What People Who've Been Suicidal Want to Tell Someone Who's Suicidal Today
If you’re feeling suicidal, you’re not alone.
You’re also not unworthy, unimportant, unloved or any of the other things your brain might tell you when you’re feeling suicidal.
Though it may not feel like it right now, there is hope. We teamed up with PostSecret to ask people who’ve lived through suicidal thoughts what they would tell someone who is currently feeling suicidal. Suicidal feelings or ideations should never be a secret. We need to talk about it, and let others know it’s OK to do the same.
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or just needs someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. To learn more about the warning signs of suicide, head here.
We want you to stay. Here’s what our community wants you to know:
1. “You are enough.”
“You are enough! You are so enough it’s ridiculous how enough you are. Remember how you survived the many times you have felt this way? You are still here because you are a fighter. You will always come out stronger and a winner. I’m going to say it again. You are enough! I love you. I’m actually saying this to myself right now. I’m still fighting.” — Cordelia S.
2. “Find one thing you want to stay for.”
“The one thing keeping me alive was the fact that I hadn’t seen the Grand Canyon. Now that I’ve seen it, I look forward to going back.” — PostSecret
3. “You matter.”
“I know words can seem hollow and empty right now, but from someone who’s been there, I know your pain is real. I see you. I care. You matter. You are not a burden, and you deserve every breath you take.” — Mati M.
4. “Find an outlet to express what you’re feeling.”
“As an individual living with mental health and chronic illness, and also as a suicide survivor, the arts are my lifeline — allowing me a safe outlet to express my emotions and foster healing. ￼￼￼My intuitive creative process challenges me to ignore my inner critic, trust my intuition, follow my creative muse and to reclaim my authentic voice.” — Amy “Tovah” Shafran (@CreativeArtery)
5. “Take it day by day, hour by hour or minute by minute if you need to.”
“Hour by hour. In the worst bout of depression I ever had, when I was the closest to suicide, I took it hour by hour. I told myself one hour, and then one more. I called someone close to me, who I knew would be gentle and would talk me through it.” — Kristy H.
“Don’t let the weight of the future be heavy on your shoulders. Take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. You don’t need to be OK forever. You can be OK just for this minute. We can deal with the next minute when it gets here.” — Tricia L.
6. “When you’re able to smile and laugh again, it will be beautiful.”
“Depression is funny sometimes… You battle through the days in hopes of finding some color. Because, sometimes, it gets really lonely in the Darkness. How long do the tears have to fall before some light shines through? Sometimes it’s days, weeks, maybe even months… months of insomnia and self-hatred before you can smile and laugh again. But when you do laugh again for the first time… It will be beautiful.” — Seraphina L.
7. “It’s OK if all you did today was barely hold yourself together.”
“If all you did today was hold yourself together, I am proud of you. You are important. You are loved. You are needed. Please stay strong. Please get help; because even in your darkness, you could be someone’s light.” — Michelle A.
8. “Get involved in a community.”
“For most of my 20s I thought of killing myself, pretty much on a daily basis. With only one exception, this wasn’t expressed in my art (or in any writing.) Into my 30s my mental health seemed to improve, I felt there had been a lot of healing, getting right with God and getting involved in helping at church.” — Drew B.
9. “Just stay one more day. Then another. And another.”
“Just stay until tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and stay for the next day, and the next day. Finish your Netflix list first, try that weird restaurant down the street first, etc. Get through these 24 hours and then take on the next 24.” — Sarah L.
10. “Turn your pain into art.”
“Duct tape, nails, superglue… all played a part in my suicide plan. I decided to turn the tables and create art from them.” — Susan
11. “Take a deep breath.”
“You take a deep breath. Right Now. Six seconds. Do it again. Six seconds. And again. You made it through 18 seconds. That’s longer than a good bull rider stays on before he gets bucked off. The crowd is your family and friends, watching with baited breath, they want to help but they don’t know how. You are on a wild ride right now, and your life is the bull. But if you just keep breathing, keep giving yourself those six seconds more, eventually the bull has to go back to the chute and you get to hold your hat up and wave to the crowd, and smile. You made it.” — Tara W.
12. “It can get better.”
“I almost took my life four years ago. The suffering felt inescapable at the time. Things have gotten better since then. In fact, my life is better today because of the great depression I passed through.” — PostSecret
13. “You are not your thoughts.”
“Your thoughts don’t define you as a person. You’re worthy of love and living. In those moments when it feels like all hope is lost, just keep swimming. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you’ve just gotta squint to see it.” — Brittany L.
14. “Someone out there loves you.”
“From my favorite dance music group Above & Beyond.” — Christopher W.
15. “Don’t feel ashamed of the thought you’re having. You’re not alone.”
“You don’t have to feel guilty for having these thoughts. They’re a lot more common than you’d expect. And the people around you, in all likelihood, are more willing to help and be supportive. Even if one person reacted in a bad way, it doesn’t mean everybody will.” — Lily C.
16. “You are strong.”
“Today may not be the best day. Tomorrow may suck too. Someday, things won’t suck so much though. It may not seem like it, and you may not feel like enough, but that will change. No matter what, you are enough, you have value, and you are strong enough for anything life throws you. Just hold on a little while longer. You’ll be glad you did.” — Kaitlyn L.
If you are feeling suicidal, I recommend reading Mighty contributor Jody Betty’s beautiful piece, “I Want You to Want to Live.” Here is a short excerpt.
I want you to live.
I want you to want to live.
I won’t feed you some bullsh*t like it’s all going to be OK with time because it may not be, and it may not turn out as you wish, but you will never know if you don’t stick around to find out.
I will instead tell you I am here with you. Let’s take this a minute at a time…
You are important… You are loved.
Stay strong warrior, we need you here.
Getty Images photo via Benjavisa