Suicide Prevention Day: Stay.
Trigger warning: depression, suicide
If you're thinking of leaving, stay. I need you to stay, the world needs you to stay. It might not seem or feel like it, but we need you to stay, to tell your story, to be your wonderful self, to bring your unique self into the mix. Do you know what else we need? Your smile, your tears, your words, your silence, your honesty, your every atom that makes you who you are. We need YOU. You are enough, you matter, and life without you would not be the same.
If you feel like people would be better off without you, it's not true. Hearts would be crushed and lives would be changed. Don't choose to change lives by leaving, choose to change lives by staying and bringing yourself into everything. You don't need to be perfect, you need to be you and that's more than enough.
The world needs your presence, not your perfection. (twloha.com)
I often find myself looking at the people on the streets thinking what stories they carry. Are they ok, are they happy, do they have everything they need, if I walked up to them, is there something I could do to brighten up their day? I never tried actually doing it, but I always wonder about the stories behind the faces. You never know how the person you meet feels, what's going on in their life and that's why it's important to be always nice and polite. Little things can be triggering and push people over the edge when their world is already falling apart.
In 2018 I lost all my hope. I have no idea how it happened. I just stopped having this feeling that one day things will be ok. I felt like I can't keep going, all I wanted was to leave this place called life. I had a plan in my mind. At the same time I was going to work, performing, smiling and living the life like nothing is happening. You were looking into my eyes and I was thinking about dying.
In December I went to the psychiatrist I was seeing to get a refill on my pills, but not to get better, but to have enough pills to swallow at midnight. I wanted to leave on the verge of old and new year. It was a good plan, until I stood in the doctor's office and he was not there. There was this woman I never met before. She was the new doctor taking over the office because my doctor retired. She was talking to me trying to get to know me. I have no idea what I told her, I tend to be overly honest, but I will never forget what she said:
"I will help you, you will get better".
She gave me this promise, and she made me feel like life doesn't have to end. She made a plan for me. You'll go to therapy, we'll find meds that will actually help you, we will be trying until we find those which work. I'll send you for evaluation and we'll go from there.
My doctor made plans for me for the time when I already was not supposed to be here. I stayed. I gave her a chance and most importantly I gave myself a chance. Getting through the midnight was the most crucial, but I did it. It was 2019 and I had a glimpse of hope that things will change. They did.
I give recognition both to my doctor for being such a game changer in my life and to myself for finding the strength to stay when I really wanted to leave.
If you find yourself thinking or even making plans for ending your life, make plans for the time after. Make an appointment with a friend, family, doctor, colleague, tattoo appointment, hairdresser appointment, schedule multiple things. Your brain will want to fulfill that commitment.
Since I decided to give life a chance, I made the decision to live according to my own wishes and not let anybody to dictate how my life should look like. That was the stepping stone to finding my identity. I started to observe what are actually my likes and dislikes and preferences, I started to get to know myself and it felt good. I stayed and I kept staying because it felt good.
At some point I came out to myself as transgender man and decided to start my medical transition. The doctor which helped me to stay, made even bigger impact in my life, by taking on learning the transition process for me and leading me through. I am now very close to having my legal documents changed as I will be one year on testosterone on 21st of September.
I chose to stay and things changed more than I could imagine. The only constant in life is change. When you find your mind clouded, please find comfort in knowing that things are constantly changing and you will not feel this way forever.
Cover picture: @Benn T. Wright