I’ve hesitated to write this post, because I didn’t want to “open up a can of worms” about something so dark and depressing. I didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but then I thought what if someone really needs to hear it?
Do I really want to take the chance that maybe what I have to say about such a controversial topic could save a life?
It’s National Suicide Awareness Month and as much as I don’t want to talk about this subject, not talking about it will only feed into the stigma that causes people to follow through with it.
People who are suffering and contemplating taking their own life need to know that they aren’t alone. They need to know that there are people out there who will listen. People who love them and want to help.
Mommas need to know that there will be hard days. There may even be days where they think that not living is easier than dealing with the challenges they are facing with their kids.
Especially for new moms, there will be days when your baby wakes you up 4 times in the middle of the night and is inconsolable. You will feel like you don’t know what you’re doing and it’s never going to get better. You may be so sleep deprived that you feel like you can’t function, you can’t remember the last time you showered, the laundry is piling up, and your house is a disaster.
You may even yell at your baby and think that you aren’t worthy of being their mom. I promise you though, you are worthy and it will get better.
Moms of teens may feel like their kids hate them and no matter what they do, they will never make them happy. There may be days when you think you are totally screwing your child up and they will never make it in the real word. There will most definitely be shouting matches and words said that you won’t be able to take back.
I’m here to tell you that even that will get better. I remember a phase where I hated my mom and thought she knew nothing. Now I consider her one of my best friends and I turn to her in times of doubt. I may not have showed her much love from the age of 13 to probably 17 or 18, but I needed her and I loved her. I need her now more than ever.
Dads need to know this too. You are loved! Even on the days when you feel guilty about working all the time and not spending enough time playing catch or eating dinner with your family, you are doing a good job. And your family needs you.
Brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, nephews, nieces, friends, grandparents, (you get the point) you are loved too. Everyone is loved and serves a purpose on this earth, even if you don’t feel it right now.
In your darkest hour, you may not be able to see what that purpose is, but I promise you that you have a purpose.
Please don’t give up. Reach out for help. Find a reason to live and remember that you are loved.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
The month of September is spent to increase awareness, decrease the stigma, and provide resources for those who are affected by suicide.
Below are the steps that NAMI lists to take in crisis situations:
- If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
- If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255).
- If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.
Even after I wrote this, I was doubting whether or not I should post it. Then as I was getting dressed this morning, I saw these three words stitched on the inside of my leggings, “You Are Loved.” I have at least 4 other pairs of black leggings, but these are the ones that I picked up to wear today. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.
Please reach out for help if you are someone you know is suffering. They don’t need to suffer in silence anymore.