*Trigger Warning: Depression, suicide, self-harm.*
With the tragic deaths of musicians such as Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington and the release of Logic's emotional ballad 1-800 , it seems like the reoccurring topic of 2017 is a heartbreaking one; suicide. As someone who's lost good friends, and even almost herself to the same tragedy, this topic hits close to home, which is why it's taken so long for me to talk about.
It's no secret that I've been a Linkin Park fan for years now, so I kept up with the various press releases as they rolled out following Chester's passing. Unfortunately with the press releases came peoples opinions of his death as well, along with people's thoughts on suicide as a whole. Just like following the loss of Robin Williams, there were many people throwing out their thoughts that suicide is selfish or even cowardly.
"They didn't think of anyone but themselves."
"People need to toughen up."
"It's the cowards way out."
"What about their family? What about me?"
I wish these were some things I'd just heard of other people saying about suicide and it's victims, that I had never actually heard them with my own ears but I have. After missing class to attend a funeral for a high school friend who lost their battle with mental illness I heard it in whispered tones when people talked about why I had been gone. When I opened up about my own thoughts in my head when I was at an all-time low, I had it said to my face.
"I'm sorry you feel that way but I can't believe you would be that selfish to even consider that. How would we feel?"
I'm sorry, I thought I was trying to confide in you so I could get help, not feel worse? It's nearly 2018 and it's time to stop. It's time that we all stop calling suicide and those affected by suicidal thoughts selfish. If your first thought when someone confides in you about taking their own life is yourself, then who really is the selfish one?
Yes, suicide is tragic. It's heartbreaking and it's devastating to everyone involved. To feel that low to feel like ending your own life is the only answer is a pain I'd never wish upon my worst enemy. And losing someone you love by their own hand then feeling the soul-crushing guilt of forever wondering "What if?" is another unbearable pain I hope no one ever has to experience.
Yes, suicide affects more than just the one whose life is lost, it affects everyone who loved and cared about them. But that's the thing about depression, your mind plays tricks on you and tells you things that aren't true.
"You're nothing but a burden."
"They deserve better than you."
"They'll move on."
"They'll be happier when you're gone."
It's not that victims aren't thinking of others when they feel that level of low, their brain just tricks them that everyone else is doing them a favor. Suicide victims and victims are not selfish. They're lost, they're hurt, and they deserve love and support. If you can't offer them that, then maybe you're the toxic on in their life.
If you or anyone you know has ever felt like taking your life was your only option left please know you are not alone. You are powerful, you are strong, you are loved and even if I do not know you I pray for your heart and healing each and everyday. God bless, and may you all keep fighting.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line.
Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.