To The Person Contemplating Suicide, If I Asked You To Stay Would You

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I’m sure you’ve thought about how you’ll do it. Maybe you’ve come up with a plan already. Maybe you’ve already written the letter your mom will find, as she coddles your lifeless body in tears when you follow through with it.

Think of that image. Think of the pain you’ll cause someone who loves you.

Before you do something that drastic you can’t take back, I want to tell you a few things.

I know you feel lonely like there are moments it seems no one cares. You look at your phone that hasn’t gone off in hours. You post something someone ignores. Or maybe you posted it just to get someone’s attention. It’s like you’re screaming for help but no one is listening.

Maybe someone is bullying you and going to school is really hard when you are the one talked about. And even when you come home you turn on your computer and the harassment and unkindness doesn’t stop ever. Maybe someone started a rumor about you that wasn’t true and it feels like your life is over. Maybe someone even uttered the words, ‘go kill yourself.’ I’m sorry you are experiencing something like this and I wish I could make it stop.

From someone who has been bullied and harassed and talked about, I promise you it will end. I remember what it was like to be the black sheep. I remember what it was like to feel alone in a crowded hall, where it felt like everyone was looking at you and talking about you behind your back. But I also know what it’s like to overcome that and beat all of them. That’s what your future holds even if we aren’t there yet.

Maybe you’re a perfectionist and an overachiever and all of it is getting to you and you don’t know how much more you can take. Like you’re just trying to stay afloat but it feels like you’re drowning. And you’re trying to make everyone around you happy when you don’t even know how to do it for yourself.

I know what it’s like to want to achieve perfection. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re falling short of everyone’s expectations of you.

Night falls and thoughts play on repeat in your mind, and a voice tells you that everyone’s life would be better without you or everyone would be happier if you were gone. You know that voice that says you’re a burden to your loved ones.

Emotionally and physically you are just exhausted.

Maybe there are cuts on your wrists you try to hide and people who are afraid to ask about it.

Well, I’m not and I want to tell you something… I want you to know, the world needs you here because you have something to offer. Your family needs you here because the pain that they will feel in your absence and the guilt they will live with for the rest of their life, will never go away. Their entire life will change they day they lose you.

You leaving is simply passing the pain you feel onto someone else. The same people who love you dearly.

You can’t leave yet because it isn’t your time to go.

And these things you feel and these thoughts you have aren’t the truth. They’re lies. And I don’t want you to believe it.

Because here is the truth, you are loved. You aren’t alone. You aren’t weak because you are having a bad day, you’re strong because you’ve overcome every bad day so far. And I know you don’t think it will get better. But that is a lie too.

Without you, something will always be missing in the world and in the lives of everyone you’ve touched so far.

The table set at Christmas will have a chair that’s empty and your mom’s heart will break every time she looks over at it. Your room that won’t change will suddenly haunt everyone as they walk by it. Your friend’s hearts will break standing over your casket and you’ll alter their lives forever. Because everyone is going to blame themselves for not saving you.

There are so many things in life you have yet to see and so many more things you have yet to accomplish.

This dark cloud that seems to be hovering over you will go away. Do not make rash decisions in such darkness. Wait for the light and reevaluate your choices.

There is so much goodness and compassion you don’t see in yourself but everyone else does. There is something about you that is different that the world needs more of.

Take it one day at a time. Just get through the next 24 hours. Get through the next week. Get through the next month. And when a year comes or maybe two, your life will be so different and you’ll think back to this difficult time and you’ll happy. I promise you one day you will be happy and living won’t be hard.

If I were to tell you this will all be behind you, would you believe me and would you stay? If I told you there are so many wonderful people in your future who will change for the better because they met you, would you want to get there? If I told you one day you’ll fall in love with someone who will love even your demons, would you stay to meet them? If I told you one day you’ll have kids who will give you a reason to get up in the morning and a reason to live, will you keep going?

This and so many other good days you have to look forward to. Don’t leave before you get to experience the joys life has in store for you.

Don’t be the invitation people wish they could send but can’t because you left. Don’t be the text or call friends can’t make because there will be no one on the other end to answer. Don’t be the one day everyone dreads and the nightmare your family relives every year because the anniversary of someone’s death is the worst type of anniversary. Don’t make your birthday a sad day in everyone’s life because you missed out on what should be a celebration.

We get one life to live and along the way we all will be faced with adversity and struggle and pain. But it is how you overcome it that shapes any future you might have. Don’t stop fighting. Don’t let this beat you.

There are better things ahead than any dark day we leave behind and that’s the beauty of it really. I just need you to get there. I need you to choose to stay.

To anyone who needs help please call 1-800-273-8255 TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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