Someone please help me. Someone please see that I am in pain. Someone please reach out. Someone get me out. Someone, anyone, please help. When I was going through the most emotional pain I’ve ever felt, I didn’t know who to turn to and I didn’t know what to do. Suicide seemed like the only escape. It isn’t that I didn’t have people that loved me or cared for me, I just couldn’t see it.
I don’t know how I survived 10 years ago, but I know how to survive now. Suicide prevention is a constant battle and it takes constant measures and strength. That strength didn’t used to be enough for me, I wasn’t strong; or so I thought. Suicide prevention is an extremely important topic and needs to be normalized and discussed.
There are many ways we can do our part in helping someone who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts. Keep the person safe, listen to what they are going through without giving advice and validate their feelings. Don’t be afraid to ask them “are you thinking of killing yourself?” and don’t be afraid of their response. It is okay to just be there to listen to them, stay connected and help them with available resources.
Many times, suicidal thoughts occur due to an underlying mental illness. Mental illness is real, and it’s okay for anyone to have thoughts of suicide, but it’s important to take steps to try and stop someone from dying by suicide before it happens. Prevention is key. Let the person know it’s okay to feel depressed, anxious, and alone. Most importantly, make it known that there are people out there who care and are here to listen.
What does survival look like to me? Anxiety, depression, days when I wanted to lie in bed all day, feeling like no one will ever love me, and needing constant reassurance. This sounds horrible I know, but it’s actually the smallest part of survival for me. I survived so I could move on from an abusive relationship. I survived to graduate college to become a social worker and become a certified crisis counselor through Common Ground. I survived to meet the love of my life, get married, have a family and be an aunt to my sweet niece. I have gone through so many devastating times with long nights of crying, but I have also experienced some of my greatest days with the people I love. In no way is surviving suicide easy; it is extremely hard and takes an immense amount of strength. I am glad you are alive; you deserve to be alive and you deserve support.