*NOTE: Trigger warning - mentions of destructive behavior.*
Yesterday was the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week and today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I'm posting about this because suicide is a topic that hits close to home for me.
I have attempted suicide. I was drunk enough one time that I barely remember it, but the second time is much clearer. My memories of the pain that rips your chest apart from within, of the feeling of your brain exploding through your skull, and of the complete and utter hopelessness that engulfs and strangles and drowns everything good are always clear.
Being completely done with life, the universe, and everything is one of the scariest places to be.
I've struggled with severe depression since I was 15, though I wasn't diagnosed until I was 18. I've been on and off medication and in and out of therapy since that diagnosis. During college I self-medicated with alcohol and cutting. I've struggled with self-harm as recently as last year. It's not something that really goes away. Even with good medication and many good days and lots of happy things, I'm never far from that scary place. I can always see it. Sometimes it is more in focus, closer than I'd like. Sometimes it's far on the horizon.
It is because of my personal experience why every time I hear about someone taking his or her own life, a hole opens up in my chest. Suicide is 100% preventable. In my case, I had friends who cared enough to get me help. But those attempts weren't the only times I felt like giving it all up. Sometimes I had people near by that saw what was going on and stepped in, sometimes I was the only one that could help me. I had to seek out help because I'd grown too skilled at hiding it.
I'm posting this not only to share my struggle and bring awareness to the most heartbreaking of all topics, but because if you are alone and there is no one near, reach out and help yourself. I know it seems counter-intuitive for someone wanting to die to want to help themselves, but many that are suicidal don't want to die, they just want the pain to end. That's how I was. I just wanted to not hurt for one second.
So if you want the pain to end, no matter what is causing it, reach out. Email me. Contact me on Tumblr. Tweet me. Post here on the blog.
Let me tell you how much you have to live for. Let me tell you how beautiful and strong and wonderful you are, how unique and complex and deserving of life and happiness and love you are. I'm not perfect; I still struggle. But we can lean on each other as we walk away from that scary place and get to higher ground. As alone as you might feel, I'm in this with you.
If you want and/or need more professional support, or want to find communities of support, visit the links below.
If you too have struggled with suicide, depression, substance abuse, self-harm, or what-have-you but are in a place to support others, please do so. Even if you haven't, chances are that you know people who do.
Spread the word about Suicide Prevention Week. Post the links and numbers that are below. Share your story.
I don't just wish for people to survive, I want people to LIVE. I couldn't do it alone, and no one should have to.
We are in this together.
|National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7)||1-800-273-TALK(8255)|
|Mental Health America||703-684-7722|
|Anxiety Disorders Association of America||301-231-9350|
|American Psychological Association||202-336-5500|
|American Psychiatric Association||202-682-6000|
|National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association||312-642-0049|
|National Alliance on Mental Illness||703-524-7600|
Depression Hotline 1-630-482-9696
Suicide Hotline 1-800-784-8433
Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386
Sexuality Support 1-800-246-7743
Eating Disorders Hotline 1-847-831-3438
Rape and Sexual Assault 1-800-656-4673
Grief Support 1-650-321-5272
Exhale After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Voice 1-866-4394253
If you want to help prevent suicide, visit these links for more info:
WHAT YOU CAN DO from You Matter
AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION
OUT OF THE DARKNESS COMMUNITY WALKS