When I started this blog, it was right around the time the Suicide Prevention Awareness charity walk was happening. I wanted to write about it because it’s a topic that means a lot to me. I have lost friends and a god-brother to suicide and it’s suicidal depression is something I wrestled with for years. I decided against it. I wanted to start with posts that were generally light-hearted. I wanted to talk about writing and talk about me and gain a bunch of followers before I got into the deep stuff.
I found out tonight that a friend of mine took his own life a couple days ago. He was one of the most hilarious and genuinely empathetic people I’ve ever met. He offered support and kind words and jokes to whoever needed them. We spent many long nights running riffs that lasted hours. This was a complete shock, but then these things usually are.
These feelings are not cut and dry. It’s not as simple as getting medication (and many medications run the risk of making it worse or creating a sense of apathy so appallingly potent that feeling nothing becomes worse than feeling bad). It’s not as easy as going outside or finding a hobby. It’s not even as easy as talking to someone, but it’s a good start.
And some people going through these issues have a hard time expressing the feelings they’re having. I did. I felt like I was imposing on my friends or that they would view me with pity or think less of me. It’s hard to see that there are people who care about you and genuinely just want to help. And a lot of times it is all too easy to hide those feelings in public. If you’re not familiar with depression, I cannot put it any better words than Hyperbole and a Half did HERE and HERE.
I implore you to read both of those because it is so easy to get the wrong idea about what those feelings entail and it’s important to have a better understanding so that you can relate to your friends going through it or, if you’re going through it yourself, to know you’re not alone.
It is easy to want to give up. I spent so many nights wishing I wouldn’t wake up the next morning. I made mental pro and con lists. I cried when no one was looking because I felt alone and useless and talentless.
But I wasn’t. I never was alone. It took years and several very stubborn friends to help. It took a lot of introspection and an actual near death experience but I started to see through it and get better. And I still get depressed and down on myself, but I know there is light in this world and I know that I can do right by others and be there for others when they need someone. I found a purpose for myself. I didn’t do it alone and it wasn’t easy, but once I found it, it helped.
So many people don’t get that opportunity and it’s because so many others don’t know how to recognize the signs or how to be there when they do.
To those that have dealt or are dealing with suicidal thoughts: please don’t fucking do it. Don’t hurt yourself. You might not know how much your kind words and your smiles and your jokes and your company means to people, but people care about you. And it might not always be the people who should or who you want to, but I promise you that the kindness you show others leads to a ripple effect. Every time you smile at someone, you’re letting them know the world is more beautiful than you think. When you tell someone it’s going to be okay, you’re giving them strength.
Believe it. Believe in this world and yourself. You are never as alone as it feels and there is always something around the corner worth holding on for. You are loved and you would be horribly missed. Please be patient and please be hopeful.
And if things seem so desperate that you need someone to talk to, someone to listen, call this number: 1-800-273-8255
They are there to listen. They don’t know you and won’t judge. They just want to help you and remind you how amazing you are.
You have a purpose and you will find it. You’re someone’s reason to get through the day. I have faith in you.
Bless you and please take care.