This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. I always mean to remember it. To commemorate those who have battled suicide and won, and grieve those who have lost. For many, this is a topic that hits close to home and people are entitled to feel as they wish about it. This year NSPW would have passed me by had I not seen The Bloggess’ post, Something about September, wherein she addresses suicide and hits on some great resources.
My battle with suicide and depression is like many others. By the time I was 18, I was severely depressed, attempted suicide with intent to die twice, and fantasized about leaving this world often and with creativity. I won’t say that my experience was unique or that I’m special. Circumstances worked together in my life to bring me to a point where I chose life over death. I can’t tell you why, exactly. I think my conservative Christian beliefs played a huge factor, and I’ve always had some fight in me.
To date, suicide has not been something I’ve considered again. I consider myself a victor in this battle. I love life. I love who I’ve become. I’m excited about the future. But not everyone is where I am, and I wish I could reach out and hug those people. Life sucks sometimes. Especially in this day and age with the economy so wonky, families and young people are struggling to make it. Suicide is something that’s been a big issue as of late. And it’s not going away, but we can talk about it, and other options.
To Write Love on Her Arms is a beautiful organization that works for mental health education and awareness, with a focus on suicide prevention. I remember when this was a small start up. I’d see them at concerts, touring with bands, telling the story of a young woman who chose to commit suicide, and the impact that had on the life of those around her. It’s since grown into a bigger organization, and I cheer them on. If you haven’t checked out TWLOHA, please, dig around their site a little.
If you’d like to participate in the “I cannot be replaced because” campaign, you can download the template on the TWLOHA site [here]. (It might freeze your browser for a second while it comes up.)
Take a moment this week and hug someone you love. Tell them why they matter, why you love them, because sometimes you can’t tell when a person is hurting. I hid mine so well people were shocked when the truth came out and I was honest about what I was going through, because I put on my smile every day, just like I put on my clothes, did my hair and slapped on some make-up.
If you or someone you know needs help, there are a lot of resources out there:
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline
- They also have a great resource for social media
- Befrienders Worldwide is an international organization
- The Canadian Mental Health Association has resources specifically for suicide
We’re never alone, even when it feels like it, in our darkest moments, there’s someone who thinks we matter.