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The One Phrase We Should All Stop Saying

The One Phrase We Should All Stop Saying

"I want to KMS." It’s an easy—and all too common—way to say, “I want to kill myself.” We say it so much we’ve become numb to what we’re actually saying. To put things in perspective, take a moment to reflect on when you’ve heard this most.

“I’m going to kill myself.”
Reality: You have work

“Literally, I wanna KMS.”
Reality: You’re frustrated

“I want to kill myself.”
Reality: you have school

Why do we say we want to kill ourselves so thoughtlessly, and how did we get here? When did we desensitize these words? When should we take this seriously, or assume that someone is just frustrated with a situation?

While some people use this phrase with no actual meaning behind these words, there are others who wonder what it'd be like if they were gone. In a country that prides itself on freedom of speech, I realize that we can't convince everyone to stop saying the phrase. The media always talks about suicide prevention. They talk about all the millions of Americans that struggle with depression; however the media fails to remind us all that some of life’s struggles are unavoidable. We may not be depressed, per se, but we’re human and it’s understandable to have a hard time.

I'm more concerned about bringing awareness to the meaning of this phrase. Although I’m not a hyper sensitive person, I am much more aware when people say, "I want to kill myself.” We all should be. I had my own version of the "boy who cried wolf" story, which reminds me to take these situations seriously. The day I said I wanted to kill myself seemed like a typical Saturday to everyone else, but inside I was struggling.

There were a multitude of triggers and I felt so unwanted. I can't say that was anyone's fault, but I made the decision to send a text to two people I wanted a reaction from. I can't blame them for taking it seriously, regardless of if I wanted to convince myself they should have known I wasn't really going to. I was just stuck.

To this day, I'm not sure what I was looking for when I said those words. Maybe I thought I'd get a positive reaction; beg for some attention or feel comfortable enough to talk about why I was struggling. Instead, I faced 12 hours in a frigid room with white cement walls, a bed with paper-thin blankets, and silence. There is nothing louder than silence. Remembering when a patient said, "Oh look, we got another female" as I was being wheeled in. This infuriated me then—now it inspires me. That night I wondered, “How many people end up here? Why do they end up here? Do that many people feel so unwanted or insecure that they make these threats, or have we really desensitized the meaning of this phrase so much we don’t expect people to react?”

“Why do we say we want to kill ourselves so thoughtlessly, and how did we get here?”

I still don’t have the answers. But we’re at a pivotal point to encourage conversation about the meaning of the words we’re saying. Be honest with yourself and take your mental health seriously. Know the difference between being frustrated and really having these feelings, because your feelings matter.  A year ago, I was scared and confused about my feelings. Today I have learned that it's okay to struggle and that life is complicated. Today I am able to bring sensitivity back into my vocabulary and I’m able to express my struggles versus desensitizing such a strong statement. Be considerate and aware of yourself and others who may be struggling by refraining from saying, “I want to KMS” and let's bring meaning back to these words. At the very least, just be aware.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, contact the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

By Alex, 21

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