As it happened, today I received an e-mail with a few compliments on my work. It made my day. I was so happy I did a thirty second dance party (for Grey's Anatomy fans). And I kept thinking of how something so little, so easy and so simple can go such a very long way.
And there you have it. The single most important reason for me - and hopefully others - to participate in this Suicide Prevention and awareness campaign. Because this isn't about whether I understand your reasons to see this world in a bleaker light. It isn't about having 'been there, done that, bounced back from that'. Maybe I don't need to understand what made anyone think that whatever else might be next, whatever it is that awaits us after this life, could only be better than the one we have. (Me, I'm not so sure of that, by the way.)
If I've learnt anything through my own tough times (which feel very unimportant in the light of this week's theme, but they were a ball-and-chain to me) it is this: it helps to talk. It doesn't even really matter who you talk to, or what you talk about. Start with the easy stuff. The silly things. The little every day things that bug the crap out of you. Once you can trust the other person enough, the rest will come out, because it has to. And it will feel just that tiny little bit more bearable once you've said it. Once you've told someone how you feel and why you feel that way. And maybe you'll tell them again. And again. And again.
You can talk to the guidance counselor at school - because that is what they do and what they're there for. That helped me, at the time. Just being able to get things off my chest to someone who, in my case, didn't know any of the other people involved. It helped me sort out the madness and chaos that ruled my head. And best of all: it cured me, finally, of that nagging feeling of responsibility, where I thought that I had to fix things. It taught me that they were never my things to fix.
But it doesn't have to be a professional at all. Maybe there's someone among your friends - or someone who ought to be among your friends - or a distant relative, a neighbor, a friendly face, anyone who might surprise you and turn out to be a great listener. That is what you need most of all. You need someone who listens to what you have to say, even if they don't understand. You need someone who won't judge, but who might be able to ask the right questions. I don't know. But talk.
I have no idea if these words will have any effect. I hope so. I know that writing down your own thoughts can be liberating to a certain extent, too. It'll definitely make you more eloquent in voicing all those complicated things that are washing through you on a daily basis. But a quiet and patient notebook isn't a real substitute for a quiet and patient listener. And they are out there.
We are out there.
In theory, it's one small step, even if through the lens of reality it'll look like a giant leap. But this is the first step. And its yours to take.
So take it. Take charge, take control, take that one step.
Find someone to talk to.
OR CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE
Worldwide Directory of Suicide Prevention hotlines, online chat, text-lines, and resources