I must start out by saying that I have edited this post for days now, trying to capture the right words to explain the importance of this week. However I do not think that I could ever capture its significance in one blog post.
This week marks the 40th Annual National Suicide Prevention Week. This week is to raise awareness that suicide exists, rather than sweep it under the rug like most in our society do. This week is as much for the living as it is the dead. This week is not to mourn the loss of friends we have lost to this tragedy; But instead this week is to try to save the living. After all, most people that are suicidal do not want to die, they just want to start living.
This life is a hard one. My generation has some of the highest suicide rates that the United States has ever seen. Yet for some reason many choose to believe that it doesn’t exist, and if they do accept that it exists, they assume it will never affect them in their life.
I have shared parts of my story on here before but this week marks something more. 2 years ago my life as I knew it ended. I disclosed the darkest secret in my life and as a result, I felt like I would rather die than continue to live. I decided that life on this earth would be better off without me. I decided that I wanted to go home to see Jesus, even though I was angry at him too for allowing these awful things to happen to me. Thankfully, I gathered the strength to keep going. I told myself one day at a time. One hour at a time. And eventually I learned to love myself again.
A boy I knew, and a precious family I had come to know and love, experienced this tragedy first hand when the combination of bullying and depression took this young man’s life. I think many times that I wish I had come to know him better. that I would have been able to help him. I wish I could have had one meaningful conversation with a boy who’s life was just starting.
Suicide is a topic that everyone refuses to talk about. Its a sad and heartbreaking topic that makes some people feel awkward and bad. But that is what NEEDS to happen. We should be so passionate about stopping these tragedies that people do talk about it. Our society cannot grow without expressing the hard things in life.
This week is so so vital to our nation because young lives are ending before they even get started. Their stories are being cut short mid-sentence by a period that should be a semi colon. They should not be blamed for the way they feel, they should not be considered “crazy” and they should not be made to feel that what they are experiencing is their fault.
One of my biggest pet peeve’s is when someone says that the suicidal are selfish. That cannot be more wrong because many times, people end their lives because they feel the world would be better off without them. In their minds. they believe that they are making it easier for the people they love.
The shame and stigma about suicide needs to be talked about. The blame needs to be pushed away from these struggling young adults and pushed back onto society to make a change. Me, and many others, have been there. I have been in their shoes. I have wanted to leave this world. Thankfully, I am still here trying to help other that are just like me. People who feel that suicide is the answer, are not broken. They are people who need to know that self love is not selfish.
If you are a person that blames the suicidal for the way they feel, please try to see it from a different view. Know that everyone hurts, and know that some people have no support system. They feel alone and misplaced in this world. Do not blame them or pity them. They are strong, they just need someone else to believe that too.
If you are suicidal and you feel like you have no one, you have me. You have more people around you than you would know. To Write Love On Her Arms has a campaign going this entire month Titled “We’ll See You Tomorrow” 2015. Please read their blogs and watch the video that is posted at the end of this post. Listen to the words of these talented young people. Absorb their words like lyrics in a song. “If Depression is the verse then Hope is the chorus”. Please don’t end your sentence here. Your story has so many more chapters. Your story matters. No one else can play your part.
Peter Pan said “To live will be an awfully big adventure”. This is one of my favorite quotes because your adventure isn’t over. Your adventure is just beginning. Keep living. Stop the stigma about suicide. You may be going through hell on earth right now but even that sentence will end with a semi colon not a period. This is just one chapter I promise.
Live your adventure. I survived because the fire inside of me burned brighter than the fire around me.