I think about suicide a lot.
There. I said it. And I know this makes people squirm. Hell, it makes me squirm just looking at that sentence.
But here’s the thing–I have depression. And for people with depression, thoughts of suicide are quite common. Yet, for many of us, it’s hard to admit that we have these thoughts, because…well…because most people squirm when they hear them. That’s certainly understandable. Still, I wish this subject was not so damn taboo. Because talking about suicide can actually help prevent people from committing suicide.
In case you’re wondering, I have attempted suicide. But I’m not very good at it. My family and friends are certainly grateful about that, and I am, too. But there’s a big difference between thinking about suicide and actually going through with it. And much of that difference has to do with another s word: shame. Looking back on my battles with depression, I honestly believe that, had I been more open about suicidal thoughts, I would have been less likely to make my attempts. At my worst, I have been so ashamed of these thoughts that I wouldn’t even mention them to my therapist.
That’s why I’m really glad that there’s now a movement to encourage people to be more open about suicidal thoughts–and yes, even attempts. For a great example, look no further than The Live Through This Project. Here, you’ll see the names (yes, FULL names) and faces of people who have made suicide attempts and lived through them. They candidly reveal the issues that led to their attempts, how they got help, and how their lives have changed since their attempts. As someone who visits this site often, I can say that it HELPS me to see their names and faces. Freed from the constricting anonymity of the past, these individuals are breaking down barriers. When I learn their stories, I feel as though I am not alone.
Live Through This also has helpful resource links on how to get help and where to call if you’re feeling suicidal. I plan to put up links here, too, but for now, use theirs. Please. Because, no matter how shitty, worthless or pathetic you may feel, you’re none of those. And you CAN Live Through This.