Dum spiro spero: while I breathe, I hope.
We all have good days, bad days, and in between days. When the bad days start to overtake the good, suicidality becomes an unfortunate side effect. This World Suicide Prevention Day, it’s time to take a moment and focus on hope and the endless possibility your future holds.
Hope & Suicidality
For those who haven’t experienced suicidality, it can be hard to imagine the situation you’re finding yourself in. There’s no doubt that it’s a difficult and often lonely thing to go through, and as time stretches on it can feel hard to reach out to those who love you for help. I’m here to say four important words to you: you are not alone.
These are probably words you’ve heard before, and at first they may not even seem like a comfort. But what does this phrase actually mean? When I look at these words, I like to see the hope that they convey. You’re not the first to struggle with suicidal thoughts, and there are many others out there who are in the same situation. There are also so many people out there who have fought their way to recovery and who are ready to help you.
Finding Your Lifeboat
The age-old advice of finding something to live for will always be important. Find one thing to cling to in the tough times and keep that light of hope shining. This doesn’t have to be the time to set large and well-defined goals for your future, your lifeboat can be something as small as a promise that you’ll watch the sunset later in the day. Stick around to give your best friend a phone call tomorrow. Stick around to order takeout from your favorite restaurant on the weekend.
Keep the good times in your mind. Remember how, even though things aren’t the easiest now, you’ve had wonderful moments in the past and that the future holds so much possibility for making new memories. So many possibilities, in fact, that you can play the largest role in steering your life in the direction you want to go. Choose your lifeboat and grab hold of it, no matter how small it may seem.
Small Change, Big Impact
Remember the first time you heard your favorite song? We’re constantly being surprised by new things, things that can turn out to mean so much to us. Give yourself time to experience these little changes that have a big impact on your mindset and on your life. Depression and suicidality are not permanent by nature. I know it can feel like it — there can come a point where it feels like it’s all you know — but I promise you, there is more to life than what you’re feeling now.
While you breathe, there’s hope. Have hope that small things can come along at a moment’s notice and change everything and have hope in that your struggle is temporary. Learn how to be kind to yourself, and love yourself through the good and the bad. But most importantly, remember that you aren’t alone, not by a long shot. If you reach out your hand, someone will take it and help you guide yourself out of the dark.
If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You never have to suffer alone. Reach out to your friends and loved ones, check in on them and promote open and honest conversations about mental health. You are loved, you are wanted, and the world is a better place with you in it.