Suicide. It is a scary, often misunderstood, action. Some call it selfish. Others call it a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It is a product of mental illness. Depression. Drugs. An all-consuming desire to just stop. To cease existing. Suicide is stoppable.
Even though, so often, people feel like there is no way out.
There is always a way out. A way to talk through the crisis. A way to show that you care enough about a person, that there is enough hope, for them to survive. For them to keep pushing even when it feels like they don't have the strength to go on.
Suicide affects more than just the person committing the act.
See, so often people who are having suicidal thoughts don't recognize that the people around them would be devastated by their loss. Too often people who are suffering from such a severe degree of depression that they contemplate ending their life do no realize that other people even exist. That is one of the side effects of depression. Of the all-encompassing pain.
The truth is that suicide kills a part of the people left behind and leaves a scar so vivid that even after years of growth, the mark is still vibrant. The truth is that suicide leaves a void that can't be filled. The truth is that suicide, especially in young adults and children, makes everyone question their own humanity.
and, it hurts.
I work in a field where I handle a multitude of crisis situations, including college students who are suffering from depression and having thoughts of (or attempting) suicide. These cases, the interactions with people who are in so much pain, never gets easier. The aftermath of some of their deaths never gets easier. And I don't think it should. I don't think we should jade ourselves to the pain of the human condition. We should just develop better coping mechanisms.
One of my closest friends committed suicide while I was in high school. He was so full of life. He was funny. And talented. And so incredibly smart. He was hardworking and he made other people feel better just by being with him. He was a light. But he also had a darkness growing in him, suffocating him. And this darkness eventually resulted in his death.
As I, and the remainder of my friends, his family, and everyone who knew and loved him walked through the shadow of death, it was all I could do to just keep moving. To keep pushing forward. And, when I started writing about the emotions I dealt with, the fear and pain I felt, the anger. The deep sadness. The regret. The guilt. The void.
I realized that I needed to do something.
To help end the stigma on mental illness and depression. To help other people struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, or the aftermath of loss cope with their pain.
So I started writing. Not about his story. But about all of the emotions I had felt. About the pain. And the process of, well, processing the loss of a friend through suicide.
Inspiration. This is what I hope these words and the words of The Search bring to people. The truth is that we each have the capacity to cope. To find a support network. To dream big. To accomplish our goals. To fight our demons. We have the power to move on.
To live. To Just Survive Somehow.
In the end, if you can just get through this moment. This hour. This night. This time in your life where the pain feels like it's too much. It does get better. It will get better.
JSS. Just Survive Somehow.