On suicide…

Trigger warning! This poem may be difficult to read if you know someone who has committed suicide, if you yourself have had suicidal thoughts, or if the topic of suicide is difficult for you whatever the reason may be. Please do not read if you don’t feel ready to do so.

If you want to read make sure you feel in a good place with your mental health, perhaps read it with a friend or do whatever you need so as to not feel triggered. Please also check local resources (and on this website) to support you with your mental health.


A poem by Kevin Groen (thank you for his permission in reposting this poem)


I don’t…
I don’t think I can do this…

You say that suicide is selfish,
but how would you possibly know?
Have you ever tried to take your life?
Put a knife to your wrists,
ready to pull the trigger,
eyes full of nothingness
staring at the abyss.
Do you even know what
goes through your mind
leading up to this moment?
All the days, weeks, months,
and years feeding yourself
with poisonous beliefs that ending it
is the only reasonable solution.
You say that suicide is selfish,
but how would you possibly know?

Did you know that the male to female
suicide ratio is three to one?
And that is four too many.
but why would you care?
A silent epidemic slowly invading
the minds of men, an unwanted presence
persuading them that suicide is the answer.
Depression is more than just a mood swing.
You don’t sing your way out of this perpetual blues,
you can’t man your way out of a depression.
And the more we teach our society that
‘Boys don’t cry’;
‘Feelings are for pussies’;
‘Man up’ or
‘Don’t be so gay’;
the more we close the door to a
conversation that may save a life.
We need to stop lying to ourselves that
silencing is the solution to surviving;
I am not afraid of dying,
I’m afraid of living.

Silence is a form of violence too.
All the times I didn’t say a thing
because I didn’t want to make a scene.
All the times I didn’t report the assault
as no judge will issue a warrant
for keeping your own heart hostage.
No handcuffs can prevent
self-inflicted pain from happening,
but there are times that I wish
the police could arrest my mind
so it would stop hijacking my life.
I want to cry and pour my heart out,
be loud in my vulnerability
and gentle in my masculinity.
I want to make love to my heart, start
ripping apart all the walls I’ve built around it,
and not feel guilty for feeling this way
when I live a life of privilege.
And how many men are out there
right now, who just like me,
feel the constant pressure
to be someone they are not
while keeping their mouths shut?
Silence is a form of violence too!

Don’t you fucking dare say that!
Are you even aware of the
razor cuts on wrists and thighs,
screaming silent cries at night
when no one listens?
A crime story carved
into skin like braille,
and with the villain prevailing,
are you willing to read a body
telling a story that doesn’t end well?
Because if you’re not willing
to understand the pain
then don’t claim that suicide is selfish;
every scar, every nightmare, every
bad memory is a testament to all
the unanswered cries for help.

Do you really think that I didn’t think this through?
I have thought about this more than I wish I had.
This isn’t just a latest fad, a hipster thing to do.
I would love to exchange all the times
I put a knife to my wrists,
kissed the long night goodbye,
felt the sharp edge of the blade
press against my skin
for a mind you can trust.
I am constantly questioning myself,
and like the word self-ish,
I am sort of myself but not quite,
still fighting the imperfections of a
lifetime believing that I was the only one.

I know you will hate me for saying this
but it’s your judgement and indifference
that feeds my suicidal tendencies.
A tidal wave of rejection crashing down
on walls of therapy and antidepressants.
How can one possibly stand a chance
against the cruelty of human nature?

I don’t expect you to understand
how I feel or what led to this,
so I invite you to walk in my dreams instead,
and see for yourself that my dreams
have become the birthplace of
horror stories so frightening;
I wish I could amputate my own imagination.
I want you to screen my body like a crime scene
full of hidden clues that would leave
even Sherlock Holmes astound.
I offer you a heart transplant
so you can descend into the depths
of my emotions and experience the battleground
of every war I have fought with myself,
and the scar tissue reminding me
of every battle yet to come.
I don’t expect you to understand
how I feel or what led to this,
but I hope one day you will.
Until then I only have one thing left to say.


About the author

Kevin Groen is a behavioural change enthusiast, spoken word artist and coffee brewing addict, on a mission to make people feel more alive and workplaces more humane ❤️

As an adopted South Korean boy growing up in The Netherlands, identity, soul-searching, and discovery have always been important themes in his life. Although it took him years before realising that his inner struggle of acceptance was in the way of his own personal transformation. An intense self-discovery journey back to South Korea catalysed that process.

Over the years, he has been blessed to work with both the NGO and corporate sector. These different environments have shaped his beliefs on leadership and life balance. Today he gets paid to kick people’s butts so they turn their good intentions into real behavioural change, and uses his voice as a spoken word artist to confront audiences with prejudices and unconscious biases they didn’t even know they had.

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Currently working in marketing and comms in Amsterdam. Passionate about all things digital, writing, dancing, travelling and much more. Mental health blogger and advocate.

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