Suicide Prevention Month.The Power of the word “I love You”
By Nick Bevilacqua
Suicide Prevention Month is upon us. So, I have decided to take on the task and talk about some of those things we often don’t talk about. I think the most common thing talked about when you hear about someone you think you know committed suicide is why didn’t they reach out, why didn’t they ask for help, it seemed like they had it all together…
I am going to pull the personal curtain back a little bit and expose myself and my own struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. I can’t remember the first time I thought about taking my own life. I cannot even tell you what triggered the thought. I would guess this world seems overwhelming and all-powerful sometimes and you feel like you have no way out or no change ahead, so you make the ultimate choice… I _can_ tell you about the first time I told someone about it, or better yet, posed it as a question. The first time I had the courage to say something was to one of my best friends, and I asked him “Have you ever thought about killing yourself?” He came back so fast with a no, it had the tone of What is wrong with you, that’s not even a thing. The second person I asked was my girlfriend and she had a similar response to my friend. I was left feeling like I was crazy. I am lucky though, because my thought that suicide is the ultimate cop-out, is the only reason I am still here. Seriously. Suicide happens to be a “must not do,” zero exceptions, in my mind. Thank God.
I am not suggesting we normalize suicide; however, I am suggesting we normalize those thoughts that aren’t sure about tomorrow. Those people who sometimes don’t think they can make it another day, month, year, or some circumstance. As in, “I cannot do that again.” We need to have compassion for those who cannot have compassion for themselves.
How can you help? This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? I would suggest it's easier than you think. You can tell them you love them, in many different ways. You can remind them the world is better with them in it.
How do you know who is feeling like this? I would encourage you to think everyone does; therefore, you will try to help and show love to anyone in your path. We have no idea where someone just came from or where they’re headed too, but when they cross our path, friend or stranger, we can show them, love. The catch is twofold, one, it must be real and unconditional, and two, you have to be ok with knowing you’ll never know whose life you saved because of that love. The world needs more compassion and love, so why not start with you, today? Start in your own home too, because you never really know what is going on in anyone’s head except your own.
It takes work. It takes a village. It takes faith. It takes consistent movement forward. It is hard. It is scary…
You can do it. I believe in you. I love you.