Tomorrow is September 11th. On September 11th 2,996 people lost their lives in an attack the people of the United States vowed to never forget. Nearly 3,000 people woke up one morning to never see their loved ones again. It shook our country. Innocent lives were taken tragically before their time. They were stolen from us and we vowed to never let that happen again. We came together, we stood up, we worked as one to fight for a better future for everyone.
Today is September 10th. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Globally, about 1 million people per year die by suicide. That’s a death every 40 seconds.
In 2017, in the United States, almost 3,931 people died every month by suicide. Their loved ones woke up one morning to find out that they, too, were stolen from them. Their lives cut short. Some of these people were fathers, some were friends, some were veterinarians, some children, some police officers, and so many more. Why don’t we speak about this more? Why don’t we vow to act and make a change? Far too many are suffering in silence. There are no flags to honor these loved ones. There are no memorials for those we miss dearly.
Life is precious. There is no comparing life and loss. Pain is pain. Your pain is not stronger or lesser than another, it simply is pain.
In suicide, there are far too many misconceptions and simplistic “explanations” painted over complex and truly human issues because too often, we cannot handle not having a reasonable answer.
The harsh truth is, oftentimes in suicide, there is no answer, only more questions.
Why, is the first question a suicide loss survivor asks. Sadly, why cannot be answered 99% of the time.
Those who die by suicide are not weak, selfish, or cowardly. They often feel as though they are a burden, as though they are making things better by not being alive. Suicide is not a rational choice when looking at the mental health state of a person struggling with illness.
Suicide is not a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Some people suffer agonizing pain every day, from the moment they wake up to the moment they wake up because they can’t even sleep long enough for it to count as sleep. How would you help them? How can we say they only have temporary problems when every moment is pain?
Suicidal people are just looking for “attention”. What trauma did they experience when they were younger that we know nothing about? What deep rooted hurts do they need healed but have no idea they are even there to have a chance to heal them? They need attention, they need the skills to help themselves. They need to be seen and validated.
There are so many more misconceptions and far too simplistic sayings and so little time to question and attempt to explain them all. Learn, seek knowledge, ask. Don’t limit yourself because something sounds catchy or cute. Spark your passion before something sparks it for you.
Did you wake up knowing today is world suicide prevention day?
If you did, I’m truly sorry for your loss. If you did, I’m sorry for the pain you may be enduring now. If you did, know you are not alone. We are here beside you, pushing forward for a brighter, happier, future.