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To My Friend, On The Other Side Of A Suicide Attempt

Dear, dear friend, 

I want to say that I’m glad that you did not succeed. Life without you would be a very dull place indeed. You have made it. You are still breathing. Your heart is beating and you have been given a second chance. There are many things I would like to tell you now that you are on the other side of suicide. 

On the other side of suicide, I can tell you that I have been there before. I have sat in the uncomfortable hospital bed with an aide watching me to make sure I didn’t go off the deep end again. I have slept my time in a hospital bed away because no one else was there but hospital staff. It’s not a club anyone ever wants to be in but sometimes the pain is just too much. I understand that more than anyone else and you should feel no shame. 

On the other side of suicide, there is shock. Your body is trying to process everything you did to it and it’s working hard to recover. At the same time, all the emotions that built up to that exact time has flat-lined and all you’re left with is apathy. In time, you will feel normal again physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

On the other side of suicide, there is pain. Pain in your body, pain in your mind, pain in your heart. The pain that you tried to get rid of is still there. Do not give in to that pain; fight it and share the fight if you need to because I guarantee you that there is a long list of people who will be there for you. 

On the other side of suicide, there is guilt. Guilt for not doing better. Guilt for not being a better person. Guilt for being a burden. Guilt for not succeeding. Do not feel guilty.

On the other side of suicide, there is boredom. Boredom is good. It is better than the cold emptiness of death. Embrace the boredom. Use it to start thinking about your new journey.

On the other side of suicide, there are people. You are lucky. You have so many people who love and care about you. They show up when it matters. Take their love for you and use it to create love for yourself.

On the other side of suicide, there are wounds. Physical wounds and emotional wounds. The physical wounds will heal fairly quickly. The emotional wounds will still take time. The emotional wounds don’t need a band-aid. They need to be aired out and tackled. This is the hard road but it is a good first step to truly healing.

On the other side of suicide, you’re not sure why you’re still here but there has to be a reason. You have a purpose. Everyone has a purpose, it might just take you a little longer for you to find it than most people and that’s ok.

On the other side of suicide, there is hope. A chance to rebuild. A chance at new life. Come out of the ashes like the Phoenix that you are.

My advice to you on the other side of suicide is to take one moment at a time. Not a day or a week or even a month; just a moment. Every second you breathe in, there is time. Time to find yourself. Time to love yourself. Time to love each and every moment of your life; even the mundane ones. Don’t judge yourself by other people’s standards. Don’t judge yourself by other people’s lives. They are struggling the same as you but in different ways. And maybe they don’t share it. Abraham Lincoln failed many times before he became president and all those failures prepared him to be a great human being, a great president. It is our failures that make us. Don’t internalize those failures, grow from them.

Finally, on the other side of suicide, be glad that you made it because there are many people who would be devastated by your death. Be happy that you made it because there are many who are not able to say the same. And be happy that you made it because you are here for a reason. Your journey is not over, it is just beginning.

Love Always,

Your friend on the other side

To read more from Lynn, see the rest of her posts for IBPF here, or check out her personal blog

Comments

Have attempted suicide - I don't think I can ever love myself...Look in the mirror and all I see is old fat and ugly. I am embarrassed of how I look. Have tried losing the weight but my meds just keep packing it on. Throwing my hands in the air saying screw it. I will just become a hermit

Hi Jan,

Please reach out to a support group. Focus on positive things in life. Things do get better. Trust me

Hi Jan,
I am so sorry you're having so many struggles. I too have gained a substantial amount of weight from medication. I still eat right and exercise which is more important than the number on the scale. It also helps with my mood. Try to find the good rather than focusing on the bad. That's what I try to do. I also call on my support system when I'm feeling exceptionally unloveable and they help. I really hope things get better for you.

I have had several attempts over the last few years. It is very difficult to stick around through all the trials of life. The weight gain is huge! But, I would rather be mentally healthy than look "good". I'm not happy about it. In fact, I have a difficult time accepting it. But, for once I am more stable mentally/emotionally stable than I have been in at least 7-10 years!! Thank God! I have a much more positive outlook on life and I pray and focus on God and helping others as is my purpose. God saved me for a reason and He saved each of us. I am glad to be here for myself now instead of living for others. I am in "remission" and have been free of suicidal ideation for several months. My positive attitude has changed my brain (physical) and my brain has changed my attitude (mentally). The meds have stabilized me and I am able to function. Think of your purpose, your goals no matter how small or how large. Just begin someplace. You have to take care of yourself in order to be able to care for someone else properly. Take care!!

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