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Dear Suicidal You

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Editor’s note: The following is based on one person’s experiences. If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or consult a professional. 

I’ve been suicidal since I was 10 years old, and daydreamed of death since I was 7. Since I was young I’ve felt like death was a solution. Through recovery, I’ve learned ending it wouldn’t be worth it, my family isn’t actually better off without me and that my life is very much worth living. But sometimes, the thoughts creep back.

So, I’m writing a letter to everyone out there who’s struggling like I have and sometimes still do. To remind you that you can get through it, you will get through it and whatever you’re dealing with isn’t the end. Because sometimes we need to hear it from someone who’s been there.

Dear Suicidal You,

If you’re reading this, it means you’re fighting something inside of you that’s screaming to let everything go. It means you’re listening to that one voice inside your head that’s telling you to hold on and fight for just one more day. You’re struggling to get a grip on your feelings and all you can do is hope for it to end. And if you’re like me, you just want to fade away so you can’t bother anyone anymore. You think you will no longer be a burden.

You think you are giving up.

Even though you don’t see it right now, you are fighting. By sitting down to read this, you are fighting. That little voice inside your head is questioning if this is really what you want.

And it’s not. So listen to that voice and hold on.

I promise you it gets better. Sure, it’s cliché to say that, but it does. Three years ago I wouldn’t have believed anyone who tried to tell me that, but today I woke in the arms of the one I love. A year ago I faced the biggest heart break, and this morning I looked in the mirror and truly smiled for the first time since I was a little kid.

For eight years I’ve wanted and tried to end my life, and I’m telling you it’s not worth it.

So pick up your phone, dial the number you keep repeating in your head if you’re anything like me. Talk to someone, someone you trust and who loves you unconditionally. And breathe. Because you can and will get through this. You will come out of this as a warrior, a survivor.

You are going to get through it.

Get up. Force yourself to take a shower — it might make you feel a little better. Then go do something you know you love. When I feel like ending it all, I write. I pour my heart and soul out into a piece. Then I submit it to someone or post it on my blog. When I get comments and shares, I start to feel some worth. Someone is seeing what I have to say, and they’re valuing it. They care about what I’m saying in some way.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.34.51 PM
picture of the crane, taken by Courtney

Sometimes I take pictures. Selfies have made my confidence fly through the roof! Photography in general makes me feel so much better. I get to take a picture of a beautiful moment and make it last forever. Last time I felt like ending it, I went to the lake with my love and my father. I had just gotten a new camera and I was going to force myself to test it. But the moment I snapped a picture of a majestic crane, I suddenly didn’t feel so bad anymore. I was looking at this stunning thing I created and all I could think was “Wow, I did that.”

Within just a few moments I suddenly wasn’t feeling so low.

We have to hold on to moments like these. We all need someone to lean on sometimes.

And above, we need to keep fighting. Because we are worth it.


Someone who’s been there

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

Originally published: December 8, 2015
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