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I Never Thought I'd Need to Use a Suicide Helpline

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Every day in my job as editor of a youth health information website and as a mental health advocate, I signpost people to mental health support services. I know the mantra, “Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness. There is no shame in reaching out for help. Don’t struggle in silence. Talk. Talk to anyone. It doesn’t matter who, but whatever you do, do not keep things to yourself.”

I know all these things. They roll off my tongue automatically. So why do I find it so hard to apply this to myself? Why can I not apply this to my own life? Why do I find it so hard to ask for help when I’m struggling?

When I dial a suicide helpline, why do I feel so ashamed? So alone. Unable to confide in anyone as to how I really feel. Although I refer people to helplines such as Samaritans and Pieta House every day, little did I think that I would one day be relying on their services.

When I am putting plans in place for my death, why do I find it so hard to let anyone know how bad things really are? I’m afraid of making a fuss. Afraid I’ll upset someone. Afraid people won’t be able to help me when I need them most. So afraid they won’t be able to help me that I don’t even give them the chance to try in the first place.

I’ve felt so bad for so long now that I find it impossible to imagine a life free from mental illness. I’m tired. This particular bout of depression has been really severe and shows no sign of letting up. I’ve been engaging in self-harm, a lot. It’s out of control. I’ve been suicidal, and it takes all of my energy to keep myself safe.

I feel like I’m running out of time. What if the next time is the time I kill myself? I know deep down I don’t want to die.

I really want to have my life back, one that is free from suicidal thoughts and thoughts of hurting myself. Everything is so bleak right now, and I’m struggling to hang on. Yet, for now, I’m stronger than those suicidal thoughts. I refuse to give up without a fight.

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 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: December 6, 2016
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