This week is not a week either of us takes lightly. It is a week that rings heavy and true to, not just the two of us, but far too many people. It is suicide prevention week.
You can read about our personal struggles and thoughts on suicide here, here, and here. but we are not the only ones touched. Countless people know not only the pain and weight of suicidal thoughts, but the suffering that follows having a loved one take their own life. Both are important.
It is easy to tell the typical narratives in times like this-
You have reason to live.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.
All are true, but this is perhaps the most important. These words are crucial for both people who feel suicidal and those who have felt their hearts break over the loss of a loved one too soon. They remind us that despite our pain, there are so many who share our darkness.
So if it’s so powerful why is its comfort so fleeting? Sure it feels good to have someone say that, but in the long run, what good does it do? I’ve been reading If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski (check out the book and the awesome movement Jamie started at To Write Love On Her Arms), and he makes a thought provoking point about this subject. Jamie argues that the idea of not being alone is like receiving a check: you have to take it to the bank. This concept stuck with me because it is not only true but too often a concept we as people don’t practice.
This is the message we want to leave you with- that you are not alone, but these words mean next to nothing if we don’t cash them in. Our suffering becomes less when we share it with others and hold each other up.
Whether you feel suicidal or are left with the pain of someone who was, live in community. Allow yourself to be carried when you have been knocked down as well as help carry those you find on the ground. This community of reaching out, extending support, and accepting help and encouragement is the only way we will ever stop this pain that too many of us have experienced.
You are not alone. You are not the only one fighting these battles. You do not have to carry the weight of this alone. Don’t.