I’m not going to flower this up, so here goes:
Three years ago, I tried to kill myself. I took a handful of pills, grabbed my stuffed frog and went out to my car to wait.
I didn’t write a note, I didn’t plan it out, I just wanted to escape the pain of my life.
Sitting in the car, hugging my stuffed frog, I realized that I wanted to live, I didn’t want to die. What happened next is unimportant, but I got help. It was a long, hard road that I’m still traveling on. I have good days, I have bad days. Some days, I have flashbacks to my time in a psychiatric institution, to lying in the hospital bed with tubes down my nose, or coming home and realizing I can close a door and lock it without worrying someone will come in.
We’re not supposed to talk about suicide, or when we do, it’s something we talk about delicately. No more. No more beating around the bush, no more flowery language. Suicide is real. Suicide isn’t something you ignore and hope it goes away.
Suicide is not cowardice.
Suicide is not selfishness.
Suicide is not a sin.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health are hosting World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10, with this year’s theme being “Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives.”
We can’t bring back those we lost, but maybe, just maybe, we can help those in need now, those who are contemplating taking their own life, those who are trapped in their own pain, thinking people don’t care, people don’t understand. Tomorrow, reach out to people – people who have lost someone to suicide or someone who has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. Ask them how they are doing, listen to them, don’t judge, just be there for them.
Be there for them on Friday. Saturday. October 4. November 19. February 29. Just because National Suicide Week has ended doesn’t mean the pain goes away. One day isn’t enough, one week isn’t enough, but it’s a start. We all know someone who committed suicide, or who attempted suicide. We all know the hole it leaves in our hearts when that person is gone, gone so unexpectedly. It’s a hole that never heals, never fades away.
More than 1,000,000 people die each year by suicide, about 1 every 40 seconds. There are an estimated 20 to 30 attempts for every completed suicide. It is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans over the age of 10.
Let’s stop that.
We choose to fight the darkness and the sadness, to fight the questions and the lies and the myth of all that’s missing. We choose to stay, because we are stories still going. Because there is still some time for things to turn around, time for surprises and for change. We stay because no one else can play our part. | To Write Love on Her Arms
Resources to Help
- World Suicide Prevention Day | International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)
- Media and Information Kit | American Association of Suicidology
- Facts & Figures | American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Share Your Message | Mental Health Commission of Canada
- Suicide Prevention Australia
- SAVE | Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
- Suicide: Statistics, Warning Signs and Prevention | Live Science