9.10.2014

World Suicide Prevention Day + an open letter to those who feel this life is too difficult to bear


Statistics say that globally, there is one suicide about every 40 seconds... and in the US, one every 13.3 minutes.

I did the math for you and today, on World Suicide Prevention Day:

There will be about 2,160 suicides around the world.
There will be about 109 suicides in the US.

I don't know about you... but that's 2,160 people too many.

Please find a way to get involved today, whether that's posting about World Suicide Prevention Day on social media or checking in with a friend who suffers from depression. Do something. Tell someone they matter today. And if you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please get help.

National Suicide Prevention Line - 1-800-273-8255

Here's an open letter I wrote to those suffering from depression and those considering suicide as a way to end the pain:

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To the ones who feel this life is too difficult to bear,


Today, let's not talk about the weather or the starting football season or the neighbor down the street. Let's not talk politics. Let's not talk small... that can wait until tomorrow.

Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, let's talk about you and the pain that threatens to overtake you. You almost hide it well, stuffed neatly behind that smile... If someone just scanned the room, they might not even notice. But I do. Your weary eyes give you away every time. They tell your secrets you try to hide: that you're facing demons you're not sure you'll ever conquer, that you're exhausted from trying to outrun the darkness, that you're ready to give up on life. Yeah... let's talk about you, today:

You need not struggle alone, dear.

We can do this together. You are not alone. Please, let me help shoulder the weight that buckles your knees and bows your back. It's too much for one soul, but easily manageable for two. Together, the odds are forever in our favor. Together, there is hope.

It will be okay.

It will be painful and messy and trying and difficult and exhausting, but okay just the same. You will be okay... one day at a time, one breath at a time. Picture it. Daydream about it. Imagine the day the rain stops and the clouds part, imagine the sigh of relief, the smile creeping across your face. It will be okay... one day. And it's okay to admit that things are not okay today.

Just keep fighting.

Fight until you can't possibly fight anymore. Fight until your last bit of strength threatens to leave. Fight even when you're losing. And when you can't possibly muster another punch, tag me and let me take over for a bit. You can catch your breath until the next round, just please... don't go.

Don't you dare give up.

I promise that this life, though tragic and chaotic, is beautiful on the other side of this seemingly endless pain. Hold on, please. It will pass. The night doesn't last forever. The dawn is coming. Look closely... Can't you see the day awakening and the colors bursting forth? That's worth holding on for. That's worth all the sorrow and misery that you are facing. It's worth it even when you don't believe it, even when you can't see it yet, even when you hear otherwise.

Don't listen to them.

The voices in your head, they don't know you like I do. They've clouded your vision and told you lies. They reflect an altered image back to you in the mirror so that all you see is a dull, defeated, forgettable shadow of a person. That is not real life. Real life is you: Radiant. Strong. Memorable. Irreplaceable. Made in His image. Loved. Take a look through my eyes, please. See the beautiful soul, the gentle voice, the kind heart.

You would be sorely missed.

You wouldn't go quietly and unnoticed, I promise. This world... My world would be dimmer without you. Your absence would have ramifications that you cannot begin to imagine. You wouldn't see it... but it'd hit us like five zillion punches in the gut; and it would leave us spiraling, grasping for balance, gasping for air. You would leave us broken, with gaping holes in our bodies, forced to live with the missing pieces.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

It's worth repeating a hundred times over, I love you. I need you. Your story matters. You matter. There is no one else that can play your part. Please don't leave the party early. It's just getting started and you're the guest of honor.

With all my love,

Natasha

ps: I love you.

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