#SuicideAwarenessDay

That moment when you’re so eager to write about something you feel so strongly about that a million words are begging to burst out and be written but at the same time as the pen hovers over the paper, nothing comes out- not a single word, well I’m having one such moment. I’m just unsure of how to begin this. Do I start with statistics or quotes or pictures or my own experience or someone else’s that has helped shape my own? Something compelling enough to interest you but honest still that it remains as meaningful as it should. Let me start with this:

Suspend your judgments. Suicide isn’t just about statistics, it’s about stories.

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Some of you will judge this entry the same way you judge every person who committed suicide or have tried to, with extreme prejudice and I ask for the sake of this day and this discussion that you open your mind to opinions other than your own. The fault of this bunch, which I don’t find a fault at all but many will, is how we see things. You see them at eye level, for what it is. We see them from overhead, standing on a table and seeing ourselves in comparison to others, in association with things we don’t have or the person we can never be, happy.

I will not generalize the neigh sayers, they come from different backgrounds and varied beliefs, nor will I stereotype those who have had this problem. Trust me they’re not always the guy with the heavy eyeliner make up and a blade pendant secured around his neck. It’s not as plain and black and white as that. Sometimes it’s the town’s golden girl who maintains straight As and is quietly drowning in the pressure of perfection or maybe the quiet kid who sits at the back of the class who is invisible to everyone but the restroom mirror where he spends his lunch dismantling a sharpener.

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To them suicide is a way out, not selfish but reasonable. To stay in a cycle where you’re constantly unhappy and alone, feeling either like a huge disappointment or anonymous is not worth living over every single day. That thought consumes you and dulls every form of happiness most people savor. TELLING US TO GET IT TOGETHER AND DISMISSING OUR WORRIES WON’T HELP BECAUSE REALLY WHEN YOU DO THAT, YOU’RE BRUSHING US OFF. Were you even listening or were you too busy judging us and labeling our problem  non existent because it’s not cancer or ebola virus?

I am in no way advocating for suicide, not because it’s cowardly but because YOU’RE WORTH A LIFE. Trust me when I say that no matter how bleak and dark your life is right now, I need you to hang in there. YOU ARE WORTH EVERYDAY YOU FIGHT FOR. YOU WILL FIND HAPPINESS ONE DAY AND IT WILL BE EVEN MORE WORTH IT BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW HARD YOU FOUGHT FOR IT. I’m sorry you had to in the first place but trust that your strong enough to overcome this and know that wherever you are, no matter how alone you feel, you never are. 

And to those whose made it and are now happier and better, I am so proud of you. You deserve every praise for deciding to stay and choosing to stick with it every single day since. I wish you the happiest of days, you deserve no less for the courage and strength you’ve shown. There may still be rough patches ahead but find comfort in the fact that the enemy you fought already lost a few times before and you have the upper hand because you’re stronger than all you demons.

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My friend mentioned a few days ago how pointless suicide hotlines are because if you really wanna kill yourself, why would you want someone to stop you? She has a good point actually and I’ve considered coming up with alternatives. Although I’d like to think that it’s because most of them, deep down just want a reason to stay. Here’s one:

Everyone is worth saving. YOU ARE WORTH SAVING.

So be it on #SuicideAwarenessDay or any other day of the year, if you ever feel like throwing in the towel, talk to someone. Sometimes we only need reminding of how much we’re worth. There’s no shame in that.

And to everyone else reading this post, I hope you’ll find it in your heart to be nicer, more open-minded and understanding of people whose circumstances may be far from your own. Give that shy guy beside you a chance. Talk to the girl who consciously fiddles with her shorts at gym class. Avoid stereotyping the abrasive jock loitering the hallway. Tweet someone you’ve never talked to words encouragement when she seems down and ask about her day. Get to know to know them and give them more reasons to love the lives the they have and the people that they are. A simple act of care and kindness will go a long way especially to someone who doubts he’ll ever get any.

You matter.

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What would YOU have done?

‘What would you have done?’ (The Reader)

It’s one line but it had the power to haunt me for weeks since I first watched that movie. Had the role been reversed, would the judge have done differently as Hanna did? Would he have had the courage to stand up against Nazi Germany and let those prisoners go? Would a heroic act in a time great of peril have made a difference?

What would I have done?

Would I, like Hanna, have followed orders or would I, knowing far too well my resistance to conformity, have opened the doors of the Church and stopped those Jews from burning to death? Sitting here, in the comfort of an air conditioned room, secure from the mayhem of war, I know I’ll open those doors. But what if I was there, with an invisible gun to my head, and a promise that a million more guards are doing the same as me, would I have chosen differently? Maybe not, but one can never say for sure.Only in the toughest moments in our lives do we find what who we are and we can and cannot do.

I am, and you too are, not in the position judge.

It’s not the ability to make a decision that I took from that movie. I know who I am and I know the principles I will never negotiate for. I am not saying that what Hanna did was right, that those lives lost don’t mean a thing, that justice was not served. I too mourn the lives lost in wars that should have never been fought. But those words, her sentiment, opened my eyes to the possibility that even the most atrocious actions are never one plane.

Often we are blinded by the good and the truth that we forget not everyone gets to see it, that maybe there’s another version of the truth or the good that they see but we don’t. Be stern on what’s right, what’s moral and what’s good but be human and open. Understand that decisions and choices are never as easy as black and white.

Ask yourself. What would you have done?

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Blogger’s Note:

  • If you’d like to watch the movie, below is the link for the movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrq9oTudlcM

  • Published before the movie is a book by Bernhard Schlink with the same title. It was published in Germany in 1995.
  • Hanna, is one of the main characters, who is on trial after the release of a book one of the prisoners wrote after she survived the torture of a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. Hanna was named one of the guards who chose prisoners to be put to death next in that camp. She too admitted to not opening the doors of a Church the prisoners were sleeping in when it burnt down. During her trial the judge asked her why she did such a heinous thing. To which she replied, ‘What would you have done?’
  • I watched again it last night so all the feelings and thoughts I had then, I had again.