Hey, you. I'm not sure what makes you stay awake until early morning, questioning who you are, and I'm not sure what makes you not want to wake up tomorrow.
I do know something, though. I know that you clicked on this post, hoping to find purpose. You want a reason to stay alive, an answer to some of the unbearable pain you're feeling. I have a secret to tell you: You are the reason.
Think about it. If you're alive right now, you're already a suicide survivor. Physically, you've made it longer than you ever thought you would, and I'm so proud of you. You survived something just as powerful as disease and epidemics all around the world: self-destruction. You have 10 fingers and two strong hands, more powerful than you could ever imagine. They could pick up a gun, a knife, or a bottle of pills. They can also pick up a holy text, a book of motivation, or a phone to call a crisis hotline.
You're a survivor, and I'm proud of you for that. Whether you're 10 years old, or 50 years old, you've made it so far: too far to cut short. I encourage you to find the smallest bit of hope, anything to make you realize just how special you are. There are definite constants you may not have thought
Look at you. I want you to do me a favor. Close your eyes, and think of five things you love. Now consider, what if your love for those things could change the world? There's passions to be discovered and love to be shared, but you can't make them happen unless you stay alive.
Your pain is important. It may have been the only friend you've had for a while now, and it is a chapter of your story. But let me repeat, it's just a chapter. It's not the whole book, or the epilogue. It's only a chapter, or maybe a prologue to the story that hasn't yet begun. At this very moment, I'm writing to you, but you're writing your own story. Your heart beat is just enough ink to finish your entire story, and I hope you'll continue writing. You are the author of a very special story that nobody else has. Nobody can play your part. Nobody can write your story. But others can read it and share their own, if you allow it.
Before I end this post, I'd like to leave you with a quote from one of my favorite people, and the creator of "To Write Love On Her Arms," Jamie Tworkowski.
“If you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here. If you feel too much, don’t go. If this world is too painful, stop and rest. It’s OK to stop and rest. If you need a break, it’s OK to say you need a break.
This life–it’s not a contest, not a race, not a performance, not a thing that you win. It’s okay to slow down. You are here for more than grades, more than a job, more than a promotion, more than keeping up, more than getting by.This life is not about status or opinion or appearance. You don’t have to fake it. You do not have to fake it. Other people feel this way, too. If your heart is broken, it’s OK to say your heart is broken. If you feel stuck, it’s OK to say you feel stuck. If you can’t let go, it’s OK to say you can’t let go.You are not alone in these places. Other people feel how you feel. You are more than just your pain. You are more than wounds, more than drugs, more than death and silence. There is still some time to be surprised. There is still some time to ask for help. There is still some time to start again. There is still some time for love to find you. It’s not too late. You’re not alone. It’s OK–whatever you need and however long it takes- it's OK. It’s OK. If you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here. If you feel too much, don’t go. There is still some time.”
There's still time. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, and/or thoughts of suicide, please don't be afraid to ask for help. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255, and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need someone to talk to, or access to professional help in your area.