If there’s one thing that scares me more than my past, it’s the future. And how better to observe time moving on than to watch a brand new year come into being?
I’m terrified of New Year’s resolutions. They bring with them glimpses of hope, which is so dear to me on the darkest of days. But sooner rather than later, my resolutions are broken and it only gets easier to hate myself.
In light of the new year, I’ve decided to make myself a list of personal goals. Making lists is one of my favorite ways to calm down, and I know how I treasure the dreams I work towards. Rather than make resolutions and swear to keep them, I want a list I can look back at in the upcoming years, especially when life seems aimless.
1. Put yourself first.
Say no when you’re hurting too much to be there for your friend.
When you don’t want to go to a social gathering, say what’s really on your mind.
Ask for help even at the cost of sounding like a burden.
If someone’s actions bother you, let them know. You don’t need to keep making excuses for their behavior.
Stop thinking about what people want to hear while you’re tearing yourself up from the inside.
2. Tick things off your bucket list.
Your bucket list is not a guarantor against pain.
Your bucket list is not for the distant future.
Your bucket list doesn’t need to be “earned.”
You can’t use your bucket list to bargain with yourself every time you consider suicide.
Your bucket list is the only list of successes that society will never be able to measure.
Place your bucket list in the present. If you are able to, start building up the accomplishments that are meaningful for you.
3. Tell people what it’s like inside your head. (They won’t know otherwise.)
Don’t make a random excuse in front of your friends when you know you’re only trying to avoid a potential trigger. You’ll never know who the fair-weather friends are if you never let them see your storms.
Write blog posts and share them publicly.
Talk about the fear and talk about the stigma. That’s the only way we’ll break the taboo.
I am hopeful this list will enable me to reinforce my identity and to recall the things that are most important to me.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
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