Welcome to Midnight. Welcome to World Suicide Prevention Day.

By Jamie TworkowskiSeptember 10, 2014

Welcome to Midnight. That’s what we say when the ball drops and a new year begins. i like that moment because beyond the fireworks and resolutions, beyond the kisses and celebration, is the quiet hope that something can be new. That it’s possible to leave the past behind and start again. There’s nothing extra special on television tonight, no clapping crowd in Times Square, no parade scheduled for the morning. But this midnight means World Suicide Prevention Day, and we would like to think this day can be significant. Not because the world needs another holiday, and not because we need a stage to stand on. We believe in World Suicide Prevention Day for the same reasons we love New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Because perhaps it’s possible to change. Perhaps it’s possible to start again. Perhaps it’s possible for things to be new. We know that change takes more than a moment, and we aren’t saying it will be easy, but we’re saying that it’s worth it. This life. This night. Your story. Your pain. Your hope. It matters. All of it matters. You’re loved. You matter to this world and you matter to the people who love you. So stay. Please stay. No one else can play your part. 


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Comments (35)

  1. Hannah Abel

    My friend Allison killed herself three weeks ago. I wish she was here to read this.

    Reply  |  
    1. Anonymous

      So sorry for your loss! May she rest in peace!

      Reply  |  
  2. Hannah Abel

    The Farmers Market. The Warehouse District. Minnehaha Park. The Science Museum. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Pizza Luce. This was a list I made of all the things Allison and I were going to do together the next time I saw her.
    I had just gotten a car. I had just gotten some money. And I had just gotten the itch to start traveling again. To get out of this funk, and explore the world, stopping to see a few friends on the way. In late August, I found myself traveling across Wisconsin to attend a last minute music festival – one last hurrah before the summer’s end. My phone had been off the entire weekend, but I decided to turn it on the last day. Not even five minutes after it regained power, I received a phone call from my friend Andrew. He told me that his sister – our friend Allison – was dead. And what hurt the most was that she had decided for this to happen. She had committed suicide.
    Everythng hit me at once. Right in the gut. Sadness. Anger. Disbelief. I still had the entire day left to spend at the festival, and all I wanted to do was go home. I remember collapsing into a little ball in my lawn chair. My hands were shaking. I needed to throw up.
    My friend Allison took not only her life, but she took mine; she took my future with her way so abruptly and it’s still hard to come to terms with. Sometimes it’s all that I can think about. The regret over what you could have said or done.How much you just want to talk to them again. To hug them and tell them how much they mean to you.
    And yet sometimes you forget that they’re gone. You reach for the phone or pull up their facebook page, and it hits you. You remember the glazed look in your eye as you heard the pastor try to sum up the friend you once knew in the span of only an hour. You remember staring at that box at the center of the church, denying that someone you once knew, who was once walking next to you, is now nowhere to be found. You can’t stop thinking of the weight of the casket as you carry it out of the church and push it into the hearse, your sweaty hands barely able to hold on.
    And sometimes still I’m finding it hard to hold on. Because it’s hard to think that that could have been me. I have seen my fair share of counselors, doctors, and hospitals. I have attempted suicide four times and suffered over a decade with depession and self-harm. And having that first hand perspective helps me to understand just a little bit more. I know the careless state of mind that someone has to be in to feel that there is no more hope. And I know that you don’t think about other people. It’s not that you don’t care about them. It just doesn’t even cross your mind. All that you can think about is the pain. You don’t think about your parent’s faces when they get the call; how they have to go through all of your belongings and decide what to keep and what to let go of. You don’t think about the tears that your friends will shed, sharing your cherished memories that have now become painful elegies. You don’t think at all, and that’s the problem.
    Suicide does not end the chance of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better. Ending your life only passes the pain on to your loved ones. Not a single day goes by that I don’t think about Allison. That I don’t feel this hole in my heart. She should be here, sitting right next to me. And it hurts that she’s not.
    You hear these automated phrases often, like, “get help”, “you’re not alone”, and “suicide is a permanent solutiont to a temporary problem”. It doesn’t quite mean the same until it happens to someone you know. These are not hollow words as I once felt them to be. Your pain may feel endless, but there are moments in life that make it worth living. I’ve expereinced things in the last couple of years that have made me so happy to be alive to experience them, and so grateful that none of my suicide attempts were successful.
    So I mean it. Get help. Do not be ashamed. Find someone who will listen. Do it for yourself because you deserve it. And even if you don’t think you do, try. That’s all that anyone can ask. If not for yourself, for those that love you.

    Reply  |  
  3. Emony Robertson

    This is great Jamie! I’ve been a supporter of TWLOHA and every year an impact is made on my life! With the information provided through the site and more, I try to spread the awareness. Thank you for allowing a moment to become a movement! God Bless!

    Reply  |  
  4. Rebecca

    I love you, joe. Miss u every day

    Reply  |  
    1. Leah

      I’m so so very sorry

      Reply  |  
  5. jeanie mcandrew holmes

    So thankful for my daughters second chance at life…that she might always know that she is irreplaceable & that she is loved. GOD BLESS YOU BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER <3
    #stopbullying #livlife

    Reply  |  
  6. Ruth

    I’ve been following TWLOHA for years, from the beginning. I love the blog posts, especially Jamie’s. No amount og thanks you’s are even enough. You’re saving lives and reminding us that our stories are important and that they are still continuing. Maya Angelou said “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” It’s this reason and others that I’m working on a story that I’ve kept hidden for seven years which is based on the life of a brave friend and that is also connected with my own story or grief, despair and ultimately hope. Thank you Jamie for your beautiful words and for TWLOHA’s for serving as a beacon of hope for so many people.

    Reply  |  
  7. Laura Tate

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this today. No possible way could you have known how dark this day is and how the overwhelming feelings that this darkness will never end is consuming me. I’m slowly withering away and I’m so tired, so very tired of fighting. But now if I can just make it to midnight, maybe, just maybe tomorrow there will be light.

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    1. Mother

      Keep reading these words today. Read them all day, as often as you will. You are important. You are loved. You have so much to do, so much to offer the world, tomorrow and the days that follow. You are strong. You are amazing! Keep hearing the words.

      Reply  |  
    2. Tacia

      the wounds are where the light can shine through.
      Thinking of you. You are worth the fight. You cannot be replaced .
      Stay strong

      Reply  |  
    3. Amanda Barr

      I promise there is. You may have to fight like hell to find it, but it’s the greatest feeling ever when you do. Hold on. I made it out. You can.

      Reply  |  
    4. Meg

      Stay with us, Laura. Don’t ever give up hope that the light will shine its brilliance upon you. Wherever you are, whatever you may be going through, know that there are people who care about you. I may be a stranger on the internet but I want you to stay. There is help… there is hope. So stay with us… Midnight and every day after.

      Reply  |  
  8. Brittany L

    I celebrate World Suicide Prevention every year. When it comes around, I get this little leap of joy in my heart because I know that I made it another year. I’m one year stronger and now, I can share my strength with those around me. I am currently going for my Master’s degree in Social Work to be able to help those who need it; help to remind them just how important and special they are. Through this day, maybe we can help one more person find their inner strength. Help one more person to see just how valuable they are to our world. I am thankful for organizations like TWLOHA, because they helped me and countless others see our full potential. So today, and everyday, we should celebrate because that is one more day we are here on this earth.

    Reply  |  
  9. Nate

    Just thanks.

    Reply  |  
  10. jcfenske

    Thanks for all that you do. This summer I wrote love on my arm, literally. The tatoo that I now wear is in honor of all the young folk who have shared their struggle with me in 25 years as a pastor. The artist is one of my favorites, who I visited every other day in rehab 15 years ago. I’m glad he is still here!

    Reply  |  
  11. Gabrielle Leon

    My friend Alianna had been my best friend pretty much since birth. Yes, we had our differences but we clicked even then. We both brought each other up, compared scars and triggers. She would’ve bee 18 in August and in college with me…I like to think of the fact she still may be looking out for me and seeing how much I help my friends with the same battles.

    You are all more loved, and so much stronger than you realize.

    Keep strong, and never give in.

    Reply  |  
  12. Becca B.

    The month of September is never an easy month for me, especially this year. It’s the first year that I am not in contact with my ex, who abused me for eight years, and it’s extremely rough. I’ve been missing him terribly and have found myself going into dark places and hiding from reality. Last night, I was feeling suicidal. There were so many triggers throughout my day that reminded me of my ex. I was getting tired of trying to make myself think positively because everything I tried, I still ended up dealing with flashbacks. I wasn’t sure what to do. I found myself on my computer coming to TWOLHA page to find out that it is suicide prevention day and that is what got my mind straight. Looking and certain people’s posts on TWLOHA’s page reminded me it can get better. Than one of my favorite songs started playing and it says that you can make it to the sun rise. By finding TWOLA last night while I was deep in the darkness, it makes me believe I am here for a reason today. Today hasn’t been easy, but I take the day in matter of seconds because thinking about the day can easily bring me down. I’m so thankful for finding this page.

    Reply  |  
  13. Anonymous

    I lost a friend of mine 5 days ago. The pain is unshaken and feels as if it’ll always be. I miss you Megppie. I wish I knew you better and longer.
    Love On Ya

    Reply  |  
  14. Kristy

    Oh how I wish they knew that NO ONE ELSE could EVER play their part. Reach out to those in need. Make sure they know you love them…make sure they know that one single person or one single incident shouldn’t be allowed to take away their happiness. Love them through the hard parts and continue to love them through the best parts.

    Reply  |  
  15. Brittany Paul

    It’s not a daily struggle, it’s every second. Losing someone so close to suicide, while suffering from suicidal thoughts is what I imagine hell is like. The family and friends who express that they’re there to talk, who is going to tell them that to talk I have to actually express the words. I’m a spiritual person, but the pain is to much, I always hear that you don’t want to waste what God created. I am not ashamed to admit my thoughts, I am not ashamed to say I am a survivor. I am ashamed to see pain in my mothers eye, I am ashamed that people think it’s about giving up. It’s not, it’s about freeing your self from the soul crushing weight.

    Reply  |  
  16. Roxanne

    I wore my shirt today – broke dress code, no one cared. Lots of people read it and smiled without even asking “what it meant.” It’s a good message for every soul.

    A couple of people did ask….

    I listened as a woman of age told of losing her father to suicide as a young girl. The tears were still fresh, though the event was decades ago. She was smiling through them at the end of the telling. Listening is such a simple, easy gift to give.

    Several were surprised there was such a ‘day’ …maybe a bit uncomfortable with it?

    I work in health care …one person who didn’t know there was such a day said “Why didn’t we know about it? I’ve never heard of it and we work in health care! We should ALL know about this!”

    I didn’t know, either, until a few weeks ago and I’ve been dealing with depression and the knowledge (fear) that suicide is one of the …what? symptoms? of my illness – a deadly one – for all of my life …many, many years.

    I will never forget, now. And will continue to be, to the best of my ability, one of the community of voices saying ‘It’s okay …whatever you feel, it’s okay …and it matters.’ On this day ..every day.

    Thank you for spreading the message and making ME aware! What you’re doing matters in probably a thousand ways you don’t see to every one that you do.

    Reply  |  
  17. Leah Rose

    my best friend died a year ago.
    he is very missed and i love him dearly.
    TWLOHA has helped me since his death.

    Reply  |  
  18. Dani

    I miss you glowbug..can’t believe you will be gone a year this December, watch over me. I miss you

    Reply  |  
  19. Victor D. Ochoa

    Amazing. I am still struggling with my Anxiety Depression and Bipolar and for the past month is has gotten worse. I have no insurance so i would probably have to pay crap loads for the medicine which sucks like heck.

    Reply  |  
  20. Anonymous

    Do you have a comments section for people to describe their experiences?

    Reply  |  
  21. Janet

    It’s been almost nine months and life is still missing an important piece of the puzzle. Junior year shouldn’t be happening without you…

    Reply  |  
  22. La La - Kissimmee,FL

    ask direct questions – are you going to hurt your self or someone else

    talk to some friends about why you are so down….stay away friends that will help you.

    Reply  |  
  23. Laura

    As I sat today, sporting my TWLOHA T-shirt, my heart was a mixture of both pain and hope.

    Today, I fondly remembered the lives of some pretty damn special people who could not escape the fear that all hope was forever gone. I remembered their lives, and talked about them. Though suicide became the end of their story, as we know it, they will remain – forever in my heart. Their memory will not ever be forgotten.

    To the hurting – and I am frequently one of them – know that you are not ever alone. Welcome to midnight. Celebrate the fact that your heart is beating, and you have reason to breathe. Please stay alive – with me.

    Reply  |  
  24. Court B

    It will be two years for me in December when I considered ending it all. But I am still here, fighting, thanks to my Mom, TWLOHA, and Switchfoot’s music. There are still the bad days, but the good days seem to be coming in longer stretches.
    I’m so glad to know I’m not alone. Reading other people’s stories, their struggles, their loses and triumphs helps so much.
    Remember ‘this too shall pass’, whither it is a bad day or a good day. And to live each moment without regret.

    Reply  |  
  25. Courtney

    Proud to say my friends and loved ones are still alive <3

    Reply  |  
  26. Pam

    I miss you Michael, your smile, laughing, the fun times we had and the plans we had made.
    You will always be missed and loved.

    Reply  |  
  27. Helen

    Thank you for this I’m not alone

    Reply  |  
  28. Qaima

    This comment could not be shared due to the nature of the message.

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us.

      TWLOHA is not a 24-hour helpline, nor are we trained mental health professionals. TWLOHA hopes to serve as a bridge to help.

      If this is an emergency or if you need immediate help, please call and talk to someone at 1-800-273-TALK or reach out to the LifeLine Crisis Chat at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx“. We also have a list of local resources and support groups on our FIND HELP page. Please know that we also respond to every email we receive at [email protected].

      Reply  |  
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