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

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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The Trauma Of My Illness Helped Me Fall In Love With Myself Again

I take a look back at what my experience has taught me a year later, now with fresh eyes and an open heart.

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My first year of college didn't exactly go as I had planned. Midway through the spring semester (last year), I was feeling overwhelmingly tired and sick with difficulty to breathe and at first, was misdiagnosed with a normal cold.

After only three days of these symptoms and then starting to cough up blood, I went to the ER at Temple University Hospital and was diagnosed with sepsis, strep, and bacterial pneumonia. Luckily, I was admitted in perfect time- before my organs started to fail before my life would be over.

I was very naive at the time and thought the recovery would be quick and easily forgettable. I can remember thinking "a couple of antibiotics should fix this right?" or "I'll just be here through the night, that's it".

I never would've guessed what was to actually happen- three weeks hospitalized, countless tests, IV's, medications, restless nights, surgery, nurses and doctors 24/7, four chest tubes, forced medical withdraw from school, the tears, the hurt, and the pain.

I missed my friends, my classes, my freedom to walk and use the bathroom on my own, the sight of my family's faces without a worried or tired look, and the feeling of inhaling without excruciating torment and pain.

These little things that I had so easily taken for granted before now seemed so distant, and terribly out of reach. I missed so much and at the same time felt so much helplessness, anxiety, and sadness.

I remember looking at myself in the plastic flimsy handheld mirror and not knowing the person looking back at me. I felt like a stranger in the shell of my body- emotionally and physically detached. I couldn't seem to get out of the negative headspace that was consuming me.

I couldn't help but imagine that I was just supposed to die, that I wasn't supposed to make it through.

I couldn't figure out why I was being punished in this way, a way that made me feel completely isolated, guilty for my name seeming to be in everyone's mouth all of the time, sad that for that span of time I felt like I had failed- even though I didn't ask for any of it.

I didn't want to get sick, I didn't want to 'drop out,' I didn't want to continue being a burden to everyone I loved.

But here's what I had such trouble seeing through my pain: love. I mean, I was so grateful and thankful for the well wishes and visitors of my friends and family, but I was missing the big picture.

Chalk it up to my selfishness at the time, or the heavy amount of painkillers I was on, or that maybe I was frozen in the overwhelming situation, but I truly had so much to be thankful for, and those first weeks in the hospital I was blind to this immense and incalculable love that was around me.

Through all of this hurt, there was so much love. I was so lucky to be alive, I was healing, and I was growing, and I continue to do so now.

It is the love of my friends and family that allowed me to realize how I should have been loving myself before I got sick. I should've been soaking up every moment I have, going the extra mile, and of course, loving myself.

I have since fallen in love with myself again- deeper than I ever have before. I stopped being picky with little things that used to bother me, I now accept myself for my flaws and embrace them, and I allow them to empower me.

I give myself time to heal, process, and figure things out. I don't shame myself for any of my imperfectness either. The love I give myself first then allows me to give love to others as well, to reciprocate the joy and care that others have given me.

This experience gave me new eyes, and I started to see things without the haze of my self-doubt. I feel a strength and power within myself that I never thought I had, which I am so very thankful for, and being pushed to my limits enabled me to understand other people's experiences with even more empathy than I thought possible.

Now, when I look in the mirror I know that no matter what my body may look or feel like- I will always be me, and I am so blessed because of that. My literal and figurative scars show me where I have been, what I have been able to endure, and what I have learned.

They also show me that I can (and will) keep going, keep loving, and continuously be unapologetic for who I am. I don't actually regret any of what happened to me, because it brought me so much closer to the ones I love, and most notably, it made me learn to love myself again.

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Staying Quiet Is Never The Answer

Never hold in anything—always talk to someone.

merew14
merew14
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"Talk to someone" may be a phrase used all of the time, but I'm serious when I say, talk to someone.

I cannot stress enough the importance of talking to someone when you are going through anything difficult that is bringing you down. Believe me when I say that this is something I had to learn myself. I'm the queen of not talking about anything to anyone and wearing my, "Everything is okay" mask, but that is one of the most unhealthy things you can do. Holding everything in is so damaging to you emotionally and mentally. When you bottle everything, it will eventually all come out and it will be on someone you are close to who had no idea about anything you tell them.

My reason for not talking was always that my problems would add a burden to someone else and I never wanted to do that; the truth is, those that care about you think more about ways they can help than your problems being a burden for them. I've always been the person to hold everything in until it got to be too much and then I would explode on one of the people closest to me; not only was that damaging to me, but it was damaging to my relationship with that person as well.

Talking to someone is one of the most serious things you can do. People have been placed in your life as people you can vent to and tell everything to. I'm not saying vent to everyone in your life, but find at least one person you can trust and talk to them. The more you talk to people and let them in, the easier it gets to become something you do normally and the easier life gets. Even if you don't want to talk to someone close to you, there are hotlines you can call and talk to people who literally do that as their job. Your problems are not a burden and do not need to be held inside.

Talk to someone; the more you do it, the easier it gets.


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


merew14
merew14

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