Strength isn't in the moments it takes one to convince themselves to take their own life.
Sure, it feels like it... But that's not being strong.
One moment and you never have to worry about strength again. Your gone, your free, you don't have to worry about dealing and suffering and moving through this mandatory day to day crap we call Life.
You make yourself the option to permanently remove yourself from situations you don't like.
You get rid of the feelings that your
Not smart enough
Not pretty enough
Not good enough
Not talented enough
Not loved enough
Not worth enough
Not perfect enough
You don't have to cry yourself to sleep ever again.
You don't have to sit in a bathtub with a razor and cut yourself so many times you can't even count just to try and remember that your alive.
You don't ever have to worry about hiding your thoughts or feelings, worried someone will make fun of you for it - never getting the help you really need.
You don't have to worry about actually telling someone, a parent, and have them tell you you have a problem and to just get over it like normal people - and then tell you your not normal, and normal people don't do, say, or think the things you do.
You make the choice to be free.
It builds up so high, and cakes itself on so thick - you can't tear it down or scrape it off anymore... and that's really the only option you have left.
Your so wound up in it so tightly, you can't breathe anymore. Moving a finger hurts, smiling makes you wanna cry, and every time you blink you wish you'd see your bedroom ceiling and everything that day would just be a dream.
...You let yourself go.
I don't think people realize... 9 times out of 10, when someone sits and writes suicide notes... they're crying? Not just a single tear... gut wrenching painful sobs?
Not really does anyone ever put on a smiley face and hum a joyful tune when they write them.
No one really wants to do it. Deep down, it's never the #1 - they wish they could find a way out of everything, but they can't.
Well... they don't think they can.
Being strong is making a conscious decision to stay on earth anyways.
To experience life, and deal.
To have all the pain from above creep in, and really WORK to find sunlight.
Being strong is having moments of weakness, and knowing the previous is an option - but choosing to stay here anyways.
I'm not some asshole who doesn't know what they're talking about... I've been on both sides. Sometimes, the kids I talk to look at me like I'm a total loon when I tell them the steps to take toward loving yourself and accepting... what they don't initially understand is that I'm not someone just telling you what a book told me about the study of the feelings they're having, no. I've actually been there.
I was abused, I was a cutter for 10 years - relapsed twice, I'm an alcoholic - been sober for 5 years, I'm a recovered addict. I loved pills. Clean for 6 years. Wrote all my suicide letters, went into a bathroom, and tried to swallow 5 bottles of pills.
...I had Angels watching over me, let's just say that.
I decided to stay on earth anyways. To find the light. To learn how to love myself.
People think it's easy... that just because you will it to be so, it happens in the snap of a finger.
It takes hard work.
Friends and family will ask me about films I've done, places I've traveled, or troubling life/business situations. They'll say something like, "Wow... That must be the hardest thing you've ever had to do."
I always say, "No, the hardest thing I've ever had to do was learn how to love myself - and convince myself I belong here."
It's true... and everyone is always shocked. I have talked to several people in private and helped them through troubling times, sharing with them my story and my recovery. I hesitated to write it down publicly, or share it in the masses.
People always get made fun of for it, and specially with this beautiful business we call a show - it's already so threatening and heart-wrenching, who knows who will judge me for what - and it's not like I can afford to just not work or not take a role because someone thinks I'm a nut.
But... I've had so many people recently take their own life, it makes me mad. I thought, this is the problem. Right here. The problem is that more people who have suffered, who sometimes still suffer, and are still here - sit in silence and let shit like this continue.
We sit at the funerals and read the articles listening to people talk about how stupid and selfish and wrong and blah it is... and we're thinking back to our own wrists, our own letters, our own reminders of when we almost did what they did. We say nothing, not wanting any backlash.
In turn, not really taking the only opportunity we have to use what we went through and do some good with it. Educate, and help some people who - when you speak up - might have the strength to say they need help.
Strong is knowing you don't have all the tools, but being willing to find them.
Find them in people.
Before you know it - strength, and love, will build up inside you. You'll look back and almost not be able to tell where it came from.
Looking at the sun, at the day, differently. Forcing yourself to.
I used to shut everything in my room and lay in bed all day long. I forced myself to open the windows, and turn on the TV. Something. I called a friend, did something... before you knew it, I was laughing.
Before long, the laugh really reached my soul. It wasn't something superficial I did anymore to show people I was there and make them think I was okay... it actually started to reach my soul, and brighten the person I was.
I remember the first time in my entire life... I was sitting by myself, in my room, with my cat Cuddles. I wasn't drunk or high. I didn't have any cuts on my body. I wasn't sad, I hadn't thought about cutting that whole day. All my lights were on in my room, I wasn't sleeping, and I was laughing at something - on TV I think.
I stopped, smile still on my face but I stopped - and realized everything from the above sentences. I realized that I felt happy. My soul wasn't in this dark cloud of pain anymore.
I thought, "I guess this is what it feels like to be free, and happy."
Free and happy. Free and loved. Free and, frankly, not giving a fuck what anyone has to do or say about it. I didn't care about people, my parents, anyone. I was me, and me was good enough.
Now what people don't stress to people is that this isn't simple. Moments like those come often - very often - and it's beautiful. You find beauty in things and people you wouldn't otherwise. You genuinely love yourself, and what you are and have to offer.
Sometimes, you still stumble into the dark.
Sometimes, you relapse.
Sometimes, it builds up again and you have no idea where it came from.
It never just goes away completely. Not for me, anyways.
It's still finding the new strength on those moments to call a 'lifeline', so to speak. Knowing now what happiness means most to you, and going to do that. Getting in a 'safe place' where you can't think or feel those things. Surrounding yourself with love in the moments you need it, because now you'll actually feel accepting and deserving of the love people have for you.
Strength isn't taking the easy way out when everything is too much for you to bear and you don't know how to handle. Strength is putting up and dealing anyways.
My strength? Choosing to stay in this world, finding love for myself, and fighting to keep myself here every day.
With it almost being the end of Suicide Awareness/Prevention month, I thought I'd share some of this stuff for you. If it's helped at least one person, I'm happy for it.
If you or someone you know has feelings of suicide or depression, please call the national helpline - in the meantime, please visit www.twloha.com/vision - You are here for a reason. Don't give up.
Give yourself a big hug for me, Mmkay?
You are loved.