The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has created a furore in the past few weeks. There are people staunchly advocating for it, there are people passionately against it, and there are many more who are just totally confused what the fuss is about and are unsure what to think. Personally I was disappointed in the series, I thought it missed the mark when it came to explaining depression, and showing young people how to seek help, instead I felt it made suicide seem like a fair option for revenge – but that is just my personal opinion.
I have suffered deeply myself with suicidal ideation, and severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I have been bullied, and I have been assaulted, life has had more than a fair share of pain, but in the current world situation almost everyone has experienced some or all of these same problems.
Admittedly, there have been many times in the past years that I wrote goodbye notes to my loved ones, and made plans for my death. But thankfully I was able to keep holding on until the help I desperately needed was found.
So here are “13 Reasons Why” of my own – thirteen reasons why you should hold on when you are feeling suicidal, in no particularly order!
01. Your loved ones will miss you greatly if you die.
While the depression is telling you that you will make their life better by removing yourself from it, you have to step back and believe me when I tell you that it is a lie. If you can’t believe me, spend 5 minutes and Google stories from those left behind after a suicide loss and see how much they suffer from grief and loss. My own brother died from suicide, and I still miss him over 20 years later.
02. There is hope.
Right now you may be sure that suicide is your only option to end the pain you are in. It feels impossible to believe that there is hope that things will ever improve, but they can and they will if you hold on. Death is final, once you die there is no hope that things can improve.
03. You are needed.
There is something about you that no one else can do – a special gift that has been given to you to share with others. For me it is love, I have a lot of love to give to others, it is a gift that others have too, but my depression and anxiety have made me very empathetic towards the suffering that another may be feeling.
04. You are stronger than you think.
Do not give up. You are stronger than you know, but you have to be stubborn and hard on yourself about this, keep being strong, even though you want to give up.
05. You had dreams.
Even if they are all nightmares now, once upon a time you must have had a dream. Have you achieved that? Probably not! Don’t you owe it to your younger self to try to fulfill that dream?
06. You are not alone.
Yes, it feels like it at times, mental illness, chronic illness, it all gets so lonely at times. Sometimes I feel all alone, like no one else could possibly understand the pain I am in. But there is someone out there who is cheering for you, maybe they are in your life for real, or maybe they are someone you have met online, but there is someone out there!
07. What if you try to end your life and fail?
This is one of the biggest things that helped me hold on. What if I tried and failed, but left myself with severe disabilities and became a bigger burden on my husband and children than I already felt? What if the disability meant that I was not in the position to ever make a decision for myself again? Isn’t that just frightening enough to keep you alive?
08. Your smile could change someone’s life.
I remember the day that a smile from a stranger helped me to avoid suicidal actions. Your smile could save someone’s life some day, please don’t let that future person down by not being there.
09. Imagine never being able to [insert beautiful thing] again.
Imagine never feeling the warmth of a fires dancing flames on a cold winter’s day, or never smelling the scent of rain again. What about if you never were able to tell your loved one that you adore them again, or to run your fingers through the fur of your pet as it smiles up at you? There are so many things that are beautiful even on our darkest days, could you really give them up?
10. You are irreplaceable.
You are the only one of you, you are someone’s matching puzzle piece. Since you can not be replaced, your loss would leave a hole in the world.
11. Your dog will not understand why you didn’t come home.
Even if you feel there are no other humans in this world who would care or miss you if you died, think about your dog, or other pet. They won’t understand when you don’t come home, they will miss you, they need you, and they love and adore you.
12. Your strength will inspire others.
Believe it or not, the courage you show when you keep living can inspire others to keep living too. I never expected to receive so many messages of support and of thanks when I started writing, but they come in every day. People telling me that they can relate to my journey, and sharing their stories, it touches my heart. Your own story will inspire others, I just know it!
13. One day you will look back on this.
Hope. Hold On Pain Ends. One day you will be able to look back on this and realise that it no longer hurts like it used too. I know it is so hard to believe, but I’m telling you from my own experience that it is real. You deserve to live, please hold on!
It is so hard to keep going when things get to the point that you are feeling suicidal. I know – I have been there myself, more than once, more than a dozen times! But let me assure you that you are special, you are loved, reach out to someone for support. Hold on even if it is just a day at a time, sometimes it might even be an hour at a time, but please just keep going.
Thank you for being here, thank you for being strong and courageous.
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