I’ve been very quiet regarding last week’s news about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. What is there I can say that countless others are not already screaming from the tops of their lungs with incredible desperation? Of course, everyone knows that healthcare, and mental healthcare particularly, in this country is broken, except for all the people who can actually do something about it. Talking about that would just be preaching to the choir.
But, it feels wrong to remain silent.
Suicide is something that affects everyone, in some way. Maybe you know someone who’s lost someone, maybe you’ve personally lost someone, or maybe you’ve stood on the brink and looked over the edge yourself.
It’s not something I like talking about. Telling someone you’ve thought about suicide makes things uncomfortable. People get skittish, they worry–perhaps rightly so. I don’t like that. I don’t like being fussed over and tip-toed around. I don’t want hugs and kisses and my mother crying that she’s here for me. I’m special and loved and people care; I know.
I can’t say for sure that I ever would have found it in me to actively end my own life, no matter how much I wanted to. I’ve always been afraid of change, terrified of the unknown. I think I would have been much too scared of what came next to follow through–I don’t know if Hell exists, but I’ve never been keen to find out.
My thing was always recklessness. I might be too afraid to end my own life, but I had no problem putting myself in all manner of stupid situations and letting Providence decide my fate. Sneaking out to walk the city after dark, crossing against lights at busy intersections, pretty much every time I got into the car with my high school best friend. I might have been too afraid to jump, but I would often walk to the edge and wait for a strong breeze.
Thankfully, those thoughts are past me, now. It’s been years since I’ve dashed across the trolley tracks to see if I could beat the train. I found a lifeline to pull myself out of that pit, or at least up onto a ledge a little higher up so I can see that there is a way out.
There is a way out.
Everyone’s lifeline is different. For me, that line was a renewed sense of faith and the idea that I was put here for a reason; my life on this earth is meant for something–so many near misses pushed me in that direction.
That might not work for you; not everyone finds comfort in spirituality or magic the way I do. That’s okay, that doesn’t have to be your lifeline. But, trust me, if you’re struggling, you do have a lifeline.
It’s there and you can find it, I promise.
If you’re struggling, if you’re hurting, if you feel like you can’t go on, I beg you: Talk to someone. They can help you find that lifeline, they can help show you what you have to grab onto to pull yourself up, so you can see the hope of getting out of that hole.
We all need that help, sometimes. I never would have found my lifeline if not for talking to people, opening up about what I felt, when, and why. It can be scary to tell someone how messed up you feel, but it’s worth it.
Your life is worth it.
If you ever feel like it’s not, please reach out:
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- The NSPL is also accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing via TTY at: 1-800-799-4889
- If you’re not comfortable speaking, the NSPL also has a chat service: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
- Or you can text CONNECT to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line (free, 24/7).
I love you all. Truly.