This post talks about suicidal ideation and mood disorders, and may be triggering for some readers.
If you are struggling, please reach out to someone. 800-273-8255
Hi there! I hope you’re safe & well. Have you been taking care of yourself? I hope you have. You’re worth it ❤
This month is Suicide Prevention Month, so I thought I’d write a short post in honor of it.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, the 2nd leading cause for people between 10-34 years old.
This doesn’t, can’t possibly, account for the number of people struggling with suicidal ideation. Because for every reported case, I can only imagine how many go unspoken.
How many people sit with their darkness instead of reaching out, because they’re afraid to burden others with their pain.
Afraid of the repercussions.
Afraid of the stigma.
I think a lot of us can attest to how hard isolation has been on us as well.
It’s the responsible thing to do in light of the pandemic, but it can be so difficult for individuals who were already struggling with mental health.
A lot of people I’ve spoken with have said their mood has been lower than usual, and I can totally understand that!
Frankly, my mood has been pretty low as well.
That’s not so much because of isolation, as I’ve been struggling with my mood for many years now, but it certainly didn’t help to feel so alone, so separate from family and friends.
I’m not going to dive deep into my story and give you any ugly details. Partly because it’s private, but also because I want to show you the light, not how deep the darkness can go.
All I’ll say is that, over the course of my life, I have practiced self harm as a (very unhealthy) means of coping with emotions and situations that felt out of my control. I have had suicidal thoughts, as well as failed attempts.
I have made more calls and chats to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline than I can count.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: You’re not alone.
These feelings you have, the darkness that seems to envelope you, the burden you carry…. I feel that too.
It’s not the same.
Your struggle is your own.
Your story is unique.
Your burdens may be heavier, or they may be lighter, or maybe our burden is the exact same, but that really doesn’t matter.
Because the reality is, however heavy it feels, however easier someone else’s burden may seem to you, it’s heavy for the bearer.
And sometimes those thoughts start to creep in.
Maybe it would be easier if…
It would hurt so much less if…
I just want ______ to stop…
No one would really care if…
But people would care.
Lots of people.
The dark cloud looming over you makes you feel alone. Worthless. A burden. Like no one would mind if you just weren’t here anymore.
But that is NOT TRUE!
You have value.
You are worthwhile.
You are good.
You are worth the effort it takes to love you.
And more than that, you’re not done yet! You have stories to tell.
And you can’t tell them if you’re not here.
Once upon a time, more than once truthfully, I dove headfirst into the Deep Dark.
I felt so alone.
I wanted it to be over.
I didn’t want to do it anymore.
It. This. Life. Pain. Fear. Sadness. The abyss that lies within my head.
So I asked myself what would happen. What would happen if I wasn’t here anymore?
The truth didn’t come to me immediately. It took time and self-care. Love from the people close to me and love from myself.
And therapy. Like… a lot of therapy.
The truth I have come to is this:
If I wasn’t on this Earth anymore…
My family would be devastated.
I would never travel the world like I want to.
I would never read another book.
I would never again dance in the rain.
I would never again sip coffee by the fire.
I would never again kiss my husband.
I would never again jump on the trampoline with my nephews.
I would never have children.
I would never publish any books.
I would never write another word.
I would never get to help anyone out of their darkness.
You have reasons too. Sometimes they just become clouded by the dark thoughts taking over your mind.
I dare you to make a list of reasons why you’re worthwhile. A list of reasons you want to live.
Yes, there is a lot of bad in this world. But there’s a whole lot of good too! Don’t miss out on all the wonderful things in store for you.
Don’t let the darkness win.
You are stronger than the weight you carry.
And you never know how many lives you could have touched, never know how many people could be pulled out of their darkness by hearing how you survived yours.
I know sometimes you feel so alone. Like no one in the world cares about you.
But that’s the Darkness talking. And it’s a lie.
There are people in this world who love you. Who would be devastated to know you are struggling all by yourself.
It took a lot for me to reach out. To ask for help.
But I’m so glad I did.
I got into therapy. I learned how to take care of myself, body and mind.
It took work, and I still have hard days, but what’s important is that I always come out on the other side of it. I have things to live for. Things I want to see and do and experience.
I learned how worthwhile I am.
I learned how to love myself.
And so can you.
There are people in this world who need to hear your story. Need to know that you made it, and so can they.
You have stories to tell.
And people want to hear them.
I want to hear them.