I’ve written several suicide notes this year, and I’m not alone. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, “suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.” They estimate that nearly 43,000 people in the US will die by suicide this year. I sincerely believe the reason I continue to remain a living, breathing (yet hurting) human being on the other side of this statistic is because I’m talking to you right now.
People are speaking more openly than ever about suicide and suicide attempts. Amazing organizations like Live Through This are putting their hearts, art, time, and money into removing the stigma associated with discussing suicide. The veteran organization TWLOHA devotes resources to reaching out to those who long “to lift the heavy weight of depression,” among myriad other struggles facing a hurting population all over the world.
Our society is trying to speak—to one another. We are trying to admit we are hurting before the hurting swallows us. I believe this speaking is important. A society that is, daily, more willing to speak up is the society that I have to thank for a discarded stack of suicide notes this year. I am not alone. I am not the only person in my small town that has written a suicide note this year. I am not the only person in my county, in my region, in my state, in my time zone, in my country…that has written a suicide note this year.
Intellectually, I know this because we’re all talking about it. We are admitting that we struggle with depression, anxiety, addiction, self-harm, anger, etc. We are identifying that we’re hurting, and we are listening to people—different people—who deal with their pain in different ways. We are beginning to embrace the hurting despite race, faith, sexuality. We are beginning to embrace the hurting whether we are pro-therapy or anti-therapy, pro-medication or anti-medication.
We are remembering that people are human, people are real.
So even though there are an average “117 suicides per day,” I am not one of them. I have written several suicide notes this year, and I have survived. I am not alone, and I want you to know that I’m rooting for you if you’re hurting. I’m rooting for you if you’re not hurting, even.
I’m just rooting for you because you’re human. Let’s keep speaking to one another. Reach out.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255