Amanda blogs on World Suicide Prevention Day 2012. Please read carefully as the following blog may trigger.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and this year's theme is hope. Hope is something that is very hard to hang on to when you feel suicidal. It's often hard to see any other way out. But I've been suicidal many times, and I'm still here. Below is a letter that I recently wrote to the 12 year old me who was suicidal at that point. I hope it might give you a little insight. Most of all, I hope it might give you some hope.
Please be aware, the following blog may trigger so please read carefully.
To the 12 year old suicidal me.
I wish I could give you a hug right now and tell you everything will be ok. I can’t give you a hug but I can tell you that everything will be ok.
There should be someone to give you a hug right now. There should be someone to give you the care that you deserve. Did you hear what I said right there? ‘That you deserve’. Yes, you do deserve care. Despite how you are being treated, despite what you have experienced, and despite what you the world has told you by its actions, you are so worth caring for.
I know that you are feeling suicidal right now. No one else in the world knows it. But guess what? This is the 28 year old you writing this letter. You will survive this and by the time you are 28 you will be glad that you did.
I know how much you have going on right now. I know how scared you are right now. I wish I could tell you it will get easier. It will. But not for a long, long time. And I’m sorry to have to tell you this, honey, but it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. But I wish you could see how strong and amazing you are.
I wish I could take away all the bad things that have happened to you. I wish I could take away all the pain that you are in right now. I wish I could change the hell that you are in right now. I can’t. All I can tell you is to hang in there, to keep yourself safe and that one day you will be so glad that you did.
I know you think that you want to die right now. But you know what? You don’t. You want to escape the pain that you are in. You want to be free from that. And you can see no other way.
I think that the thought of suicide helps, though, doesn’t it? When there is more bad stuff happening, just the thought that ‘it’s ok, I won’t have to endure this much longer’, that alone helps, doesn’t it?
I think of the emotional pain that I experience every day now, at 28 years of age, and how much emotional pain I have experienced over the past couple of years, and then I think that it probably doesn’t even compare to how much emotional pain you are in right now. It hurts so much, I know. But I don’t even know if you realise how much pain you are in. Perhaps because it’s normal, perhaps because it’s probably never been any other way.
When I look back on your / our life, I think that the year that we were 12 has to have been one of the most horrible ever. Just to give you a little warning, the years when you are 18 / 19 and 26 / 27 will be pretty darn tough too. But at 28 you will be glad that you survived it all. I have no idea (yet) what happens beyond 28 and I’m pretty sure that there will perhaps be other horrific years, but I know that we will again get to the point where we are glad that we are still here and I know that it will all be ok.
I wish I could tell you to tell someone how horrible things are at home right now. How badly you are being treated. But I don’t know who you should tell or even what they can do. But all I can tell you is that it won’t always be this way. You will break free from that situation and it will get better .
I hope that I don’t just sound full of empty promises, that what I am writing to you means something. I hope that the fact that I am still here writing this when you are 28 says something in itself.
I wish I could tell you how amazing you are. But to do that I’d feel like I was telling myself that I'm amazing, and something always stops me believing that. But I know you are. You don’t feel it, right? You think everyone hates you. You can’t stand living every day. But you are amazing for living with this because I know much it takes out of you every day having to go to school, to live each day, pretending everything is fine, keeping up pretenses and not showing what things are really like for you.
I don’t know what else to say. The need to take you and give you a hug is so strong. I hate what they have put you through and it’s just not fair.
Another bit of advice I should give you is to let people in. Don’t keep shutting yourself away. Stop being like a robot. I’m saying to let people in, but I don’t even know who you should let in. By the time you are 28 you will be very free and open about talking about stuff – mostly in the hope that it might help others somehow. But you will spend many years shutting yourself off from everyone emotionally, bottling everything up. It just makes everything worse. It just makes everything so much more difficult to deal with. Please let someone in if you can.
I don’t know what else to say. There are endless things that I could say. But I don’t want to tell you all about the life ahead of you. You need to live your life without hearing it all first. But I hope that this letter may have been a little help to you.
Please keep yourself safe and just keep hanging in there. And hang on to the thought that one day you will be so, so glad that you did hang in there.
All my love and hugs always,