September Is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

SuicidePreventionLast week, a friend from high school lost his 16-year-old daughter to suicide. In a moment, she was gone.

I keep trying to come up with the right words to offer comfort, to tell him and his wife that they didn’t do anything wrong. That she knew they loved her. That they will be okay.

But I don’t know that.

High school is a horrible time in a kid’s life. It’s full of cliques and raging hormones that make both boys and girls say and do idiotic things.

In school, I was picked on, slapped, teased and bullied. In middle school, I was sick almost every day with a headache or stomachache. I was tested for ulcers and ended up on acid blockers. In middle school.

I had ants put in my hair. Books dropped on my head.

There were days I would curl up in my closet and cry so hard and so long that I wondered if I would be able to breathe anymore. I would lie in bed at night and beg God to let me die in my sleep. To please put an end to my misery.

I would lock myself in my room to cry. I would practice being as quiet as possible as the sobs wracked my body. I didn’t want my family to hear. And I really didn’t want to make them upset just because I was sad. It was my burden, not theirs.

I contemplated suicide more times than I can count. I wanted it to all be over. I didn’t want to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

But I did. On days I didn’t look happy, or Mom could hear the sadness in my voice, she would tell me to go to sleep, and that tomorrow would be a new day. So every morning, I woke up to start anew. I got out of bed, got dressed and forced myself to go to school. I had to just get through that day. Then the next. Then the next.

Then I graduated and went to college an hour and a half away from home. I tried new things and met new people – people who didn’t care whether I fit in.

Then I moved 1,000 miles away from home, to a place no one knew me. No friends, no family. And I survived that too. Thrived, even.

The fact is, life does get better. Every new experience changes you and makes you who you are meant to be. Breakups, makeups, and everything in between sculpt your life. And you realize it’s always been worth living.

But you have to get there.

If you need help, please talk to someone. Don’t hide in your room, so absorbed in your own problems that you drown.

People love you. They want to help. If you feel like you can’t talk to someone you know, call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. Don’t try to get through it alone. Your life is important.

 

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