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If You're Feeling Suicidal, Please Read This

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Many people struggle with depression at some point in their lives, and twice as many women as men will suffer from serious depression. Having both depression and anxiety is also quite common. Also, the risk of developing depression is 40% if a biological parent has been diagnosed with the illness. Furthermore, suicide is among the leading causes of death — around 800,000 people die by suicide a year, and for every death by suicide, more than 20 people attempt it.

I was born and raised in Italy, where the suicide rate is much lower and depression is not as commonly diagnosed. However, it is still relevant, especially since Italy itself has very little awareness about mental health issues, especially among younger people.

I know what it means to be in complete darkness and see no way out, I’ve had suicidal thoughts since I was 14. I’m 21 now and I still have to fight them. For that, and because I understand, I’ve decided to write this letter to you.

Dear you,

If you’re reading this, I want you to know I’m here to listen to your story. I’m here to listen to you. I want to you to know I’m grateful for giving me five minutes of your time to read this.

I’m not here to tell you everything is going to be OK, because things don’t always go as we expect. Things may be terrible, things may be amazing, but you’ll never know if you don’t stay around to experience it. If you’re reading this, you have somehow reached out, and I’m so proud of you because of that.

You are important.

You are loved.

Even if you don’t see it, you are loved, and you are not a mess. To anyone, I know how you may be feeling. I’ve been there, I still am, so I empathize with you, but trust me: we are not a mess.

I’m not here to tell you you’re overreacting, and you don’t want to die, because I know your pain, I feel it too.

Instead, I’m here to listen to your feelings because they’re as valid as you are. I’m not here to tell you it is going to be easy, because it is not.

But I’m here, and so are you.

I’m here to tell you there’s hope, there’s light, there’s life.

I’m here to tell you one day we might be able to look back and be grateful for not having done what we were thinking of doing. I’m here to tell you you’re strong.

I’m here to tell you you’re beautiful.

I’m here to tell you you’re valid.

I’m here to tell you to hold on.

I’m here to tell you if you need someone to talk to, I’m always here to listen.

You are loved.

Unsplash image by Roberto Nickson

Originally published: December 17, 2019
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