Welcome to Day 29 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!
To The One Thinking Of Killing Herself
The background photos I chose during this writing challenge have been just as important to me as the content presented. For this prompt, I selected a photo that captured a range of emotions one may exhibit behind a smile. We often interact with hurting, hopeless and suicidal people more than we realize. Some are incredibly anxious and overwhelmed by life but find themselves stifled by the stigma of crying out for help; so they don’t. Instead…they smile.
Keeping up appearances.
Prior to being trained as a volunteer suicide crisis counselor, I served as a volunteer rape counselor for a short while. I remember the training sessions as empowering but extremely intense at times. Sitting in a classroom full of women unveiled common misogynistic prejudices against victim survivors because of their appearance. This was long before the momentum of Tarana Burke’s #MeToo movement erupted and common assumptions about attire being a contributing factor to sexual assault were prevalent.
Assuming that a suicidal person has to “look” suicidal happens all the time. This is why it’s not uncommon for grieving loved ones to be in shock. “Them? But there were no signs. They were so happy. I thought things were looking up for them!”; when in essence the sudden happy go lucky calmness is a result of their being at piece with the decision to end their life.
But what does a suicidal person look like? We all know what it’s like to hide our true feelings at one time or another. But most suicidal people learn how to hide how they feel because they don’t want to be a burden or think they’ll be misunderstood. Yes. Those are a set of assumptions from the other side – but what if someone is willing to help or can relate?
To the girl who is thinking about killing herself or anyone else reading this – please don’t. I’m not talking to your smile, facade or mask. I’m talking to the part of you that still looks for a reason to smile. I’m talking to the part of you that wants to live. You are not alone. As a matter of fact I encourage you to visit Live Through This‘ website. You may very well find your story in the eyes of real life suicide attempt survivors who now courageously share their stories.
No assumptions or judgments here. You and your story…matter.
If you or a loved one are suicidal, is in crisis or having a hard time coping at this very moment; PLEASE know that you matter and are not alone! If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources below!
The National Suicide Hotline
800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)
TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)
The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860
Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741 ***If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
In my thoughts….💫e
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Photo Credits: Pixabay. Live Through This. No copyright infringement intended.