Today I went to an event for the Samaritans crisis hotline in Boston, Massachusetts where I learned about hope, the pursuit of suicide prevention and the changes Samaritans is making in countless lives.
Coincidentally, I also learned that my college campus has lost yet another student soon to graduate to suicide.
This marks two suicides this year from our school of UMass Boston.
Two lives that will never get the chance to smile again. To hear their favorite song on the radio. To live to see their impact on those around them. To feel the summer sun on their skin and the icy touch of a new snowfall.
Two people I didn’t know–and will never know personally now, either. Two people I didn’t know yet I know of their pain.
Whether you’re reading this and you’ve struggled with mental health issues or if you’re new to my blog and haven’t suffered from a mental health issue, you still may be familiar with dealing with suicidal thoughts. Suicide does not discriminate. It takes the lives of 800,000 people worldwide. The lives lost to suicide have been increasing over the last twenty-four years.
We lose someone to suicide every 40 seconds somewhere out on this large, blue rock of ours.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-34. There have been 585 suicides in MA thus far this year. All these statistics came from the event I went to held by Samaritans this morning–and if any are faulty, that’s an error on my part, only.
Suicide is a growing problem in our world, in our societies and for any involved. It impacts children, young adults, adolescents, the elderly–anyone. It could be your friend, yourself, your neighbor, that one kid in class who never talks OR the one who talks the most, someone you sat next to on the bus, the grocery bagger at your supermarket, someone you just complimented on their cool style–anyone.
It’s cliche but it’s true–you don’t know what other people are going through and sometimes the simplest, smallest thing you do can give a person going through suicidal thoughts the opportunity to hold on for one more day.
I, too, have dealt with suicidality. I’ve been to those dark spaces in my mind, where I wanted, desperately, for the pain to end. For me to find freedom. I’ve dealt with severe depression and severe OCD. I’ve met people who’ve gone through hell and are still struggling to get their life back in their control.
I’ve made suicide plans. I’ve acted on my thoughts.
And little things, like someone smiling at me, someone acknowledging my pain, someone being there for me to ask what they can do to help, to tell me that they care about me–these are all things that kept me on THIS side of life. Where I’m meant to be for the duration of the time I have on this Earth.
You, too, or whoever you know is struggling, is worth it. You are worthy of life. You are worthy of recovery. Good days are on their way. Just find something or someone to hold onto.
If a day is too difficult to get through, then make it through this next hour, this next minute, this next second.
Reach out to someone and tell them how you are feeling–someone you trust and who may not judge you. If someone doesn’t believe you, you find someone else to tell, you hear me? If someone reacts with anger–they’re just scared. Scared about how much you mean to them and scared that they’re going to lose you.
Suicide is a complicated issue. There’s no doubt about that. But it’s worth talking about. Our silence has to come to an end, in order for us to reach out to those who are struggling in silence, because no one deserves to suffer in silence. Let your voice be heard and your pain be acknowledged. Through that, you can begin your healing and recovery.
There ARE people out in this world who care about you. I may not have known those two people who’ve died by suicide this year from my campus, but I’m very sad that they’ve left this Earth so soon. It brings me sadness, anger, loss. It makes me wonder if they could have gotten help, could have gotten admitted, could have called a hotline, could have found ME or SOMEONE to help encourage them to get through such a difficult, but not impossible situation.
Suicide takes away the chance of things ever getting better. Death is permanent. Once you’re out, that’s it. There’s no more yummy foods, no more friends or family from THIS side of life, no more music, no more nature, no more of any of the things you once cared about and WILL care about again in the future, when you’re feeling better.
Everything is just…gone. YOU are gone. And we can’t ever get you back.
Countless lives we’ve lost. Countless horrors left behind. Countless impacts left on a devastated community. Please, please, don’t leave just yet. Your sunshine is coming soon, it’s just caught behind the clouds for the moment. But, it will come. The darkness can only last for so long. ❤ ❤
I’d like to include some helpful links and information into this post as well, because it’s important. I could and maybe I will go into a second post about sharing our voices and the impact we can make by speaking up about our struggles. We’ll see. For now, this is the best amount of stuff I wanted to say on the issue here. So, without further ado:
National Suicide prevention hotline in the US: 1800 273 8255 (TALK)
USA Hotlines per State (Some may be outdated or have specific run time hours, please use the national suicide prevention lifeline above as your top choice, because someone will be there to take your call before you make any rash decisions)
Resources for Warning Signs:
TEDtalks about mental health that I recommend sticking around to see:
Stay safe ❤