I would like to share a poem:
Today is the day, I was to say “Bye”.
On the inside, the waves toss and turn
Who am I?
Why is this so hard to learn?
Feelings come and go
Some big, some small
Often times though, I feel nothing at all.
I face this world on my own
I have to suffer alone.
I don’t believe that there would be pain at my death
I see it as the ultimate gift, to everyone I have been burdening,
To take my last breath.
A mind that’s often loaded
And a quiet mind is what I seek.
The day I would meet my end
04.16.21, that would be my mend.
How ironic that the day,
coincided with “World Semicolon Day”.
But through this maze
I discovered true and unconditional love
There must be a plan for me, sent from above.
I humbly ask, of all of you now,
Please be kind to one another
I believe in you, I know you know how.
We don’t know the struggles and heartache, that people hide within.
We may not see their sight.
But we can help be the light in their darkness.
We can help be the moon in their night.
I did not say bye, today.
Today I say, CONT;NUE.
Today I say, STAY.
This poem was written by a suicide survivor.
That survivor, is Me.
I wrote this poem, early in the morning of April 16th, 2021. I chose this date for a few reasons and I focused on it for a very long time. I had a plan for that day, but thankfully, that plan never happened. It was a good day.
On May 4, 2021 at around 5:30 A.M., I tried to end my life. I ended up in the hospital that day. But as you can see, I also made it home.
Today is the first time, in any sort of public setting, I have acknowledged this journey that I have been on. And it’s been quite the journey.
As much as I hate some of the places and experiences my mental illness has dragged me down to, I’m grateful it’s put me in the valleys, only to show me there are peaks. It’s dragged me through the dark, but it also reminded me that there is light. My pain has given me perspective and my hurt has forced me to have hope and to have faith. Faith in myself. Faith in others. Faith that it can get better.
And it does get better. It gets way better.
It has taught me that yes, we can speak up, speak out and fight back against ignorance and break the stigma that surrounds mental health and suicide.
Here are some questions for you:
What would you do if your family member, friend or loved one was suicidal?
What would you say? Would you know what to say?
It’s not just the talking that you do, but the listening.
Listen, to actually listen.
Listen to understand.
Listen without judgement.
Don’t argue, don’t blame.
For most suicidal people, or those contemplating suicide, they wouldn’t think of hurting another person, especially the people they love. They just want their own pain to end.
Listen. Let them speak and listen.
By just being there, by just listening, you may just be the turning point that they need. That connection, that bridge that’s made, is something that each and every one of us should strive to do.
If you are someone who has contemplated or attempted suicide, please talk about it; please get help. It’s a conversation worth having. Please don’t be afraid to speak up and shatter the silence. There is help. There is hope.
The world I believe in, is one where embracing your light doesn’t mean ignoring your dark. The world I believe in, is one where we’re measured by our ability to overcome adversities, not avoid them. We are people and we struggle, we suffer and we cry, and if you think that true strength means never showing any weakness, you’re wrong, because it’s the opposite. We’re not perfect, and that’s okay.
I don’t know what the solution is, but I know that part of it has to start with me and it has to start with you. We all know what it is to hurt. We all know what it is to have pain in our heart, and we all know how important it is to heal. Right now, mental illness is like society’s deep cut, that we’re content to put a Band-Aid over and pretend it’s not there.
But it is there.
Mental illness is not a choice. But stigma and ignorance are.
So, we need to stop the ignorance, stop the stigma, and stop the silence. Take a look at the truth and start talking, because the only way we’re going to beat a problem that people are battling alone, is by standing strong together.
Thank you, to all of you who shared your stories today. By sharing your stories, we remind those with mental illness and their supporters that, You are not alone and Your story isn’t over. You are so beyond loved, and your life matters so much to everyone around you – including me. So many others out here care for you and want you to live. So many people can’t imagine their life without you in it. Please stay.
To the ones we have lost. I promise to never stop shining a light on the darkness that stole you from us.
To everyone here today, I leave you with this message:
Bring love wherever you go.
Leave blessings wherever you’ve been.
Shine light wherever it’s dark.
And remember, please be kind, wherever you are.
Thank you for listening.