I’ve been suicidal, and I have survived the loss of those who have died by suicide. Both sides can be unbearable.

When I was suicidal, I used to wait for my heart to stop; and for the pain to end. My mind used to circle the drain just wishing that I would finally fall into it.

But now, surviving those who have died to suicide has put an overwhelming pulse in my heart that believe it or not, is more unbearable than I think it would be than to have my heart stop altogether. The truth is, the pain that I have endured by surviving has surpassed the number of holes any weapon could instill into my heart. The truth is, depression and suicide sadden me to a point of anger on both sides. This is what I have learned from living on both sides..

Moving on with life, regardless of the side you are on, can feel miserable.  If you are contemplating suicide, you know that every step can feel like you are lifting a cinderblock and the trudging gets harder and harder. Red eyes, sleepless nights, isolated soul, and weighted shoulders. It is a lot.

If you have survived someone by suicide, it can be angering. They have left you to live your life, without them, and yet you know that just because they left, the big life events you celebrate will always include them. When their favorite ice-cream is ordered at the restaurant and you overhear their order, or when their favorite movie come across the screen and you flashback to the moment where you had a movie marathon and watched that movie together, or there is the big holidays, birthdays, or life milestones that now have to be celebrated even in their absence. And, it feels wrong, but it’s not. 

Being vulnerable is terrifying. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve been through, what you feel guilty for not experiencing, how strong you either believe you are or don’t believe you are, vulnerability takes courage. Talking yourself up to say what you know and then approaching the moment with your pride dropped and mouth open and then…. nothing. Nothing comes out. And then, you quickly change the subject and act like nothing was wrong and you mask your way through it. The danger in that is that you never get the help you need. Whether the pain is induced from grief, or life itself, it is still there, and it is still untreated. Face your fear, because you are loved.

Getting help is not only best for you, it’s best for everyone who cares about you as well.  Whether the help is with a therapist, a mentor, a pastor, small groups, or other forms of community, getting help allows you to take care of yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself. And, the world needs the best version of you, because you were created with a purpose, for a reason. Take care of you; for you and for everyone else who loves and adores you.