Once Upon a While by Claire Maeda. This illustration is permitted for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. No changes were made to this image.

Once Upon a While by Claire Maeda. This illustration is permitted for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. No changes were made to this image.

 

This morning I received a note

from a reader named Michael who said, “I am so emotionally devastated that I have been struggling to keep myself safe from suicide.”

To Michael and other readers who may be contemplating suicide, my heart goes out to you. I know you have more pain than you feel you can cope with at this moment. This pain feels overwhelming and permanent right now, but with time and support, you will overcome it. You may not be able to see that right now because the pain is clouding your judgement, but it is the truth.

The fact that you took the time to write me a note or to read this means that even while you are considering ending your life, at the same time there is some part within you that still wants to live. That is a very good sign, a sign of the hope that is still there within you. Listen to that part of yourself, and not to the part that has lost hope. You want to end your pain, not end your life. Those are two very different things, but they can get confused when the pain feels like too much to take.

Others who have felt as badly as you feel right now survived these feelings, and chances are that you are also going to live through this, no matter how much devastation or hopelessness you are currently experiencing.

I’m not a mental health professional, only someone who knows what it’s like to be in pain. I’d rather be able to sit and listen to you than communicate through this page, but that’s not possible. What is possible is for you to connect with someone who is able to listen. Please don’t try to deal with this alone. There are people who will listen to you, without judgement. I hope you will use one of the numbers below to connect with such a person.

U.S. and International Suicide Hotlines:

 

♥ You are not alone. Many of us have had these thoughts and feelings. There are people who care and who will help you get through this.

 

LOTUS DIVIDER

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