A week ago the Colonial Gothic Bundle of Holding was launched. I want to thank those who have contributed in helping raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Your donation will be used to help the AFSP continue their mission.
During this past week, I have been overwhelmed by the number of emails, messages, and phone calls from those who want to reach out and talk. It does not matter if they are someone who has survived their own attempt, or who fights daily to not give in, or if they are a loved one who experienced a lost. They share their stories, their pain, and their relief to see they are not alone. It is the last feeling, relief, that has had a profound effect on me.
I have lived with my fight against my own tendencies since June 2009, but to be honest I probably have been fighting since I was a child. For much of my life, I have been alone feeling as if it did not matter. This feeling stems from the fact that no matter how many times I asked for help, I was rebuffed or ignored. The more I asked for help, the more I was told I was being silly, to cheer up, or the most damning that I was being stupid. This message was constantly pounded into me, from teachers, guidance counselors (especially a high school counselor who mocked me when I opened up), friends and family. All of this had one effect on me: made me retreat to the shadows.
For the longest time, I have felt that in order to protect myself from being hurt, I must hide in my self-created shadows. It was here, in the darkness, that I fought with my darkness and protected myself from my darkness. The shadows became my refuge and my torture chamber. When this Bundle of Holding launched, I knew that I had to do one thing: come out of my shadows.
This was one of the toughest decisions I made. Yes, I have been very open about my struggles with bipolar depression, as well as my being diagnosed on the spectrum as an adult. Yet, when I choose to publicly state I deal with suicidal tendencies all of those feelings from my past nearly crippled me. Still, I did it, and I waited for the reaction I always experienced and prepared myself to suffer alone in the shadows.
The opposite happened.
Since last week, I have been overwhelmed by emails, messages, and phone calls from people who have shared their own experiences, be it from surviving their own attempts, fighting their own tendencies, or mourning the loss of loved ones. Finally, they feel there is someone who knows the pain they go through. They thank me for this, but I feel awkward in this.
Though we are all from different walks of life, we share one common bond: this fight.
Their bravery in the face of this is no more important than mine.
We each, every one of us, daily work to carry on.
We daily think of our love that is lost.
We daily awake weary from a fight that we once again continue having.
We each work to recover from our pain.
There is not one of us, who do not understand what the other feels.
My hope is that through this Bundle of Holding, you now know what this life is like. I hope you take away from this some sense of what others go through. I hope that you feel motivated to learn more about suicide, and in you own small way, join in this fight yourself.
I truly hope, however, that after this, you are motivated to take action. This action can take many forms, but regardless of the form it takes, there is a way to do this. Visit the AFSP website and learn more: https://afsp.org/take-action/
Regardless what you choose to do, thank you.
If you still have not taken advantage of the Colonial Gothic Bundle of Holding you still have another week.
If you have already taken advantage I thank you.