Photography and article by Raquel Lyons
Trigger Warning: Explicit mention of suicide
You may have heard the term “cry for help” before or maybe that is your first time seeing it. The phrase means to essentially cry out vocally, face to face, or through written form, such as on social media or via paper left in a visible area that an individual is threatening to take their own life.
All threats of suicide should be taken seriously. Whether they are posted on the Internet or joked about in person, neither location should be treated any differently.
In many ways, this article goes hand in hand with my “Attention Seeking?” piece. We cannot tell when a threat of suicide is genuine versus disingenuous. That is not our call to make as civilians or bystanders, not as friends or family members either. We can gather information from the individual and deliver them to the hands of mental health and crisis intervention professionals who will run their own assessment of the individual’s unique situation and decide from there what appropriate action needs to be taken.
It may come as no surprise, from my previous article’s standpoint, that I often engage in cries for help myself. Twitter has become my newest place for doing so. If I am in crisis I am going to go to Twitter to voice my emotions, my thoughts and my behaviors. My WordPress blog is no longer a place I can do that at because my parents read through it. Instead, I’ve taken to another Internet location to make my cries heard…if they ever do get heard.
You see, the Internet, just as in real life moments before you follow through on your suicidality, is not the greatest place to cry out for help.
Yes, *maybe* someone will see the post, *maybe* someone will intervene, or maybe, just maybe, someone won’t.
And if they do not, that is in *no* way a reflection of their care for you, their love for you or the worthiness you sustain just by being you and being alive.
Maybe they haven’t seen the tweet yet, maybe they missed your Facebook post in their feed, maybe they’re not on their phone, or maybe they got caught up in some work related matter. That does *not* mean that they do not care about you or for you or that you matter any less to them.
Maybe the person walking by you in public doesn’t know what to do in that situation; maybe they’re so busy in their own minds that they don’t even realize a situation is taking place. Maybe that friend or that stranger is afraid to ask what you mean when you’re joking about suicide because they’re afraid it’s going to put an idea in your head (it doesn’t) or that they don’t feel comfortable having such an open and vulnerable conversation with you.
There are so many factors involved, you see, there is no one reason for a completed suicide or a suicide being threatened.
To me, crying for help means I want someone to intervene. I want someone to notice me. I want someone to care about me. I want someone to know that I’m not okay. I want someone to know where I’m at and how far I’m willing to go to show that I matter.
Crying for help to me means wanting someone to talk me out of suicide. Crying for help means someone calling my brain out on its BS and reminding me of the life I have yet to live, the things I have yet to accomplish and the happiness buckets I have yet to fill.
I struggle often with the confliction between wanting to stand on the edge and have it be public so as to heighten my chances of someone intervening, and to stand on the edge for no one to be around so that I lessen my chances of someone intervening. I want intervention and yet I want people to just walk away.
I threaten suicide, a lot. I cry for help, a lot. And I will also act on the suicidal thoughts. I do *not* believe that my suicide attempts were a cry for help. All of my suicide attempts, though misguided by far, were genuine. I thought they might kill me, if the universe “aligned” in a particular way. They didn’t, and here’s hoping they never do.
But I can’t say that I won’t try again, somewhere down the road. I can hold onto the hope that if no one else will be there for me, than I will be there for me. That I can and will advocate for myself, and get myself the help I both need and deserve. And if staying safe means hospitalization, so be it.
Please, stay safe.
And if you are struggling with suicidal ideation, know that you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800 273 8255, the Counseling Center at Quinn 2nd floor past general medicine, and at their 24/7 crisis line at XX. You are worthy of this life, please keep fighting.
I don’t have much to say about this other than I’m going to be making my good news post soon and working today on other articles. 🙂
I’ll have a better life update (like a more proper one) soon, too.
Thank you for reading!! ❤ ❤ ❤
PS This may have a photo attached to it later, hence why I haven’t added the article thumb to this piece. Unless I come up with another one. Maybe I’ll do the thumb anyways. Ahaha.