Prevent Suicide by Looking Up

8 Jun

Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 9.58.33 AMThis is the second high profile celebrity suicide this week. I keep reading comments on social media such as, “You never know how a person is truly struggling.”

Having been one of those struggling people, who dared myself to swallow a handful of pills, fought the impulse to drive myself into a pole, or to  just end it all with the slit of a wrist, I can tell you this. And I really want to emphasize this point.

Yes. Yes, you can know how a person is struggling. You can sometimes see the brokenness in body language or erratic behavior.

The problem is that we as a society can’t look up from our phones long enough to see the tears rolling down the cheeks of the lady we passed in the grocery store. I’ve cried openly many times in public spaces. Not once has someone asked me if I was ok or how they could help.

Not once.

Do you want to know if someone’s heart is breaking? Or if life seems unbearable? Stop and ask. When a friend or family member seems off, ask that person to lunch or dinner or just text or make a phone call.  Don’t assume “someone else” can or will do it.

Most of the time, I don’t need advice on how to pray harder; I just need to know someone cares. I need someone to love me HARD (especially because the person who loved me hardest for most of my life–my mother–is gone.)

If I’m going to be fully honest, and why not? I AM struggling right now. I’m trying to find purpose. I fiercely miss my mom. I’m not sure how to set up my office and I want to be healthy but I’m always hungry. I hate being in physical therapy and I’m frustrated my foot is still messed up five years after I broke it. I miss going to church, but trying to visit one turns me into a physical and emotional mess.

Coupled with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and whatever else is on my charts, it’s A LOT.

And it’s not just a you-need-to-trust-God thing. I DO trust God, even when I struggle to understand Him. In humans, He created us to NEED each other.

Do you see? We NEED each other. One of the gifts God has given us is our need for Him, but also our need for community.

Look up, look out, look at your Facebook friends list, talk to your neighbors, CONNECT—you just might save a life, even your own.

For more information on suicide prevention, check out Project Semicolon or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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