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suicide and cancer are two different ways to die.
both hang in the air like thick blankets in a room full of claustrophobic people.
but only one gets sympathy.

suicidal kids don't get help with their bucket lists.
they don't get to meet their favorite celebrities as their dying wish.
they don't get all the visits from their guiltily distant family members weeks before their deaths.

they suffer in silence. they could be days away from death and forced to keep acting like everything's normal.
they could have it all planned out and nobody know.
they're not allowed a hospital bed,
not until they've actually tried to kill themselves.

suicidal kids get yelled at by their parents downstairs with a noose hanging from the ceiling fan upstairs.
they get reprimanded for not taking their medication when they had planned on taking the whole bottle.
they get cursed by the teacher for being late to class and that might just be the thing that sends them over the edge,
and then they never show up again.

cancer patients get all the sympathy.
the churches bring baskets of food.
friends donate lots of money.
all the while your health is steadily declining like a bicycle with no brakes
careening towards a brick wall at the end of a hill that varies in steepness.
the end is near,
and you can feel it.
and as you finally cross that bridge,
your favorite song is playing.
your brother is rubbing your mom's back while she clutches your hand that is growing colder with each passing second.
and yes, it's painful
and yes, it sucks
everyone is telling you that it's okay.
it's okay to let go.
no one tells you that when you're suicidal.

so no, i'm not going to kill myself.
i'm going to go through life like normal. go to trade school, maybe college. get a degree, make some friends, make some money.

and then

i'm going to get addicted to nicotine.
and i'm going to smoke and smoke and smoke
until i'm blowing paychecks just to get a fix.
and when they put me in the hospital
and give me that "awful" news
inside, i will be smiling.

so here's to praying for release.
begging for the attention that cancer patients get,
that suicidal people desperately need.

because suicidal kids only seem to matter,

after they're already dead.

i hope i get lung cancer | poemWhere stories live. Discover now