Last week was National Suicide Prevention Week in the US, accompanied by World Suicide Prevention Day.
I’ve been following TWLOHA (a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide) for a few years now, and I decided to participate in this year’s campaign in a more personal way than last year. You can read what this year’s campaign was about here.
I combined photography and some words that are important to remember, and I used TWLOHA’s slogan with my reasons for staying. The result was this:
“It has never been easy. When I was sixteen, I knew every potentially fatal thing in my house: Nail polish remover under the sink. Bottle of rubbing alcohol beside it. Hammer in the tool box. Forty foot bridge across the highway. Traffic outside my window.
I thought about slamming my own head against a counter until I lost feeling. I thought about punching myself in the face until I stopped breathing. I thought about running out into the street at two a.m. and waiting until a car came.
I never thought I’d make it to twenty-five. But I told myself to stay. Just for a little longer. Just to see.
I stayed. And still I thought about bridges. And hammers to the head. And swallowing acetone to cleanse my insides. But slowly I began to understand that it was okay to cry, and shake, and feel anything but okay. I realized that there would continue to be days that my fist would rise to my cheek. And still, my face would sometimes resemble a bruised peach.
But now I tear up my lists of potential ways to die before I complete them. I replace presciption pills, rubbing alcohol, and razors with memories of the good days.
If you feel the same way, stay. For the good days. And the sunsets. And the people out there who understand. Stay. Just for a little longer. Just to see.”
You’ll see me tomorrow because I’m curious about life.
#tomorrow15 #nspw15 #WSPD15@twloha
Thursday 10.10.15 (WSPD)
This year was more personal than last year, but still not personal enough. There are things I could’ve mentioned but I didn’t. Although it feels good to let it all out, I’m not ready.
The important thing to remember is that suicide prevention isn’t an one day in a year thing, it is something that should happen daily. Just keep in mind that there’s a chance things can get better; and if they don’t, you still have a part to play.
“People need to be encouraged. People need to be reminded of how wonderful they are. People need to be believed in—told that they are brave and smart and capable of accomplishing all the dreams they dream and more. Remind each other of this.”