WSPD: Have a Day

Today is important for me for two main reasons. On this day, three years ago, I was staying in a psych ward in Vancouver because of a suicide attempt. Today also happens to be World Suicide Prevention Day. It’s an important day to remember not only those we have lost to suicide, but to consider how many we still could lose. For some people, this may be the only day of the year they think about suicide – it’s not a fun topic to think about, so today may be uncomfortable for some. But for many other people, suicide is something they think about every day. I wish I could say I no longer have suicidal thoughts, but that would be a lie. It’s something I still have to be careful of. Problems like suicide don’t just go away – it requires hard work, support, love, and most of all, it requires hope. Hope that there is a way out, or that the future is worth waiting for, or that maybe these feelings won’t last forever. Imagine feeling alone, isolated, helpless, worthless, stupid, invisible, or worse, nothing. Imagine feeling like no matter what you do, the only way out is to no longer be here.

As a community, we have a responsibility to ourselves, and to the people we love, to remain vigilant and aware of the risk of suicide. Every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide. That means 788 500 die by suicide per year. That’s 788 500 too many. That number can change though, and it all starts with one conversation. Call one person and tell them you love them. Reach out to someone and ask how they really are. Text a friend or loved one to let them know you’re thinking of them. Keep an eye out for the signs of suicidal tendencies. Remember that sometimes these signs don’t show up. Suicide awareness needs to be on our radar more than just one day a year, it needs to be something we learn about in schools. Emotional first aid is just as important as physical first aid. You have the power to save a life just by showing you care.

I don’t like remembering my time in the hospital, but it also makes me remember that I was given another chance. Every one of my suicide attempts was terrifying and something I hate thinking about, but they were also an opportunity for me to realize that many people aren’t as fortunate. They don’t get a second chance…or third, or fourth, or any other chance like I get every day.

I’m not saying that everyone who has attempted suicide or has been suicidal needs to be happy every day. I’m not saying every day needs to be a good day. All I’m saying is to just have a day. And then have another one. And then keep having days. You’re loved, you’re wanted, and suicide is not the answer. Try and stay with us, and if you can’t stay safe by yourself that’s okay too, as long as you reach out because there is help available. All you have to do is pick up the phone. I still have to pick up the phone and call for help sometimes, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of – if anything, it’s something to be incredibly proud of.

So today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, I ask you to have a day.

Keep Surviving by Living.

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One comment

  1. Hi Friend,
    Thank you so much for these beautiful words of encouragement! You are stronger than you know – your vulnerability in sharing your story online is a testament to this. It has been truly amazing to see people using their blogs to shine a light in the darkness through the WSPD campaigns this year. Thank you, thank you thank you.

    Like

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