Hello beautiful, lovely readers. Today holds a lot of meaning for me: it is World Suicide Prevention Day. For those of you who do not know, I briefly thought about ending my own life my senior year of high school.
That is a story for another day, but essentially I was regularly being bullied at a school where the administration refused to uphold their own student conduct rules. With my chronic illness flaring up, dropping 25 pounds in a matter of weeks, and my hair falling out – all due to the stress – the end of my pain seemed inconceivable. However, after seeing a therapist, I was never diagnosed with depression and through the love and support of my family, was able to shut down damaging thoughts of self-harm before acting on them. I was lucky.
If you suffer from mental health issues, I am sharing my story with you not because I am pretending to understand what you are going through, but because I want you to know that you are not alone. Maybe you’ve heard it a million times, maybe not.
Depression means having the inability to see a future for yourself. This article by Huffington Post shares how real depression sufferers describe it. I recognize that there may be nothing I can say to help you feel better, but I want to try!
I cannot begin to understand the pain you experience everyday. I don’t know your story. But I do know a few things: you are loved. You are important. You are needed. You are valued. You are special. You are smart. You are beautiful.
I can imagine how tired you are of hearing things like “smile!” or “be happy” or “cheer up!” When you suffer from a medical condition, no amount of happy thoughts can cure you. Sure, it can help, but only to a certain extent.
I’m trying to help to the best of my ability. If anybody reading this needs someone to talk to, I’m here. I hope you know how much you mean to the world and how much you matter. You are invaluable and irreplaceable. You belong here – I want you in this world!
If you feel hopeless, there is absolutely no shame in asking for help. I have compiled a list of resources at the bottom of this post – use them! If you feel like you are in immediate need of help, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.
The negative stigma surrounding mental health issues needs to be eliminated. Depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and many more are legitimate illnesses with serious biological evidence. These diseases should be treated the same as any other physical ailment. There should be no shame, no hiding, no blaming.
Let’s all try to be more compassionate, more patient, more understanding, and more accepting.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-TALK