Here’s why you should talk about suicide

Suicide is the loss of a life at the hands of the very person living it.  It is raw, and it is scary.

Suicide is a sensitive subject – one that not everyone is comfortable with. People often shy away from talking about suicide because it’s not something they want to accept as relevant – they’d rather ignore it and hope it goes away.

Unfortunately this creates a vicious cycle, as it instills a fear in the suicidal – they are afraid that they will be judged and ridiculed for acknowledging their demons, and so they choose to suffer silently.  If people don’t openly talk about suicide, those suffering from its hold will not feel comfortable in coming forward to ask for help. They will be much more likely to succumb to their dark thoughts if they aren’t confident someone can help in fighting them off.

The depressive suicidal don’t believe in getting better – they don’t believe it’s possible.  They feel like they are stuck.  Hope is a foreign concept.  They don’t know what hope means anymore because they’ve forgotten what they’re being hopeful for.  They’ve forgotten what it feels like to be happy, and so they feel like happiness just doesn’t exist for them.  They aren’t hopeful they’ll get better because they can’t imagine a different life for themselves; they don’t remember life before depression took over.

Although society is headed in the right direction, there is still a strong stigma attached to mental health disorders and suicide.  We can’t fight that stigma with silence, and so we need to get people talking.

We need to open up.  We need to share our stories.  Because by sharing our stories, we can open eyes.

We can save lives.

Many of those we speak to will have never experienced this sort of thing for themselves.  Some might have a friend, a sibling, a parent or a child, who has.  We might be speaking to some people who have never ever knowingly been touched by suicide.

However, I can guarantee that we will also be speaking to people who have.  We might even unknowingly speak to someone who already has a plan.

We can be the reminder to that person that there is another way, even if they can’t see it right now.

We can be the reminder that they’re not alone, even if it feels like they are.

We can be the reminder that it’s okay to talk about it – and that they should talk about it.

We can be the reminder that they can get help; that things can change – that things can get better.

We can be the reminder that suicide doesn’t always win.

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I hope you never understand

I hope you never know what it’s like to wake up and wish you hadn’t.  Not because you’re tired and you want another few minutes of sleep; not because you’re hungover; not because it’s Monday and you don’t want to go to work.

I mean you wake up, and you realise tomorrow came – and it’s not a good feeling. I mean you wake up and you open your eyes, only to close them right away and silently will yourself away from it all.  I mean you wake up and you are disappointed that you didn’t, by some miracle, die in your sleep.

Quite simply, I mean waking up is just a reminder that you haven’t escaped your life yet.  You’re still here.  And I hope you never understand what it’s like to wish you weren’t here.

I hope you never understand what it’s like to be unable to get out of bed.   Not physically – because physically, you are capable.  Your legs work.  Your heart is beating.  But I hope you never understand what it’s like to be unable to move simply because your thoughts are crippling you.  I hope you never understand what it’s like to be held in place, stuck there, battling with yourself within your own mind.  Swing that leg out and touch the floor.  Take a step.  Get out of the bed.

I hope you never understand what it’s like to forget what happiness feels like.  I hope you never feel like there’s no way out of your sadness.  I hope you never get overcome by numbness.  I hope you never experience that feeling of pure emptiness.  I hope you never feel like there is nothing good, or bad, coming around the corner.  I hope you never feel like you can’t imagine there being a future for you.  

I hope you never need to rely on people to remind you to eat.

I hope you never need to rely on people to remind you to sleep, or to be awake.

I hope you never need to rely on people to remind you to take your multiple medications on a daily basis.

I hope you never, ever need to rely on people to hide all the sharp knives in the house so you can’t get ahold of them to hurt yourself.

I hope you never, ever need to be checked on every time you take a bath, just because there’s a chance you’re trying to drown yourself.

I hope you never know what it’s like to not be trusted near open windows.

I hope you never have to convince yourself not to jump in front of the train as it approaches on the platform.

I hope you never understand what it means to be afraid of opening the front door and stepping out into the real world.

I hope you never have to force yourself to appear normal and happy when all you want to do is run and hide, and never come out.

I hope you never understand what it feels like to worry that everyone in the world is against you.

I really hope you never understand what it means to feel completely alone while you’re surrounded by people.

I really, really hope you never understand what it means to want to end it all.

I do hope you understand that you can’t always understand.

I do hope you understand that you don’t need to understand.

I hope you understand that you can’t fix everything.

I hope you understand that no one thinks you can, and no one is expecting you to.

I think you do understand that no one knows the battles other people are fighting.

I think you do understand that we all have our own stories.

I think you understand that we don’t need to understand each other to support each other, and to love each other, and to wish the very best for each other.

I think you can see that all anyone has ever wanted is to be accepted.

So, stand by me.  Lie next to me.  Sit with me.  Talk to me.   Stay silent.  Hold my hand or smile at me.  Tell me you’re with me and that everything will be okay, someday.  It might not be now.  I know that.  I might be hurting for a long time.  I might be numb for a long time.  I might be happy for a long time, and I might feel myself falling down the tunnel again.

So just tell me you’ll stay with me and you’ll protect me from myself, because that’s who I’m most afraid of.

Tell me you’ll hang out with me until the storm passes.  And then, once it has, hang out with me some more.

You don’t have to understand me.  I don’t want you to know what this is like, because I know it’s awful, and that’s enough.  I don’t want you to know it for yourself.

I just want to know that you’re here with me.