By Raquel Lyons
Never underestimate the power of other people’s words.
This is a thought that’s been floating around in my brain today. In my psychological trauma class, we were told to think about some of the effective and ineffective coping strategies a person may engage in following a traumatic event or the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as when a person is motivated to seek help.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to hit rock bottom in order to seek help. When you start noticing problematic behaviors, or better yet others around you do and tell you about them, or that you’re unhappy or you’re not achieving as much as you would like or you can hardly function properly–that’s the time to seek an additional opinion. It may be that what you’re going through is some type of mental health condition to no fault of your own. It may be just a rough patch. It may be that you just need additional resources at your disposal, and honestly? That is a’okay.
You don’t have to wait until you’re “that bad.” Honestly? If it got to be “that bad”, it’d be so bad that you probably wouldn’t even realize it IS “that bad.”
You don’t have to wait until you’ve formulated a plan for suicide. You don’t have to wait until you are feeling unsafe to ask for help.
You can get help when you start noticing signs that something is amiss within yourself. It’s actually better to nip it in the butt early than to wait until it gets to that elusive “that bad” stage. You deserve to feel happiness, to live a healthy life and to enjoy the life that you live, so, if that means that right now you need extra support, reach out for it.
It can be hard to know where to look, and just know that there are places and people out there who want to and can help you. Most importantly, yeah, maybe you can do this on your own. But it may take longer and really, you don’t have to carry this burden alone.
There is always the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline you can call, living in the US, and their number is 1800 273 TALK. There is also Craig Bidiman in CC-3-3407 and the Counseling Center located on Quinn 2nd floor. There are crisis texting programs, online chat rooms, and other phone services in your particular state or lists of other countries resources. There are people out there who want to hear you, acknowledge your pain and help you through it.
It may be that I’m writing and saying the same things I’ve said before. And recovery is a cycle in which that’s necessary to be said and repeated. Sometimes the bully of our brains can drown out the help that is so very near to us. And it’s up to us to fight back and refuse to be taken down by an invisible force field.
It’s not easy, it may never be, and it’s often, maybe always, worth it anyhow.
So when you notice signs in those you love, things that are off about them, something that doesn’t feel right, don’t wash away the importance of it. Rather, challenge it. Bring it to their attention, tell them exactly which behaviors you’ve noticed that are causing you concern, and tell them that you are concerned, how it makes you feel. Tell them that they matter to you, that they’re worth something and how your life would be different without them in it.
Be brave when you talk about suicide. The person who is reaching out to you is doing so in a time of dire need, whether they’re smiling or crying when they say it. They’re letting you in, so please: don’t slam the door in their face. And for the person being reached out to, you are brave as well. It’s not easy to talk about suicide, and the more we choose to show courage in opening up the conversation, the more positive light we’ll be able to shine through the darkness.
Because having these conversations matter and the people struggling and the people being reached out to, matter. Because this life isn’t easy and it can be so tempting to want to let it all go.
So look out for each other out there. And hug those you care about, appreciate those around you and choose to live through another day. Because one day it will be brighter, and one day the world won’t be melting inside out, and one day you’ll be okay again. Live for that day, instead.
A bonus article I just wrote up now. Something I need to hear today, and be reminded of. I hung out with a friend, Naomi, early today and we talked about life and school and stuff and it was really helpful to open up about shit and talk through it. The birth of these words were inspired by that conversation. ❤
Also, I’m totes working on some new fanfics 🙂 I need all the help I can get to channel my brain waves elsewhere today.
Hoping to make some points about this in class today. ❤ ❤
Hope you all enjoy! And that you are doing SPIFFY!
Written November 16.2016