This month is Suicide Awareness Month. Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Yesterday, a son, a husband, a father, a friend, and a pastor to so many died from suicide. His name is Jarrid. He started an organization to help those who struggled. I say this because suicide is not picky. It is not reserved for a certain type of person. It does not care whether or not you’re the pastor of a church or an elementary student being bullied.
I also say this because in the age of digital friendships and “I think I know what’s going on in their life because I saw it on the internet” mindsets, we need to show up, learn how to be aware of the way others feel, and tangibly love and support each other. I’m in no way saying that we will save people, but we can start creating safer spaces for our loved ones to come and find comfort. We can also educate ourselves with resources and become more aware of the behaviors of 1) ourselves and 2) our people so we can best offer support and be a guiding light to get help.
Some know, some don’t, but suicide is something that I have personally struggled with since I was a teenager. It is something I thought about every day for years, something I have attempted twice, and something that has hurt so many people that I love and taken away futures from people that deserved to experience them. It is also something that I want to see never happen to anyone ever.
Today, a stranger told me that I was bright and lively. I’m so glad I was alive to be able to say thank you and to know that I finally am.
I don’t know who needs to read this today or tomorrow or next year, but I hope your eyes find it at the right time.
These are things I’ve learned in my pursuit of wholeness and healing and living:
There is life after death- even the death you feel while being alive.
There are resources and advocates ready to go to battle for you (I will list them below).
There are jokes to be told and to laugh at.
There are hugs to be had, and to be given.
There are dogs to pet.
And sunsets to watch.
There are new new albums to be released.
There are memes to laugh at.
There are new flowers about to bloom somewhere.
And rain to dance in.
There are good things, even amongst the bad.
And there are moments that won’t be the same if you’re not there.
So please, stay.
Here are a list of my personal favorite recourses for anyone struggling or interested in learning more about mental illness, suicide prevention, and ways to help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
AnthemOfHope.com (Jarrid Wilson’s organization)
Life is so worth living. Please stick around to find out why.