Hey guys, welcome back to TNTH.
September is known to be Suicide Prevention Month and before we go into October, forgetting about this issue due to Halloween and Fall leaves, I wanted to talk about this because this is something close to my heart. This is something that I will always fight for because even in 2017, we still live in a world where we associate suicide with weakness and selfishness. We still believe that suicide is something people want to do.
The first thing to realize about suicide is that people attempt and commit to it not because they want to end their lives. They commit suicide because they want to end the pain.
Take it from a girl who’s been on both sides of the story.
Back in January, I woke a post entitled Importance of Mental Health. I explained that 5 years ago, I was in a really dark place in my life, and I juggled with suicidal thoughts in my head for months on end. I express this time in my life because it’s something that I believe that shaped me into who I am at this point in my life. It also lets others know that yeah, a person just like you survived and got through it. I don’t care how many times I will share my story to the world, but it’s something that most people are afraid to share about themselves. I’m not that person.
Every now and then I realize that after 5 years if I’d let negativity and pain win, I would’ve missed out on so many important events that happened in my life. I wouldn’t have started college, I wouldn’t have graduated from college, I wouldn’t have been in grad school, I wouldn’t have seen my favorite singer live in concert, and I wouldn’t have known what love felt like. It’s moments like that when you look back and see how much life you lived after getting past your dark times. It is such a bittersweet feeling. You sometimes even wish that you were able to tell your younger self that things were going to be so much better later in life, just keep fighting through it.
It’s hard, and sometimes I find myself revisiting those dark times not because I want to remember, but because sometimes I feel myself relapsing. Every time life gets too hard and I’m experiencing high-functioning anxiety, I feel myself wanting to give up. My mind slips into that negative headspace and I question my existence and my purpose in life. It’s dark, and it’s fucking scary, but I know to quickly get myself out of it because I learned that pain is nothing compared to happiness. I tell myself to sleep away the negative thoughts because I know the next morning, I feel better. I learned just how temporary pain is. Sometimes, you don’t think straight away about the people who love and care about you, and you might feel like those people only show up when you express or attempt suicide. Honestly, the way that I handled my issues as a teenager is that I knew I never wanted the people in my life to feel like they were the cause of my sadness and that they couldn’t do anything about it. Shit, sometimes I find myself trying to let the people I love know that the sadness I may be experiencing currently isn’t a result of them.
It’s hard not to feel like you could’ve done something when someone you love takes that drastic next step.
On New Year’s Eve, someone close to me attempted suicide. It was the first time I experience this issue as a loved one. It was a failed attempt and this person got (and is getting) the help they needed, but it didn’t (and won’t ever) stop the shock and hurt I felt that night finding out what happened. You feel helpless, you feel guilty because you should’ve seen the signs earlier in the day. I was just laughing and having a good time as I was getting ready to leave for the night. It’s definitely something that I know I won’t ever forget. I believe that the attempt has made me closer than ever to this person. But it showed me just how short life is, and that if someone you know is depressed or dealing with a mental illness and they don’t have anyone to talk to, you make yourself as the person they can talk to.
Being on both sides of the story made me realize just how important it is to spread awareness about suicide. According to a recent study, an average of 121 Americans attempts/commit suicide every second of the day. There are people out there who feel alone; there are people who you sit next to on the bus, in class, at work that are living hard lives and trying to get through the day. Smile at someone. I had someone smile at me one time in the street, and it made my day because someone saw me. Be that person that people can talk to. Be that person to let them know that seeking professional help doesn’t mean you’re weak or you’re going crazy. Let them know that getting help in time of need shows their strength and the control they have in their lives. Even more so, take people and their mental illness or issues seriously. Let them know that they matter and that they can be heard.
Here is an excerpt from HealthyPlace.com regarding ways to get help if you or anyone you know is feeling depressed, sad, hopeless, or suicidal. Talk to someone. Know that you are not alone. Because you are not alone.
- U.S. Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- To chat online with a national suicide hotline counselor, click here: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx
- See the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website:http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- For the hearing impaired, contact the Lifeline by TTY at: 1-800-799-4889
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Other Free Suicide Hotlines
There are other free suicide hotlines in the United States for specific populations as well.
- The veterans suicide hotline (Veterans Crisis Line): 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or text to 838255 (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
- Veterans Crisis Line online chat: http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ChatTermsOfService.aspx?account=Veterans%20Chat
- Veterans Crisis Line website: http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Suicide Hotline (the Trevor Lifeline): 1-866-488-7386 (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
- TrevorChat online chat: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now (Available 7 days a week (3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. PT).)
- TrevorText text messaging: Text the word “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200 (Available on Fridays (4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. PT)
- The Trevor Project website: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
- Teen suicide hotline (Thursday’s Child National Youth Advocacy Hotline):1-800-USA-KIDS (872-5437) (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
- Thursday’s Child website (lists many additional teen hotlines): http://www.thursdayschild.org/frames_dedication.htm
- You Matter website: http://www.youmatter.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- Christian suicide hotline (Christian Suicide Prevention): 1-888-667-5947 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (available 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. CT)
- Christian Suicide Prevention website: http://www.christiansuicideprevention.com/
For International Suicide Hotline Callers
If you are calling from outside of the United States, these numbers won’t be available to you. No matter where you are, though, help is available. Find lists of international suicide hotline numbers at:
- The International Association for Suicide Prevention: http://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres
- Befrienders Worldwide: http://www.befrienders.org/need-to-talk
Be the change mental illnesses needs.