As a mental health advocate who works at a recovery center, you would think that the words for a piece of writing during National Suicide Prevention Week would just spew out of my brain, complete with inspiring metaphors and powerful declarations of hope. But in trying to write this, I was reminded that suicide isn’t an easy topic to talk about. However, it’s necessary. I know that whatever I choose to write matters because its very existence only adds volume to the voices that work to deconstruct stigma. Stigma creates those places where people feel stuck and alone. Stigma perpetuates suicide and convinces us that nobody will understand what we’re going through, but mountains of us have banded together in opposition to shout with love, “Keep going! There are brighter days ahead.”
I have attempted suicide three times in my life. In those moments of absolute darkness, I let myself believe the lie that I wasn’t enough, yet somehow too much all at once. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. Not attractive enough. Too loud. Too emotional. Too gay. Too broken. Too hard to love.
I know what it’s like to have the voice in your head amplify your deepest insecurities and wounds. It drowns out all truth and light. It does its best to make you forget about all of the ways in which you are wonderful. So, let me remind you.
You are wonderful in your style. Your walk and talk are yours alone, uniquely you and beautiful.
You are wonderful in your passions, in your pursuit of happiness. You deserve it.
You are wonderful to your pets—to the cat or dog who sleeps with you at night and literally finds you to be the most wonderful human of them all.
You are wonderful in your flaws. We are all just imperfect people doing our best to make sense of the fact that we are here, alive and breathing.
You are wonderful in the eyes of the stars when you look up and question the meaning of everything and anything. Their light travels through millions of miles of galaxy just to reach you, to remind you that the light always penetrates the darkness.
You are wonderful and wonder-filled. There is so much waiting to be lived through you.
You are wonderful despite your struggles. As you move toward recovery, you are a model of hope, a reminder to everyone you encounter that help is real and healing is possible.
You are wonderful in your impact, wherever that may be: at work, at school, in your family, amongst your friends.
You are wonderful when you wake up in the morning, messy-haired and craving coffee, and you are wonderful when you close your eyes at night, heavy-hearted and exhausted from another day conquered.
You are wonderful in the smiles and laughter you bring to the people you love. You are wonderful because you are loved.
You are wonderful.
I spent much of my young adulthood battling addiction, depression, and anxiety, but I chose to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I want to challenge you to do the same—to keep moving forward no matter what you may be facing. The universe works for us, not against us. The pieces of your life’s puzzle will fall into place exactly how and when they’re supposed to.
Remember that forward is forward no matter the pace. Although your journey to wellness may take time, much like mine has, know that you are not alone, know that you are enough as you are, and know that you are inherently and undeniably wonderful.