World Suicide Prevention Day 2017

On this blog, I do my best to end each post on a positive note. No matter what the content, I try to see the silver lining in each situation. This is also how I navigate life, how I figure out how to make it through the storms of life. As with my posts, however, there are times when finding the silver lining is harder to do. I claw my way out of darkness towards a promising light, only to find I’m in yet another mirage. There’s no telling how many times I’ll get back up when I fall, but at some point I do feel like staying down. I hide myself away because acting on hope seems foolish—all the fight leaves me, and I just want to block out everything and everyone. If I stayed down forever, though, I would never have discovered the treasures in life—experiences, people, stories I would never heard because I would not have been around to live through them.

This year, the non-profit organization called To Write Love On Her Arms is once again putting on a campaign to prevent suicide and encourage communication that could lead to both education and healing. This year’s motto is: “Stay. Find what you were made for.” For more information on the premise of this year’s message and other pertinent information, I welcome you to read Jamie Tworkowski’s blog post about the campaign, which will last the entirety of National Suicide Prevention Week.

The non-profit sells packs of items for use during the campaign, which can be found via their store. You can also fundraise or donate, and start conversations online to spread the message (all of these options are linked to in the blog post link provided in the last paragraph). There is a way for everyone to participate, even if that means engaging with the people in your life on a face-to-face basis. What matters is that you talk, and that you let people know there is hope—even if the only person you remind happens to be yourself.

To be clear, I wasn’t asked to promote this campaign or TWLOHA. I am passionate about the organization and its cause, and I write about both in order to inform and equip people who may want to participate in this. When they had a street team back in 2013, I joined in order to not just help others, but also to help myself. I help construct my basis for survival in the quotes and art shared on their social media pages, and I believe in healing because of them.

World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10, and TWLOHA provides activities for each day of National Suicide Prevention Week.

 

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Life Experiences: An Alcoholic Parent

Certain positions you’re in are able to teach lessons you never really wanted to learn.

Case in point: Being the child of an alcoholic parent.

When you have a parent who is an alcoholic, there are a lot of hushed words that are never cleared up. Direct communication is waived as a way to avoid conflict, which could actually help the situation if used correctly. Hurt feelings go without elaboration, and wounds become scars that somehow break and fester in the wake of new offenses. It’s tough when the other parent is not alcoholic, because they have had to struggle with this experience years before you were even thought of. You may refuse alcohol, because what if I turn out like them?

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Filling the Gap

…by keeping busy,

coffee ice cream,

playing an MMORPG,

watching YouTube videos,

and trying to cultivate the motivation to clean my room.

These are all things that I try to fill the gap in my chest. It’s a feeling that empties my head of thought and saps me of happiness. I find it hard to express myself genuinely at such times, faking smiles and expressing emotion where there is no basis for either. I feel lonely, yet the thought of seeking out someone to sit next to isn’t something I necessarily want, either. I’m trying out everything that usually makes me happy in order to make myself feel better, but it’s not working—none of it is working. Such things stay in the chasm for a while, but they eventually slip out and I’m left empty again. The joy is fleeting and only lasts a little while.

In these times, I feel like a truly worthless human being.

 

How My Brain Works Against Itself

I’m up late again, thinking of all the things I want and need to do. If you’re curious to see how my brain compartmentalizes things, it happens in bullet points, like so:

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Needs vs. Fears

I have been lazy for the majority of my summer, and on one hand, I don’t regret it. I took on far too much last semester, and I had resolved to make my vacation between semesters as stress-free as possible.

On the other hand, I’ve been lazy for the majority of the summer. I’ve been waking up as late as five-o’-clock in the afternoon for the past few weeks, and I’ve gone through the same routine. I wake up, eat and/or watch YouTube videos, have dinner with my family, then either get straight back into watching videos or playing an MMORPG. I do sometimes add to the fan fiction I talked about in a previous post, but aside from dates with my boyfriend and errands with my mom, I don’t get out much. That ordinarily wouldn’t bother me, except that now…it does.

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Optimistic Nihilism and Frustration

The other day, there was an interesting looking video in my Recommended feed on YouTube. It was about something called optimistic nihilism, and although I’d heard about being nihilistic, I was curious to see how optimism could be incorporated into it.

Of course, my first reaction proved I had missed the point of the video. I felt hopeless, felt like my tiny speck of an existence didn’t matter and that everything I’ve ever done, said, or thought would mean nothing in the future. It wasn’t the first time I’d felt this small, though. The first time was in a Big History class when I first starting college; we studied history from the origins of the universe to the present day, and one thing that I took from that class was the knowledge that everything that is and ever was comprises far more than you ever will in your entire lifetime. It’s why I’ve felt pressure in classes to “reinvent the wheel,” to be innovative and memorable so that I won’t fade into oblivion as quickly. In this respect, I fear death–in the sense that I’ll live a life unfulfilled without any remaining chances to actually live.

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