National Suicide Prevention Week

National Suicide Prevention Week

A Reflection

There is one death by suicide every 13 minutes in the United States alone and what are we doing about it? We take one week a year to recognize it.

A week is not enough to create awareness about suicide prevention. So why don't we create awareness and suicide prevention 365 days a year, rather than seven?

Two men who make up a musical group are not trying to change people's views on depression, but to create a community and show that no one facing depression is alone. They have been told they have saved peoples lives, given strength, and taught us all to stay alive.

Who are these men you may ask? None other than Twenty One Pilots.

Not necessarily a household name, but their music creates more than just entertainment; it creates hope. As Tyler Joseph, the lead singer of Twenty One Pilots, tells us; humans are struggling all the time when it comes to purpose, trying to figure out what their purpose is, what purpose even is, what’s the point? Everyone should create something with a purpose, that serves as an encouragement for them. Allowing them to create something that has meaning because they made it mean something to them. When you're in a room alone trying to decide whether to stay alive, you can tell yourself, ‘I should probably stay alive because I’m the only one who knows the meaning of that thing.’

Now I am not saying that National Suicide Prevention Week is a waste, but there are hundreds of things in this world that deserve more than a month, a week, or a colored ribbon to acknowledge their existence. There are groups of people who are actively making huge impacts each and everyday. They have no agendas; they just have a message that needs to be shared.

The community, or as Twenty One Pilots calls it their Clique, fosters these ideas daily. Whether your ringtone is set to a song of theirs, you hear "Car Radio" on your own car radio, or a tune of their is stuck in your head their messages surround us each and everyday.

Depression is not something to be afraid of, it is something to embrace. So whether you need to sit in silence every now and then, or you need a shoulder to lean on, or someone to talk to, there's hope. There are people everywhere willing to help, not just during this one week, but 24/7. Twenty One Pilots aren't the only people making a difference on this front, there is help whether it is as urgent as a call to the suicide hotline or pressing play to hear their song, there's hope.

If you ever feel the need please call: 800-273-8255


Popular Right Now

Loving An Addict: The End Of You And Me

I knew this would be how we would end, but I never thought it'd be so soon.

I've rewritten this a thousand times. It's been edited, and edited again. I can't seem to get it right. Maybe because I'm not ready.

Or, maybe it's because there's a part of me that'll never be ready to say we reached the end. Maybe, just maybe, there's a fraction of a possibility we haven't.

I posted this quote once, on Instagram: "One day, whether you are 14, 28, or 65 you will stumble upon someone who will start a fire in you that cannot die. However, the saddest, most awful truth you will ever come to find-- is they are not always with whom we spend our lives."

And you looked at me the next time I was at your house, busted my balls, and said, "I saw your Instagram post about me." You proceeded to recite the entire thing word for word. I laughed, because at the time I posted it, it wasn't about you, and you hadn't even been following my private account, so someone must have showed it to you. It wasn't about you at the time I posted it, but maybe it was always meant to be.

I went to Hawaii last week. And I can't tell you how many times I felt you there; on the tarmac as the plane landed, the sun dipping under the horizon. In the sunshine as I laid my head back, floating in the ocean. On the edge of a cemented outcropping of Diamond Head that's off limits. And most importantly, by my side-- on the beach, at Manoa Falls-- in some small piece of every adventure I had.

I tried to leave you in 2016. Yet you still managed to be the first kiss of 2017 the same way you were the last one of 2016. I never could shut you out or leave you, not really, no matter what you did to me. And I have some small comfort in the fact that I was your last kiss, even though you won't be mine. And that you never left me either, no matter what I did to you.

I wrote you a letter, last year, and told you some things. Things like you couldn't be in the cards for me; you couldn't even be in the same deck, because you'd always be an addict first and a husband second. That you'd have to fight those demons every day. That I'd never understand that craving, but I would feel that pain. And holy shit, do I feel that pain.

But I was wrong. I owed you more than that. And I am so sorry.

I tried to build you up with my words, but I still managed to tear you down with my actions. I was afraid of being hurt-- again-- and again, and again. So I tried to hurt you instead.

Two wrongs don't make a right, and in the end I think I started to realize that. I tried to turn it around for us; to accept you as you were.

But you told me that effort and trying wouldn't be enough for us. I guess you knew something I didn't. And maybe they wouldn't have been enough. Because as hard as I tried, I could never save you.

You knew my worst fear, babe. I told you a million times. Walking into work at the county morgue and seeing your name on that board. Picking up the phone and listening to some cop rattle off your name while I was expected to take the details, handle the call and your corpse. Waking up next to you dead in bed, stiff and foaming at the mouth.

And while I did wake up next to you, alive, on Saturday, it doesn't change the fact that you were still dead by Sunday. It happened a little differently than I imagined it, but my worst fear came true just the same. I still lost you. And in losing you, I still lost the future I vehemently denied wanting, in a feeble attempt to stave the pain. And guess what? I still feel all of that pain anyways. Part of me will feel all of that pain, for the rest of my life.

I'm not alone, in my grieving. You have parents, and sisters, and cousins; aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, friends. All of these people that loved you; they all tried to save you the only way they knew they could. None of it could have ever been enough.

You'll never be a husband, or a dad. You'll never meet your future nieces or nephews. You'll never breathe, ever again. You made me the person who's going to be thirty-two, standing at your grave.

And while we may move forward, love, we will never really move on. We'll never "get over" losing you; a brother, a son, a friend. Whatever you and me were.

We'll move forward, and keep spreading your legacy. Because everyone should know just how beautiful you truly were, inside and out. Because for all the pain you felt, and everything we went through, you were still the light in every room.

I'll forever miss your smile, and the way we'd be at each others' throats. The way you'd duck away, trying to hide your laugh and your smile when you didn't want me to know you thought what I said was funny. The way you'd hug me from behind the second I was within five feet of another guy. The way we used to fight. God, I love the way we used to fight. And I can't begin to express to you how unreal this still is to me.

We weren't dating. We weren't even together. We could go months without speaking and pick up where we left off without a hitch. We weren't everything, but we were something. You were my best friend, my biggest weakness, and a giant pain in my ass. You were my future, so long as you were breathing. I could do anything, be anyone, so long as there was hope for you and me in the end.

I don't know how to live in a world where you're not breathing. So far, I've hated every second of it. And I'm not the only one.

I told you that if you died, I died. Remember? And I did. The person that I was before I lost you, is buried in the ground beside you. Who I am now, is something I haven't entirely yet come to comprehend.

And now I'm left standing here, looking at all of the promises we made each other. Promises we never got the chance to fulfill. I knew that some day I'd lose you. That one day I'd wake up in a world where you'd ceased to exist. And still I prayed, I prayed that I'd be wrong. I hoped, until the very last day, that you'd turn it around for me, no matter how stupid that sounds.

But now I lay here in your shirt and I look through videos and pictures and the black cavern that sits in my chest aches at the edges, while grief sucker punches me in the gut and steals air from my lungs. You are so loved, bubby, by everyone who knew you.

I said at the beginning, that maybe there's a fraction of a possibility that this isn't the end, not really. On Earth, maybe. But I know in a sense you're still here; your presence. And even though this is the end of us down here, I know that someday you'll be waiting for me. And you'll say, "Let's go home," like you always did after a long night. And you'll be ready this time. And I'll be ready too. And then we'll begin again.

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Perna

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

We Are As Free As We Choose To Be

Unchain your mind.

Isn’t it quite cynical to choose a life that wastes our fleeting days? Isn’t it painfully sad to have an overabundance of opportunities, yet we crawl into bed, unaccomplished, alone, and not where we want to be?

We say, “oh, tomorrow, it will be better.”

We say, “it won’t be like this for long.”

But what if your ways stay stagnant because you’re too reserved to move? You are running in place because you’ve chained yourself to a false reality that has kept you small and comfortable for far too long. It’s easier this way — I’ve said it all before too because at the time I didn’t realize, I was staring fear in the face and it looked like my friend.

As I watch and learn from those around me, I’ve seen it all too and my biggest take away will be that choosing comfort over growth is a fatal decision; it’s in the continuous belittling things we do that destroys our well-being, our consciousness, our integrity until we are morphed into someone who retreats at the idea of failure, rejection, and discomfort — until we morph into someone we are no longer proud of.

We are as free as we choose to be — as blessed and humbled as our minds dare grant us. We have all capabilities in the world to create a life we love and nourish our soul that radiates from the inside out. It should be a simple choice, although it may not always be the easiest because temptation is real and inclusion feels vital. Yet, how do you expect to always fit in if your soul is requiring you to be on another journey, a new path, uncharted territory?

When things go sour, relationships fall through, and opportunities turn a blind eye to us, those instances can be considered a prominent end or a flourishing beginning to start something new or try again. It’s quite special to have all this power inside of you, to be strong in your convictions, to know your worth; so why would you spend one more moment doubting your existence? Why would you spend one more moment pondering all the lost causes?

Why wouldn’t you spend every moment of your life loving deeper and living to the fullest?

There’s one thing I know for sure, I will continue to choose my freedom, without chains, burdens, and obligations because in being truly free, I will know my most true, authentic self.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley DeBoer

Related Content

Facebook Comments