A letter for you

If YOU are in crisis right now, please read this letter

If I was in your position I would find it hard to believe that somebody I didn’t know would want to talk to me.  Yet, I really do.

I wish I knew your name so that I could make this more personal.  I wish I could be there with you right now so that you could see the sincerity in my tear-filled eyes as I listened to you explain your pain to me.  I can’t.

I can only hope that you will read this and know that is written from my heart.

I know that feeling suicidal is a feeling of unbearable pain because I’ve experienced it too.  It hurts so bad that sometimes we just want to cry.  Go ahead. I grew up believing that I should never cry, but tears are natural.

If you have to cry alone for now, then find a place where you can let the tears go.  If it helps to have a friend with you, then give that friend a call, text, Skype, facetime, IM. Just reach out.

With so much pain a lot of us find it hard to think about anything other than ending the pain.  It is difficult to think clearly when we’re in pain.  This is not the best time to consider suicide.

The urge to get rid of pain is so powerful that we start to consider extreme and permanent solutions for pain relief.  How about a silly analogy?  Have you ever stubbed your toe before?  When I stub my toe I end up hopping on one foot and cursing like it’s going out of style.  Still, I wouldn’t be ready to amputate.

When it hurt to live I was ready to cut off living though, I was ready to die.  I was wrong.

When we think about amputations, buying a car, picking the right college, finding a good job, and any other major decisions, most of the time we get help.  We get another opinion.  Suicide is truly a matter of life or death.  Doesn’t it make sense to get a second opinion?

This is more important than cars or jobs or colleges, and we need to make a decision while we’re dealing with incredible pain. It’s a good idea to get help. You are worth the time it takes to get a second opinion.

Please call somebody – a parent, an older brother or sister, a good friend.

You can call the national helpline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) where people are waiting to listen to you.

Ultimately, I want to say that you have options.  Nobody else can decide for you which options are best for you.  Only you can consider them and try them out.  Suicide is one of the only permanent options for ending the pain.

I think you owe it to yourself to try out some of the other options before you try to kill yourself.

Nobody knows what will happen in the future.  There is still time for you to find a life worth living.  Please don’t give up yet.

Now I’m going to ask you to go make those calls.  It takes a lot of strength to ask for help, but I know that you can do it. We’ll be here for you when you get back and we can take a look at some of those options I was talking about.

With every hope for your future,

DeQuincy Lezine

President & CEO, Prevention Communities

Adapted from the book “Eight Stories Up” by DeQuincy A. Lezine with David Brent. Oxford University Press.