To the Suicidal, From Someone Who's Been There — and Also Lost Someone to Suicide


This is a letter for you. If you have a plan. If you have a real wish to end the pain. If you are at the end of your tether and don’t have anywhere else to turn. If you feel hopeless.

I can’t save you. I can’t promise to stop you wanting to end the pain. All I offer is the truth.

To you:

This letter isn’t designed to stop you. It’s not written to guilt trip you into stopping. I know, probably better than anybody, how it feels to be you. I have been you. I am you. I know that nothing anybody can say or do — family, friends, care teams, anyone — may change your mind. The only person who can do that is you. It needs to come from inside.

For the people left behind, the world stops. Just for a moment. The world crashes down around their ears and their hearts stop beating. Their minds stop processing information. They don’t dare to breathe, blink, move a muscle — because if they do, it’s real. The news they heard, read, found out becomes true: You are gone.

Then, once the world starts moving again, they realize they’re crying. They’re at home, at work, school, the mall. But even though the world continues to move, they stay frozen. In shock. Disbelief. They don’t want to believe. Because how can the world keep turning with somebody so important gone? How can the world bear it? How can people keep living their lives when somebody they love isn’t here anymore?

When you’re there, standing on the edge of forever. All you might think is, “Nobody cares, nobody will miss me. I’m so unimportant. And those who do miss me will only miss me for a while. The world will continue without me.”

And you’re right, about the last part. The world will continue without you. But the people who miss you won’t do so for a time. They will miss you every moment of every day for the rest of their lives. They will remember.

Always.

And you wonder how I can know this? And why you should care?

I know this because I’ve been you. I’ve stood on the edge of forever and held my breath and looked down into an end for my pain. A lifetime of pain. Of torment. Of hurt. Of sh*t that never seemed to end.

And I was pulled back.

And I’m so glad I was, now that the darkness has passed.

And I’ve also been the person left behind after somebody I loved wasn’t pulled back. I’ve had my world crumble, felt time stop, had to watch the world continue, attended a funeral with more people than you would ever believe. And I’ve lived the memories, the songs, the photos, the moments without them.

It’s been three months since I stood on the edge of forever. Three months since the stranger and the policeman saved my life. Since they hugged me and cried.

And if a stranger can cry from fear of my potential loss, I hate to imagine how the people I love would have felt.

And now the darkness has faded, the hospital stays over, the life that I should have been living now feels within my grasp. The negative has moved to just “bad days” instead of constant pain. I’m working towards a job I love. Making new and positive relationships. Reconnecting with the people I forgot loved me when I was ill. And I’m starting to have hope for the future. Hope for a future. A life. A family. Friends.

And though I will miss her every day of my life, I am working hard to make her proud of me. I’m now recovering in her memory.

I can’t save you. I can’t promise to stop you wanting to end the pain. All I offer is the truth.

And hopefully that will be enough:

You are loved.

You are important.

Always.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.


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