If You're Feeling Suicidal, Read This And Ask For Help

To The One Who Doesn't Want To Go On, I Hope This Reaches You In Time

Fighting the lie that suicide is the answer and that you don't matter.

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I hope this reaches you in time and you stay — even if it couldn't reach her in time.

It was a bright, cool day in the spring when I found out you were gone. I went wedding dress shopping with a friend, then stopped for snow cones afterward. The day was exciting and felt normal and expected until she told me what had happened. I remember just where I was standing and thinking she couldn't be right. My friend and I were at the exact place you had been working at just months before. It was a nightmare, but at the same time felt very real. I was shocked and didn't know what to do but breathe.

Just breathe I told myself — even if every breath hurts.

It floated in and out of my mind that day until it hit me that night and every day after that for a long time. I cried more than I had in a long time. I had questions and no answers. I experienced deep ache, shock and tears with no relief in sight. How could you, my tall, freckle-faced, joy-filled, friend be gone?

Some days I still don't know what to say. Suicide means something different than it ever has before, and the word alone has changed me forever. I still struggle to say it, write it, and even type it some days because I know what it means for me and countless others. I don't see numbers and statistics anymore. I see hearts and eyes broken with pain, wanting relief.

I see bottles of pills dumped out on the counter and a shaking hand grabbing a handful. I see people isolating themselves and doing anything to make the loud thoughts to stop. I see tears streaming down cheeks as people just want someone to understand, care, and be there.

I also see a scene I can't seem to shake — someone finding their loved one has gone and there is nothing they can do.

I see your glowing, gorgeous face now also. Your laughter was contagious, heart genuine and love for others evident. I remember how friendly you were, and how you made me feel welcome when we first met. You immediately made me feel seen, heard, and like I mattered. But your suffering was also more real than most people knew.

Not too long ago, I found an old picture of you and I. We were young, happy and the darkness hadn't left scars yet. Happiness comes to my heart because of the special memories, but also sadness because of what will no longer be.

You left us far too soon, but I want you to know that I will always remember you, your life and the impact you made on everyone that knew you.

It's been nearly a year since you have been gone. I still can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that I didn't get to say goodbye. The unsaid words in my heart still go through my mind and leave me with many unanswered questions. I wonder what was your last thought, and if anything could have made you stay. If there had been something, know that I would have done anything to accomplish that.

With all my heart, I wish that you would have stayed. This didn't reach you in time, and because of that, I will always ache. But I hope and pray that it reaches you in time — maybe someone who is right where she was, caught between staying or leaving.

"Mental illness matters, talking about it matters, warning signs matter, and addressing your darkness matters, because you matter." — Hannah Brencher

The only thing more exhausting than being suicidal and experiencing depression is pretending you are not. Suffering secretly is one of the heaviest burdens to bear. If she could do it over, I know she would want each person to put a semicolon where she put a period. A semicolon means the story isn't over yet; it is hope for those that continue to fight. Suicide doesn't solve your pain and problems, but it passes it to another person that will never get over your loss.

Ignorance is not bliss — the stigma of mental health makes many run the opposite direction of someone hurting.

We are losing precious humans all the time, or even ourselves, and that's not OK. Don't give in to the thought that you should stop fighting for yourself or your friend. The pain of regret is far greater than being uncomfortable as you talk, listen, or get the help that you need.

I'm a big believer that life will get better, but I want you to be here for it. This life is worth living and fighting for, friend. Please keep going, even when you think you can't.

Be that person that doesn't tell someone to get over it, but helps them get through it. No one should go through life or struggles alone. We need each other.

Let's crush ignorance and educate ourselves, along with others.
Let's stop the lies and spread more truth.
Let's stop suffering in secret and bring it into the open. Let's be brave and show true love as we stand with and for someone.
Let's end the stigma that tries to follow us; we are real people with normal problems.

It could make all the difference in the world for one, a hundred or a thousand just like my friend. I don't want anyone to be next. Let me encourage you to not be silent anymore — for yourself or the person next to you. I can't bear to just watch as our generation and others end their stories.

Listen, I want you to know that you are a very special human, encase you haven't heard that today. Remember life is worth fighting for and I am cheering you on. You are not alone in this, OK? Please just stay.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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My Story As A Recovering Self-Harmer

Content warning: Self-harm.

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Since high school, I have physically and knowing self-harmed as a way to distract myself. It has been almost 7 years and right now I have only been a few months clean. In the past 7 years, I have relapsed more than a couple of times. I have gone months at a time and found myself at a breaking point.

I know it's nobody's business and it might be oversharing but this is meant for primary readers. For those who are going through recovery or just began today. If secondary or tertiary readers stumble upon this then I hope it helps you understand from the other side.

I am still recovering. The thing about addiction is that you can never fully be "cured." You can be clean for years and still relapse. The key is to decide to try again.

I call it an addiction because it was. I grabbed the razor before I could even understand why I was numb. I did it multiple times a day and sometimes I didn't need an actual reason.

It was a sort of ripple effect. I couldn't stop the ripples into turning into the next one and instead, I just watched as they spread. One second I was OK and the next I locked the door.

Some people smoke and some people drink. I hate the smell of smoke and can't stand the taste of alcohol but I often wish I could use those as a distraction for my distraction. I do many things now to distract myself from getting too close to another relapse. I let out a scream to alarm my family or I start running. The first few seconds of the attempt are the hardest. It's an internal pain that makes you itch inside out.

After a few minutes have passed I can usually begin to calm myself. I sit down and remind myself that everything is OK. It isn't always easy so calling a friend is always an option.

Sometimes I end up crying in order to release all the built-up emotions. When minutes have passed and I am still filled with tears I force myself to grab something to eat. I have realized that I can't cry and eat at the same time. I grab anything. Sometimes my siblings make me something instead.

I am seeking professional help for those who are wondering. I am almost half a year clean and I have two caring and supportive friends and a family who does their best to understand and support me.

Recovery is not easy when it comes to mental illness because the results aren't always visible like a broken bone. Any amount of self felt recovery is amazing. It's a step towards a better you. Talking to people and seeking professional help are all steps.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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