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To My Sister Who Recently Attempted Suicide

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Dear Lil Bit,

First off, know you are loved. Secondly, know I’ve been where you are. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless — to think the world would be better off without me. I know what it’s like to want to numb all the hurt with alcohol and drugs. I know what it’s like to loathe getting out of bed in the morning. And I know what it’s like to feel like a burden. You and I both know how that feels.

Now, I’m going to tell you what you don’t yet know:

This too shall pass.

I know how cliché that sounds, but trust me when I say the rut you are in will not last forever. You are so young, and you have a lot of life left to live. I know you have hopes and dreams.

Nothing that happens is worth ending your life.

You are worth so much more than you realize. You are smart. You are beautiful. You have a caring, beautiful soul, and nothing or anybody is worth ending your life over. Don’t let them win. I remember watching you play soccer growing up, and you were great at it.  Making the All-Star team year after year. I remember watching you play your heart out on that soccer field, and not letting anyone or anything get in between you and that goal. Look deep in your soul and find the passion you once had for soccer, and apply that to your life now.

You have a supportive family, but you have to let us in.

More than anyone, I know what you’re going through. I’ve had my own share of mental health issues, like you, and I’m also chronically ill, like you. I get it. And when you don’t think anyone does, remember your older sister understands exactly what you’re going through. If you get to feeling down, call me. I don’t care what time it is, I don’t care what I’m doing. If you need me, you call me, and I promise we will talk through it and find a solution together.

Do not let other people have control over your life

When you get depressed, and when people seem to be beating you down, remember these three letters: P.E.W — prove ’em wrong. When someone tells you you’re not good enough, in whatever area in life, get mad, and then show them you’re even better than they thought you weren’t. You show them you’re stronger than whatever life throws at you, and that you will come out even stronger once you overcome the situation.

Lil Bit, believe me when I say I know what it’s like to feel hopeless. I have days where I can’t find the energy to get out of bed. When the pain is so bad, even my hair hurts. When I have those days, and I can’t find the energy to go on for myself, I look for that energy in other places. I look at you, and your sons, and mom, and my husband and somehow, I find the strength to go on just one more day. That’s all you have to do is make it one more day, then figure out the next day when it comes.

I love you, more than you will ever know, and it breaks my heart knowing that you are going through this. Always remember, I’ve been where you are, and I know exactly how you feel, so when you feel like you don’t have anyone, you have me. I get it, more than anyone. I love you, and we can’t wait to have you home. Stay strong. We come from a very long line of strong, badass women. Now let’s get you better and get you home.

Your big sissy

Originally published: February 18, 2016
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