To Anyone Contemplating Suicide, Please Stay

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Disclaimer: This story contains mentions of suicide which may be triggering for some. 

“To Anyone Contemplating Suicide,

You may think life is too hard, there’s nothing left to fight for, and there’s no hope for the future. You may think your family and friends are better off without you because you’re just a burden and a worthless person. You may think you’re doing them a favor because they’ll no longer have to worry about you. And once you’re gone, they’ll realize that and move on just fine.

Well, I’m here to tell you… you’re dead wrong. They will miss you deeply. They’d rather have you here, struggles and all, then experience the heartbreak of you being gone. Not just for a week or two. Forever. It will change them in ways you could never imagine and alter the course of their entire life. Not a day will go by that they don’t think of you and wonder what they could have differently. At times, they’ll blame themselves. At times, they’ll be angry and blame you. Other times, they’ll blame the world. They’ll have a complexity of grief to work through because death is sad and painful, but especially painful when it was a choice. Your choice.

For a while, every little thing will remind them of you. They may break down at work, at church, at the grocery store. The sight of a car that looks like yours. Hearing a song you liked on the radio. Eating your favorite food. Your favorite sports team. Even your favorite color.

And once they can manage all the little things, it will be the bigger things that get them. Holidays. Birthdays. Baptisms. Graduations. Reunions. Weddings. Births. They’ll wish you could be there. It will hurt having to make these memories without you.

Yes, the pain might eventually dull. But then it will hurt because it’s not hurting as constantly. Because it feels wrong to try to move on with life, to spend any amount of time feeling happy and not thinking about you. They’ll start to worry others are forgetting you. They’ll try to find ways to keep your memory alive, but nothing can ever replace actually having you here.

And the more the space stretches from the time of your absence, the more it will hurt because others in their life won’t understand and remember you. When they speak of you, it will have to come with an explanation as to where you’re at. Why you’re not here. And it will sting each time it comes across their lips. Because they might never really know why.

I don’t believe you’re being selfish in contemplating suicide. Quite the opposite, actually. You probably honestly believe you’re burdening those around you and they would be better off without you. But that’s just not true. As someone who has been able to view things from both sets of eyes, those of someone experiencing an ongoing crisis that feels too painful to bear, and those of a loved one watching in helpless anguish, I can promise you it’s so untrue.

And your loved ones aren’t being selfish for wanting you to stay here either. They’re not just trying to avoid the pain they’d have to face by loosing you. They know things can get better and life can become beautiful again. They can see clearly what you cannot through the dark haze of mental illness. And they want you to stay and to trust them until you can receive the help that brings you that clarity to see the light in the darkness again.

Your brain is incredibly sick, and it’s not thinking rationally. Please don’t believe the things it’s telling you. You are loved. You are wanted. Life doesn’t always have to be this hard. And there is more than one way to remove the pain and suffering you’re experiencing. You might not have found what helps yet, but there are plenty of things you can still try.

So please stay and keep fighting. One day, you’ll be incredibly glad you did. And then you can be the voice pleading with another, reassuring them everything will eventually be okay, if in this moment they can just stay.”

The silhouette of a man appears against a dark sky reflecting on a lake.
Courtesy of Lukas Rychvalsky (via Canva)

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Connected In The Deep. You can read more from them on their blog. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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