Sophus Lie had taken his examinations; he had finished his education; and it worried him that he did not know in all certainty what he would use his education and his life for. His last period as a student seems to have been difficult, and when he went home to Moss at Christmas time,1865, he was depressed. His friend Motzfeldt later felt that this dejection was linked to Lie’s disappointment over not having achieved the top mark in the final examination. No doubt there were also other conditions that played a role, and most certainly the depression was worse than his friend Motzfeldt had believed. After he had been home at his father’s house in Moss for almost three months, Lie answered a letter from Motzfeldt, writing: “Thanks and again Thanks for your Letter. I regard this as a Sign that, at least You will not reject me, although You know that I am a forlorn Subject.” He continued, saying that he “in truth” had been “aimless, thoughtless, superficial, bad”, and despite all the time they had spent together in recent years, Lie wrote: “If You were to believe me, I should, when the Opportunity arises, tell You my Story.” He insistently urged Motzfeldt to go on acting as his friend, for thus could he (Lie) “perhaps, although the Probability has almost disappeared”, manage to struggle for “a Place in Society.“ Toward the end of this short letter to his friend in Christiania, as has already been mentioned above, Lie wrote:
When I bid You Farewell before Christmas, I believed that it was for Now and all Eternity; for it was my Intention to become a Suicide. But I do not have the Strength for it. So in consequence I get another Chance to try to live.