Monday, March 2, 2015

This Is About Suicide. This is About People.

*trigger warning for a discussion of suicide*

    According to The Boston Globe, five people (four students and a professor) have committed suicide at my university this year.
    The latest, his name was Matthew. He was a freshman. He was a freshman and he did not deserve to die.
    I didn't know him. I wish I had. I wish I'd been able to give him a hug.
    I wish I could have told him I knew how he felt. And that I'm glad I stayed, even though I don't know why.
    Because, yeah, I've been there. I know.
    I honestly don't know why I haven't. I don't know why, after so many plans and fantasies, I am alive. The odds weren't exactly in my favor.
    I suppose I am always afraid of hurting people. I have no desire to cause pain by my death.
    But mostly, in high school I was afraid of hell, where an eating-disorder riddled perfectionist would surely go. And in college, after I embraced God again, I was afraid of making an irreversible decision. I didn't want to call attention to myself.
    That's it. Those two ignoble reasons are mostly why I'm here.

    Why would I consider killing myself?
    I don't know. I don't know.
    I can guess anxiety, depression, and PTSD have all played a role, but the truth is there isn't a straight answer for this.
    I don't know why I am not Matthew. In fact, in a way, I think I am.

    I know the stress and the pain and the worthlessness you feel. I know the rage and bitterness at the systems that prioritize perfection and intelligence like they're somehow moral (and, for the record: they're not). I know the desire to take vengeance against the pain by hurting yourself.
    I know the frantic desperation, the smothering blackness devoid of what the apparent mockers call hope. I know you probably don't want to die, but you want to stop the pain.
    I know people will consider you evil for thinking of going, will say you're selfish and going to hell.
    They're wrong. You're okay.
    It's not okay that you feel this way. Nope. But you yourself: you. are. okay.
    I love you. And Jesus loves you (and if you don't believe in God, he was still a pretty cool person who I'm sure would have loved you).
    And I still dream that there is hope, for us and for those five who've gone. For a resurrection in which we will all be made right, in which those who've damned us will rejoice to see how friggin' wrong they were.

    Can you stay another day? Can you see the sun or a smile and dare to imagine you deserve good, too?
    I want good for you. I imagine God does, too.
    You are loved.
    Take it day by day.
    Dare to tell someone. And if you're that someone, dare to hug, dare to listen, dare to understand.
    Dare to brave the phone and call a therapist. Then dare to tell them everything, even though it's scary, because it actually helps having everything in the open.
    Hug a cat. Or a dog (this is the part where I begrudgingly admit dog people are okay, too).
    Because we - we are not alone.

Love you, dear friend.
Sushi, Patron of Loves, will always heart you, too.

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