A Brush of Paint (Suicide Prevention Month 2019)

I find that one of the hardest things to talk about with anyone is suicide. It’s the subject that most people like to avoid in conversations. Obviously it’s not an easy nor pleasant thing to talk about, and for many people it can be a trigger for something dark in their lives. Suicide is not something that you just bring up lightly. There is a weightiness that comes with it, and we must be mindful of that weightiness when talking about it.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Every day approximately 123 Americans die by suicide, and over 44,965 Americans die each year (CDC). Looking at these and other statistics it is obvious that suicide is a big problem in this country that needs to be addressed. There are hundreds of thousands of people suffering every day who don’t believe that their lives are worth living and that everything would be better if they weren’t here. There are some who just want to stop feeling the pain crashing in on them and see suicide as the only way out. Of course no single person’s story is the same as someone else’s, and we should be mindful of that when dealing with someone who may be having suicidal thoughts. I know from my own experience that my suicidal thoughts stemmed from a few different places, and it was (and still is) important to address each of these individually.

Being a teenager is hard for anyone, but it can be even harder when your a teen diagnosed with a mental illness. Sometimes you’re not exactly sure what all is going on, especially when it comes to your thoughts and feelings. Growing up it always felt like a war was raging inside of me. The more unfortunate thoughts and feelings always seemed to take over, leaving me in a depressed state thinking that hope was impossible. And when that mindset took over, the suicidal thoughts began. I never really thought out a specific plan of actions on how to take my life. All I knew was that I didn’t want to have any more pain. I wanted the anguish to stop. I believed that there was no way my life could get better, and even believed that I would not make it to my 18th birthday. It was a time of hopelessness, and I’m thankful every day that I made it out on the other side.

As a young adult I still sometimes struggle with suicidal thoughts. But now I am able to better combat those thoughts when they come up. I now know that suicide is not the solution to my problems, and that life can get better. If I committed suicide then I would guarantee that nothing could ever get better for me. I would have eliminated any chance of hope. But by choosing to live I now have the chance of life getting better. I have to give life a chance in order to make it. So that’s why I’m doing.

Of course that doesn’t mean I will go through life with no problems or hardships. Life isn’t easy and it comes with some dark times. But I now know that I can survive those dark times and make it to a brighter side. I’m stronger than I think. That’s true for everyone.

For anyone reading this who may be contemplating suicide, I hope that you know that you matter. You deserve to have a good life and to live for as long as possible. Even though life isn’t perfect and tough times do occur, you can still make it through. The world would not be the same without you. You are a character in the story of the universe. You are the hero of your own story.

I sometimes like to think of the universe like a painting. Each and every one of us is like a brush of paint on the canvas. If even one of those brushes of paint wasn’t there, the painting would not be the same. This can be said about life. If even one of us wasn’t here, it just wouldn’t be the same.

Life is worth living, and life needs you. I hope that you stick around to see what happens in your own. The universe needs you. Please help us continue the painting.

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