How We Used to Love | Nine

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I’m at a loss of words. I know the other day I just posted on here, so I’ll keep this to a minimum. But I wanted to say something, though I don’t know what that something is. I guess to say… I’m tired. I’m tired of mental illnesses. Not just the ones affecting me, but other people as well. I’m tired of hearing about the sad lives that people lead and the daily struggles they face. But most of all… I’m tired of hearing about suicides.

When I was younger and ignorant I didn’t believe in suicide. I thought it was a sign of  weakness and a poignant sign of a true unbeliever (not just in God, but in life). I didn’t understand how people would want to end their life or simply not want to live anymore. Well, now I am older and wiser (at least that’s what I’d like to think) and now I understand how real and tragic it is. It is not weakness; it is the last shrill cry for help without an answer.

So that’s why when I heard the news that a girl I knew took her life on this past Friday, I was shocked and devastated. While I never knew her that closely and we had an interesting past, how heartbreaking it was that this beautiful girl, who was always smiling and thinking of others, would be so lost and alone that the only way she saw out was through ending her life.

I think it’s a natural reaction to suicide to not only think and dwell on the individual, but also ourselves. The question that always goes over and over in my head, especially if it’s the death of someone I knew, is what could I have done. Now I know we can’t blame ourselves entirely, because at the end it is their decision that rips them from this world to another; but a lot of the time it is because they were alone, because they were lost, because they were rejected, that they did it.

So as we dwell on that question, what could I have done, I propose that we change it to, what can I do? I’ve written about this before, how we are not as helpless as we think we are. Preventing suicide is not a difficult task. It’s the simple matter of being there for others, loving them and supporting them, even when it’s not easy or convenient for us.

It is not easy to love someone who is constantly paranoid (General Anxiety Disorder), who is sad or tired all the time (Clinical Depression), who is too nervous to go anywhere or do anything (Social Anxiety and/or Panic Disorder), who is always having trouble focusing (ADHD), who is a constant victim of flashbacks and triggers (PTSD), who switches from being on a encouraging high to a tragic low (Bi-Polar Disorder), or who has to have things just a certain way (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). No, it’s not easy. But what may not seem easy for us, may seem like a walk in a park compared to what it is like to live with those issues everyday.

So, make that small sacrifice. Be a friend to listen to their struggles. Be the rock that grounds them on difficult days. Be the person who is not there to judge or criticize, but to love and support. Just the simple task of showing concern for them could be the only thing keeping them from deciding to choose life or death.

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It is a lonely world inside your head, especially if it’s your brain that’s killing you. But you don’t have to be alone, because you aren’t alone. There are other people who deal with this just the way you do and know what you are going through. There are selfless, caring people who will support you through this struggle and you don’t have to feel lost or alone.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Suicide Prevention Line

Supporting Those With Mental Illnesses

Five Thinks to Do (and Not Do To) Support Someone With Depression 

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