By Raquel Lyons
“I’m not afraid to take a stand. Everybody come take my hand. We’ll walk this road together–through the storm, whatever weather, cold or warm. Send it over, you’re not alone” – ‘Not Afraid’ by Eminem
So you’ve been contemplating suicide. So you’ve acted on your self-harming thoughts or the idea of suicide is becoming more common place within your mind.
You’re depressed or you’re anxious, angry or apathetic. And you may be thinking that you should just keep these thoughts and suicide plans to yourself. You may be thinking the world is better off without you or you are diminishing your worth and the impact you have on all those presently and not presently around you.
If you’re thinking of this, if you’re thinking you don’t matter and life has no purpose for you–let me be the first and not the last to tell you that your brain is full of manure right now.
Let me be the first and not the last to reassure you that you are not alone.
The fact that you are reading this article right now shows that there is some part of you, no matter how small, that wants to live another day.
Hold onto that. Nurture that small part of you, cherish it and begin to grow your roots into the shaky ground around you.
Trust in the process and the belief that your feelings are temporary and that this crisis will NOT last forever.
I won’t tell you that you have so much to live for, I won’t lecture you on what’s right or wrong, I won’t bring religion into the conversation, and I won’t shame you for your experiences.
I will say that I’ve been suicidal, too. The last Wednesday of September, in fact, was my most recent bout of intense suicidality.
I didn’t want to continue living my life with the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I never asked for the OCD and I struggled to fathom why I had still received it. I was tired of my brain loop-loop-looping on ideas and thoughts and plans of suicide. I just wanted relief.
The reason I’ve chosen to self-disclose is because you need know that the words you are reading are coming from a place without judgment and with safety.
I want to encourage you to live another day–another hour, another minute.
You need to know that there are others out in this world, in this community, in this state of Massachusetts, at this university who are feeling like you have AND who have gotten THROUGH it.
I didn’t do it alone and I don’t recommend putting that extra stress upon you.
When a stranger happened across my fetal position, I chose to tell them truthfully what was going on. I told them I needed to go to the Counseling Center, and so, together we walked there.
That is one resource available to you: the Counseling Center on campus, located in Quinn 2nd floor. If you’re ever in a suicidal crisis while on campus, you can go to the Counseling Center. Advocating for yourself is the bravest thing you can do.
Later, the second thing I did was to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800 273 TALK.
Next, I spoke with Craig Bidiman (CC-3-3407) who encouraged and supported me in a way that would safely ensure my getting to my therapy appointment.
I know that it’s hard and it might be unfathomable to talk to someone about your struggles, but it really, really can help.
You need someone to notice you, to acknowledge your pain and how desperate life has gotten for you. There ARE people you can turn to and there ARE people who can help you.
You are important. You are irreplaceable. You are worthy of recovery and you can feel better.
My final point for this article is to ask you to contract for safety with me; in which you will remain safe and not acting on a suicidal or self-harm thought for the next twelve hours or the next twenty-four hours. Have the length of time be long enough that it’s achievable for you and that you can reach out to someone. Tell them how you are feeling–don’t leave anything out because it’s likely that what you think “isn’t important” very much is. If you can contract to safety for me, you are utilizing your survivor strength. And if you cannot, you are still strong, it’s just difficult for you right now–and I still encourage you to talk to someone and I believe in your power to get better no less.
Finally, as a blogger friend who has lost a loved one to suicide told me:
“You are a fighter. Please keep fighting.”
So, I’m not sure if the title will remain as this but I thought of the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign and decided to switch out milk for suicidality. I don’t think there’s much of a trigger warning for this piece, as it’s more helpful, hopeful and encouraging. Hope you guys enjoy it! I finally got it done today, written up by my hand and now typed up and sent off to the paper. I’m also attaching the photo to this piece above, as you’ve likely seen.
Also, yeah, I have a new 800 world count limit :O LEGASP! It makes it a bit tricky but that’s okay. 🙂 STILL THRIVING!
This is a music related series I hope to continue, so if you have any music you’d like me to write about that is pro-recovery or for suicide prevention, send them along to me!! I’d love to have more prompts to work with (even as I have dozens of article ideas lol)
Stay safe, peeps!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
Also for the picture, I’ll show you guys more of HOW that happened and where it began later (it’s from the 16th of September)
Written and Edited between 9/28 & 9/29 and October 2nd 2016