September is National Suicide Prevention Month. I’ve been working on a project to support this awareness campaign as this is an issue near and dear to my own heart. I’ve decided to share my story with the intention of opening a dialogue about the different ways suicide affects us and how we can make positive changes to the way we care for those affected. This is the first of several posts this month. If you have questions, comments, or feels you’d like to share with me, please do! I’d love to hear what’s on your heart around these issues. However, for the sake of your privacy & consideration for the sensitivity of others, I suggest messaging me privately if you want to share specific details that could be triggering <3 Feel free to share this with anyone you think may need it. Hang in there, lovebugs!
This letter is dedicated to those we’ve lost too early, those who have lost loved ones, and those who have lost their way in the darkness. May you be reminded of the infinite waves of love and light surrounding you.
To myself, circa 2012-
This has been the hardest year of your life.
You’ve gone through so many changes, adjustments, and challenges with the hope of finding of your bliss…finding that glorious corner of refuge from the tropical storm that has become the reality of your inner world.
You’re overwhelmed and discouraged as your hope of seeing a better tomorrow quickly wanes like the light of a sunset during a cold winter night.
I never would have wanted you to end up here. Feeling lost, empty, and deeply alone. Struggling to make it from one moment to the next.
I know you want to give up and say farewell.
Farewell to the stress. Farewell to the confusion. Farewell to the countless disappointments.
This pain has you hurting so deeply that you’re ready to let go.
You want to let go because you think all of these problems will be solved by pulling the emergency brake on your life and bringing everything to a screeching halt.
In the midst of all your despair, you believe that death by suicide is the answer.
You’re wrong. It’s not your time.
In your darkest hour, you’re there alone in your room. When you get to the point where you feel like you’ve done all you could to feel better, do better and be better, you will also be at the edge of your finest hour.
With the last microliter of courage and hope that you could muster up, you decided to give yourself one more chance.
One more day.
I’m proud of you for being willing to try again; that wasn’t an easy decision to make.
I forgive you for getting lost in the swamps of depression and thinking you wouldn’t ever find your way out.
I love you for fighting tooth and nail for your recovery. You deserve it.
I can’t promise that recovery will be pleasant because this journey might be the most difficult experience of your life. However, I can guarantee that it’ll be worth it.
You will have to sacrifice.
You will suffer, in many ways and for much longer than feels fair or possible to endure.
You will backslide at times.
You will have more than your fair share of terrible days.
But, when you do have those good days…they’ll be sweeter than a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. Filled with wonderful people and memories.
So, you have to keep going.
Keep going to therapy and challenging yourself to explore those frightening and delicate parts of your psyche. For you, this will make all the difference in how you’re able to move through the world as you get older.
Keep going out to spend time with your friends and family. It’s okay to have time to yourself, but time with others will give you the soul food you need to keep pushing through when the going gets tough.
Keep going with your meal prepping and baking adventures. Everything you make won’t be tasty, but the creative outlet is good for you and you’ll find some healthy & delicious recipes along the way.
Keep going with your self-education so you can satisfy your hunger for knowledge and find new ways to understand the world. It will come in handy as you learn to serve others in unique ways.
Keep going to work even when you think you can’t. You’ll be surprised how showing up for other people will be a positive experience.
Keep going with your blog and other inspired projects. Let that energy flow from your heart unfiltered and uncensored; you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
Keep going with self-care. You’ll find some incredibly fun and inspiring ways to keep your emotional tank full. Enjoying life is important.
I won’t spill all of the details of what it is to come in the future for you. But, please know that this walk you’re taking through this forest of shadows has a purpose. Like an emotional sauna, it will draw out of you the things you need, which you couldn’t have accessed otherwise.
When you get discouraged and want to give up, you must know that there are people who need you to recover so you can help them with their healing. This isn’t just about you.
No matter what happens over the next few years, carry these truths with you. Some of them will take longer than others to sink in and that’s okay. Stay open to the timing because everything will work out the way it’s meant to and when you need it.
You matter. Even when you feel like you don’t make a blip on the radar. Even when it seems like nobody cares about where you are or what you do. Even when you think you have nothing to offer. Your thoughts matter. Your feelings matter. Your voice matters. Your presence matters. You matter.
God loves you, no matter what anyone says. Ignore anyone who says otherwise. Your sexual orientation, your past mistakes, your perceived character flaws are irrelevant. You are loved unconditionally, forever and always.
Love, always. Choose love, demonstrate love, share love. Even in the smallest ways. Be especially loving to the people who challenge you the most. They usually need it. What you give, you also receive. Keep the love flowing by giving it away as often as possible, but also allow people to love you as you are.
You are strong enough to endure all that is required of you for the journey.Don’t be deceived by the circumstances. Everything you see in front of you now is the result of past thoughts and decisions. You can create a different reality and it starts with having the courage to believe that you can have something different. You can do it.
The bliss you seek is on the other side of this dark night. There will be glorious moments along the journey, but the best of things will come after you make it through this storm. I promise you with all that I have that it will get better and the sun will shine in your life again.
You are not the things you have or haven’t done. Over time, you’ll learn that solely defining yourself by your accolades doesn’t honor the greatness of your being. You are divinely created to be perfect, whole, and complete. This journey will help you sift through all of the noise so you can master the melody to the song of your soul that will call you back to who you’re meant to be.
Trust yourself.Your intuition will never lead you astray. Follow your instincts about people, places and experiences. When you choose to focus your efforts on living from a place of intentional wisdom rather than fear, you can’t go wrong.
You’re never alone. Believing in the toxic illusion of separation will only deepen and spread the anguish of difficult times. Your spirit is infinitely connected to God, the world around you, and everyone in it. Accepting this as a truth of your being will alleviate a great deal of the unnecessary suffering in your life.
One day at a time, you’ll make it through.
I believe in you and I’m so proud of how far you’ve come.
Your Older Self
I’ll leave you with this quote for inspiration when you need it.