“We’ll See You Tomorrow” – Jamie Tworkowski
Suicide is a topic many people shy away from. As if it’s surrounded by some weird taboo. It shouldn’t be that way. Suicide is as real a problem as cancer or drowning. Some would say the thoughts act like a cancer, it feels like drowning. But it’s so often swept under the rug.
People who get to a point where they seriously consider taking their own lives, do not need a voice calling out at them, telling them it will be ok, telling them to keep holding on. I think at the beginning of the conversation, they don’t even need to hear someone else’s story. What they need is someone to wrap his or her arms around them, and tell them they matter. Tell them they are loved. Tell them they are important.
These conversations are avoided because they are scary. It requires a vulnerability to openly love another person, especially when it hurts.
But if this world is going to be changed, we must overcome this fear. We need to love each other.
If there is one thing in this life I know, it is that every single soul is precious.
Awhile back I had an experience that flipped a switch in my brain. I played hostess to a girl who was really struggling. Before she came, I had to look at my room and consider everything that could be used for self-harm. Doing so cast an entirely different light on the world.
I tried to be kind to this girl, to be available and helpful and caring. But she didn’t want to be with us, and was quickly sent off to a clinic for professional help.
I’ve always harbored ill-will for shrinks. Counselors, psychiatrists, people who claim the ability to “professionally” fix my problems. Because of my own experiences, it’s hard for me to support people when they tell me they want to go to a counselor. I’ve been blessed with a loving support system my entire life.
But what I’ve come to realize is people have to work through things in different ways. For some, the first step in overcoming the fear to open up may be speaking to a stranger. And for that matter, a stranger who must keep what you say under the strictest confidence. A counselor, a hotline. And if this stranger can see them as lovable, perhaps they truly are lovable, perhaps all these people they’ve shut out could see them as lovable. Maybe for them, that is how this conversation has to start.
We should give people the space, the opportunity to overcome the fear. It could be a vital plot development in their story. It could be what keeps their story going.
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To Write Love On Her Arms is a charity dedicated to keeping stories going. I may have mentioned them before, if you follow me on social media I repost some of their stuff. They are my favorite non-profit.
September 7-13 is National Suicide Prevention Week in America (September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day) . TWLOHA has a campaign going on now, called “We’ll See You Tomorrow”. You can click here to find how to get involved. Let’s move past the stigma, and be honest. Let’s help each other find hope. I’ll see you tomorrow.