It's okay if you only save one person, and it's okay if that person is you. #WorldSuicidePreventionDay

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Have you ever been walking down a busy street, and it suddenly hits you that everyone you pass has a life as complex and interesting as your own? You suddenly realize that there's 7 billion people out there experiencing this day in a different way. You suddenly realize that there's a whole world of people fighting their own battles. 

I frequently get really caught up in my own life. I selfishly focus solely on myself. I think about my friends and my schoolwork and my problems and my joys and my social media and my little bubble in the universe. I forget to look up. I forget to look around.

800,000 people commit suicide annually. When I saw this number, I was shocked. That's nearly a million people. That's 800,000 families that have lost someone they love. That's 800,000 lives that will never again see the leaves turn red and yellow in the fall or drink coffee in a cute little coffee shop or listen to Bon Iver while it rains. That's 800,000 stories that abruptly came to an end in the middle of a chapter. That's 800,000 people that for some reason or another felt like death was their only option. The best option. 

While I wish the world was some place where everyone smiled at each other and loved themselves and loved others, it's not. In fact, I'd say that the world is actually a very cruel place. I remember crying myself to sleep in middle school because my "friends" would ignore me or make fun of me. I remember days where I felt worthless, hopeless, not good enough. I remember counting down the days until my high school graduation when I was in 9th grade because I hated it so much. I remember a loneliness that never went away. 

There's no denying that the world is a terribly cruel place, but there's also no denying that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, however, our tunnels are just a bit longer than expected. If I could tell 15 year old Katherine that one day she would live in a big city and love even the messy parts of her life, she would laugh at me, disbelieving. But it's true. 

When I was 15, I didn't know that some of the best days of our lives haven't happened yet. I want you to live to see those days. You deserve to wake up one morning in a pretty little apartment with someone you love and realize that everything is going to be okay. You deserve to hear you little baby girl's laugh as she runs around the park or your new dog's happy bark as you take him for walk. You deserve to climb mountains and spend Sunday morning's in bed. You deserve happiness and love, even if you don't think you do.

So today (and every day), get out of your little bubble. Smile at strangers. Ask people if they're okay, and ask them that frequently. Make sure you and your friends know that you are never alone (I promise). Understand that depression and any mental illnesses are not selfish. They are nothing to be ashamed of. They do not define you. Talk about what you're going through, even if you think it's unimportant. Conversation is powerful, so don't keep quiet.

And most importantly, look around you. Look at all the strangers passing by. Every single one of them has a story to tell, including yourself. Every single one of them matters. You matter. 

So please, don't end your story when the best is yet to come. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-8255.

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3 Happy Thoughts

  1. Beautiful post dear! Thank you for taking the time to raise awareness! xoxo

  2. What a beautiful post! I just love it. Could you possibly be any sweeter or more encouraging? Hope you're having an awesome week, Katherine!

  3. Your posts never fails to make me smile! Love them! x


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