You Are Never Alone
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Health and Wellness

You Are Never Alone

Some Truth on Suicide Prevention

You Are Never Alone
Monty Winters

September is national Suicide Prevention month. Don’t agree we need a month dedicated to this? Think again. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an American dies by suicide every 12.95 minutes. It is estimated to be attempted 1 million times annually, and for every woman who dies by suicide, four men die by suicide, but women are three times more likely to attempt. This isn’t an innocent occurrence. It is never a coincidence, and there is never a suicide without a story.

As a young adult who has dealt with depression and anxiety for years, my heart goes out to those who’ve felt the need to take their own lives. I know what it’s like to feel nothing and everything all at the same time and have no idea what to do with the overflow, and/or lack of, emotion. The majority of suicides can be linked to a background or the onset of a mental illness. Most people who commit suicide find themselves unable to explain themselves, and when they do find the words or some means of communicating their cloudy thoughts, they feel as if it will place a heavy burden on whomever they seek for comfort. Sometimes the quietest people are the ones with so much to say, which is why things like Suicide Prevention are necessary. Raising awareness is essential in a world where so many things can set someone off. The many forms of bullying, problems at home, conflict with friends or significant others, countless types of abuse all can lead a person into their darkest nights, causing them to lose hope in the brighter days.

Even if it isn’t the act of suicide, the thought can linger for an extensive period of time, and may not ever go away. I know what it’s like to get behind the wheel of a car after a long and tough day wondering what would happen if I just kept driving and hit that tree a few feet ahead, or swerve hard into the ditch on my left. How do we help? How can we prevent this? We listen, we keep our eyes, minds, and hearts open to those who seem like they are in need of the slightest bit of love or attention. When a person is seriously thinking about suicide, they sure as hell don’t let anyone know. As someone who used self-harm far too long as a way to express my feelings, I can deeply relate to those who are lost in their own heads. Sometimes a person in pain just wants to be asked, “Are you okay?” Those three words could change a life. They could save a life.

It is not selfish. If your view on suicide is the selfishness of the act itself, please reconsider or at least don’t voice that opinion around someone who may be contemplating it. People turn to suicide as a last resort. It has more than likely been thought out and planned to a T, which leaves plenty of time for someone to reach out and theoretically take the blade from between their unsteady fingers or the loaded gun from their heavy hands.

So why don’t we?

Be someone’s umbrella, shield their tired minds and exhausted bodies from their darker thoughts and hopeless feelings, but give them the opportunity to explain themselves, or stay silent in your presence, whatever it takes in order for them to cope. Do not let the obvious scars go unnoticed – they are obvious for a reason. Do not let the constantly swollen red eyes turn you away – be a shoulder to rest their head. Do not let those clearly forced smiles and “I’m fine” responses get brushed off – let them know you are here for them when they are ready. In saying all of this – please do not press the issue. In doing that you will only cause further anxiety for your loved one in pain. Talking about these things is not easy, especially to someone who is close. There is an overwhelming sense of fear that not only are the thoughts and harmful habits going to bring pain to those around you, but it will bring disappointment as well. These inexplicable thoughts drown those who are suffering, but finding a way to express them without causing more problems and lack of comfortability will always seem unnecessary if you ask the one with the heavy laden head.

As you can tell, those who have, or still are facing suicidal thoughts and behaviors are struggling internally more than most. Strings of thought don’t make sense, and when they do, explaining them is the last thing a person will want to do. Feelings flood the head leaving the body and the heart numb which is a painfully indescribable thing to deal with every day. Be there for people — you never know what is going on behind their eyes. And for those who are facing the pain, struggling to wake yourself up every day, remember that you are NEVER alone. Even if it isn’t your best friend, or your mother, or your brother whom you go to for help, understand that somebody does care and somebody will try to fill the holes you cannot fix in your own heart. If you want someone to save you, don’t stop them. If you are doing the saving, be aware and be patient. They will come around.

Life is precious. You are loved, you are treasured, you are here for a reason. It will always get better if you give it the time to pass. Your heart and mind are valuable to this world; do not take it away from us before you’ve done what you were placed in this world to do. Please reach out, please seek help, and please understand that this world would never be the same without you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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