceral suicidal thoughts that started about 3 weeks after the pain started. The ones I was having on an almost daily basis. The ones I used to wake up with and go to bed with. The ones that used to linger in my head as I’d contemplate things like whether I should try to live through the next week to see the next episode of “The Good Wife,” or whether I should just go ahead and slit my wrists in the bathtub that night.

But even though the Cymbalta has helped with my primal urge to end it all, there are still plenty of other suicidal thoughts lingering around.

Reason is enough of a reason to want to kill myself. I rationalize that if I have to endure this horrible pain for the rest of my life, then I don’t want to live the rest of my life.

I start to think that I might have the horrible misfortune of both never being cured and living for the next six decades. And I come to the conclusion that taking a bottle of pills all at once would be better than bearing that.

It’s hard to explain to people just how quickly pain makes you crazy. How quickly it makes you want to give up.

If I had been asked a year ago how I would react to something like this, I would have assumed everything would have been so different.

I would have thought my faith would have given me the strength I needed to get through it. I would have thought that my friends and my family would have understood just how horrible the pain really is and that they all would have rallied to support me. And I would have imagined that I would have been able to go to a doctor and get some sort of relief.

But I would have been so very wrong.

I can understand euthanasia now. I can sympathize with those patients.

And I can’t help but wonder if some of the thousands of deaths each year caused by accidental overdosing on prescription pain pills are no accident.

When you’re enduring horrible, horrible pain on daily basis, it’s as if your body is hard wired to assume you must be close to death. When you aren’t though, when you just keep on living, day after day after day, well, it makes you crazy.

But then, just when you’re about to give up, just when you can barely breathe, you inhale a gasp of air.

My brother and my grandma and I were in the living room the other day. And we were talking about my other grandma, on my dad’s side of the family, and how devastating it was when she died. And I turned to my living grandma and said, “When you die, it will devastate this family.”

And my brother turned to me, as if he’d been waiting for the right time to tell me this, because he knew where my thoughts had been, and he said, “Crystal, if you die, it would devastate this family for years. You are the rock that holds this whole family together.”

It’s just enough to air to help me breathe a little while longer.


If you or someone you love is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, or call them at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Crystal Lindell is journalist who lives in Byron, Illinois. She loves Taco Bell, Burn Notice reruns on Netflix and Snicker’s Bites. She also has been diagnosed with intercostal neuralgia, a painful disorder of the nerves running between her ribs.

Crystal writes about it on her blog, The Only Certainty is Bad Grammar.

The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that!  It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.

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I tried Cymbalta. I ended up on a couch for a week. I felt so sick I could hardly move.

Life is about purpose. When that purpose is taken away then what? Exist to experience the daily torture of chronic pain that has changed who you are and driven you to the point of insanity? Uh no.

We may not be alone when it comes to family but even sometimes we are. People get used to family members being in pain and it becomes less important. Why should they need to be all caught up in your misfortune? It is you not them. If anything you remind them of how lucky they are.

One thing we must remember. It is not our fault and there is no lesson to be learned from having chronic pain. The Government and Medical establishments/Doctors have let us down and I do not see that changing. Just read all the stories about our journey. We are not winning. If we could only let these types walk a day in our shoes they would not be singing the song they sing.

Someday some of them will.

Then how will they feel?

Hopefully even worse than we do.

There is an old saying

“I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy”.

In this case I do wish this on every single one out there who has done everything to keep those in pain from taking their life back.


I so appreciate your (brutal) honesty. In my experience, most people don’t know how to “deal” with chronic pain sufferers. We’re the complicated little “fly” in their ointment. In fact, when people like you and I speak up, we’re more likely to find support and resources we didn’t know existed (and help our frustrated friends and family members find better ways to relate to us, and we to them). By raising our voices and saying, “I hurt and I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’ve run out of options here. I’m in misery here and I don’t know if I can make it another day” we’re also more likely to raise consciousness (and hopefully funding) to an issue that affect millions of sufferers-many of them silent-every moment of every day.

Dennis Kinch

Crystal, please don’t give in to this primal urge. It seems like the inevitable, and I have been in your shoes, but I found the answer and it came in an epiphany one day, 5 years into the disease! I’m not telling you what to do or giving you some pie in the sky ideas I might have, I’m just saying, the answer for me came out of nowhere after 5 years of trying really hard and at the point of giving up. Now that the pain monster has been cut down to size I realize how wrong it would have been to bring severe emotional pain to my family, especially my children. Years of pain and therapy for them and for what? So the pain monster can feed on more people. I’m so glad I didn’t do it. I can promise you this, there is a way to tame the monster and bring him down to a manageable size. Please, wait it out, the answer is there,you just need to see it. Please feel free to write to me anytime.