Let me first start by saying that if you are contemplating suicide, please know you are not alone. There is hope. There is help. I have been where you are; it is hard, dark, and painful but it won’t always be that way. If you need help now call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.8255
Scary word, right? Believe me, it is way less scary to talk about it than to try it out.
I didn’t believe that for a long time. I believed if I talked about it I would be seen as weak, crazy, pathetic, or worse of all, that I was seeking attention.
And you know what I realized after I actually did try to end my life? It’s a harsh reality but some people might think those things. However, there are plenty of other people who wouldn’t think those things. There are actually plenty of other people who get it, or love or respect me enough that they want to get it, want to understand.
So, what is there to understand?
I believe suicide most often comes because of overwhelming pain. It does not come from weakness. When we believe it comes from weakness we just create more pain. If we can come to see suicide as a pain reliever then it opens the door to conversations about other ways that pain can be removed.
One way to remove pain is to talk, to share what is causing us pain; that means that we need people who will listen.
How can people listen if they are afraid of what one has to say? Let’s start talking about suicide. Let’s start talking about the things that get people to suicide: anxiety, depression, abuse, trauma, bullying, hopelessness, fear. It’s not about dwelling on the dark parts of life, it’s about admitting that dark parts exist, and exist for all people at some time or another. Lives are filled with dark and light moments – the more we talk about the dark, the less power it has over us.
Let’s shine a light into the darkness. Let’s stop the stigma.
Social media challenge: To stop the stigma I am challenging the spread of the hashtag #stigmastopswithme – Use the hashtag to share why it matters to you that the stigma stops, share a story or picture of your own dark moment, share the reasons you fight your own challenges, share who you fight for – share anything, just START talking!