It’s World Suicide Prevention Day and I debated for a long time about whether or not I was going to write this post.
You see, I’m not in a great place right now. I’m nowhere near the rock bottom that I once hit, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.
So often, I tell myself that people are only motivated by what I have to say because the struggles I speak of are past tense. Right now, my struggles are not past tense. They’re right here, looming over me like storm clouds.
I told my therapist this week that I had become a hypocrite. That I had taken such pride and joy in sharing my story of recovery from mental illness and that so many people had taken comfort in my words. That they had garnered hope from my promise that it gets better.
She looked at my tear stained face and asked me a simple question: “do you truly believe you haven’t gotten better?”
“Of course not!” I answered.
If there was one thing in this world that I knew, it was that I was thousands of miles away from the place I had found myself in three years ago.
But I still felt guilt for struggling. I wanted to portray recovery from mental illness as this happy, picture perfect life, but it isn’t.
So what’s the point? Why do I keep going?
I keep going because life is good. Even when life is hard, I get up every day and I see my friends. I hug my family and I feel the warmth of their arms and it’s real. I go into work and I feel pure, unadulaterated joy at the fact that I get to do the work that I do.
I keep going because the only thing that suicide guarantees is that life will never get better.
I owe it to myself to keep pushing. To keep fighting. To take the hard stuff in stride and, as my favorite philosopher, Dory (from finding Nemo) said, just keep swimming.
Struggling does not make me a hypocrite, it makes me human.
Recovery isn’t living in a world of sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. Recovery is being able to wake up and look really hard at your life and find the silver lining.
So please, don’t give up, Never give up. You can do this.
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
I know your suffering feels endless, but it’s not. It will end, just hold on.
“The only thing suicide guarantees is that life will never get better.”
Those words rung so true to me throughout treatment. I realized I had to keep going because I couldn’t let my story end in that dark, hopeless place. And yours doesn’t have to either.
If you feel you need to end your life, call the national suicide prevention hotline and talk to someone. They’re open 24/7 and they are trained to help you. You can do this.