Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Today is #SuicidePreventionDay. It's reported that 1 million people die by suicide each year. ONE. MILLION. PEOPLE.
People that were once this little kid with her pimp puppy, sandals better than Jesus' and shades of a rockstar. This little kid, 4 years old, would later think about all the ways she could run away from everyone, the world - her life.
What do you think of, when you think of a suicidal person? That guy who escapes from the mental hospital in the Sixth Sense ? Every ghost in a horror movie? Delusional. Deranged. Desperate - for attention.
Do you think of...
The boy you sat next to in Calc,
The girl everyone bullied for being fat,
Or the most beautiful woman in the world,
One of America's funniest,
An international DJ,
A fashion mogul,
More kids than I can count on one hand from my hometown,
I actually didn't realize today was Suicide Prevention Day. And ultimately, if you have depression, this is what makes it deadly. I've had depression for more than I can remember. I'd be remiss if I didn't take time to actually talk about suicide.
I can't really explain the feeling, you know, to not want to be around anymore. And, quite honestly, I'm not ready to dive into that and unleash all of those moments and memories in this Monday night's read. So, I'm just going to say a few things.
First, there's a difference between being suicidal and having suicidal thoughts. When someone is suicidal, they're at immediate risk. Get help.
But, if someone has suicidal thoughts, that means there's still a risk, but not as immediate. They're depressed. They need help. They think about dying. Rather, just not being. Obviously, there are different levels and extremes. I've gotten close to all of them. I never wanted to hurt myself. (Though, I've always found that ironic because my EDs hurt me so badly - physically, emotionally, mentally.)
I'm still not ready to talk about my own experiences. I don't think a lot of you are ready to read them.
So the second thing I want to add is suicide is not selfish. We sometimes forget that adults are just big kids. I'm 23 and I know I don't feel like an adult. I mean, people still think I'm using a fake ID.
Have you ever heard someone say after a suicide, "Did they think of how this would affect other people?" Stop. Isn't thinking about how someone's death affected you a little selfish? Of course, with any death, people are affected. But, I want to break this down:
Sometimes, with suicidal thoughts, you feel like the world would just keep on going as if nothing happened if you were no longer there. Imagine that feeling. The feeling that no one - not your family, your best friends, your team, your neighbors, would be affected by your death. How fucking lonely is that. My heart breaks when I hear parents die by suicide. Yes, I feel utterly for that person's family. But my god, that person's depression must've been so heavy.
On that note, sometimes people have suicidal thoughts because that feels like the only escape. Things are that bad. You know that drowning analogy? It's true. No matter how much you try, you just get more tired. And no one can hear you call for help as water gushes into your lungs.
When my EDs were at their worst, I thought I would never get better. I was reaching out for help, but people were just pushing my head down into the water. And then it felt like I just took off my life jacket. And whatever was was.
I always had this tiny sliver of hope - and narcissism. Hey, I'll admit it. But that hope, it saved me. I felt like I could do it. Save myself. Too many people have died by suicide. I felt like I had to do it for them. For their families. I have to keep going. At this point, I will keep going. There was one year in college that felt like a constant battle. Except, most of it I just lied in bed (nearly) lifeless. I'm not there anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I'll go back there. Maybe a will. But I got out once, I'll do it again. So will you, if you ever get to that place - or if you're in that place now.
I constantly fought for the approval and love of certain people. Despite having so many other supportive people around me, I could only hear the negative people. Their voices filled my mind.
I had to accept that there were people who actually thought I didn't matter. I also accepted that there were people who did think I matter. WOONANOO to the bad ones. No. Major FUCK YOU to some people. And major thank you to a lot more.
Thank you to one of my high school teachers for putting a note on my locker that said "You matter more than you know."
To the girl who said she wished she had my confidence (lol what)
Even to the footballer player who said, "I don't really get you." (#WooNaNoo)
To the body positive influencers who made me confident enough to wear a bikini at 20 years old.
To the girls in my sorority who would eat cereal with me and laugh at my stories.
To my coach.
To my friend who dropped off (double stuffed) Oroes when I had mono.
To every person who sends me squirrel pics.
And ya better believe my doggy dogs are getting a shoutout for loving me no matter what.
To the one girl who came to my Capstone reading.
To so many more people.
And to the person who I told I was at the lowest of lows and then five months later told me I wasn't worth the air I breathed, you've got a lot more problems than I do.
Dis lil gnome is gonna breathe up all the air she wants because no one decides whether or not she matters but her. And this lil gnome wants all of her gnomies to know they matter too in this world that keeps trying to tell us we don't.
I'm not sure why we try to put people down so much. You don't stand any taller when you push someone down. You're at the same height (#math). You don't get any stronger either. Gravity, mate. But, when you lend a hand and you both pull each other up, you both get stronger.
That's all for today, but that's not all from me.
You're not alone, lil gnome. I promise.