Please Ask for Help. Please Show Up.

Oh my friends. The suicides. I am heart broken and angry and afraid. Please take the time to read this:

If you are struggling: You know the voices that tell you your pain will never get better? That you will continue to suffer this way forever. And because you are suffering, you have nothing good to offer the world?! And that, in fact, the world, and everyone who you love . . . ESPECIALLY everyone you love, would be better off without you?! I know that voice. I know that voice well.

THAT VOICE IS LYING TO YOU. IT IS LYING. It doesn't mean to lie. If feels your unbearable pain, and it is trying to help you. Part of you thinks you are dying from the pain and that the only way to save you and the people you love is by taking your own life. Of course it isn't logical that your brain would tell you that you have to die in order to survive. But nothing about this experience in this moment is logical. This experience defies logic and often everything we have ever been told we could count on to be true.

Oh my friend. If you are suffering. If you feel like you cannot take anymore. If you feel like you cannot NOT listen to the voice that is telling you to exit this world. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask for help. Call 911. Call a friend. Call a family member. Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Even better, if you see yourself sinking . . . call for help then. Before the darkness overtakes you. But if you didn't, no matter. Call as soon as you realize you are in danger.

And please know that no matter how bad you feel in this moment, no matter how heavy or powerful the darkness feels, the darkness will not stay forever. It just won't. I PROMISE.

To those of you who might love or know someone who is struggling: Or who might be on the receiving end of a call, or text, or email, or social media post from someone that tells you something is not right. PLEASE SHOW UP. Get in your car (or on the train, or on your bike, whatever works!) if you can reach that person. Show up at their house. Show up at their condo. Show up at their apartment. SHOW UP. Or let them come to you if they have the energy to do so but don't wait for them. SHOW UP.

None of us are equipped to "save" someone struggling, but that doesn't mean we have to hold them at arms length and suggest that they "find a good therapist" or "find God." We don't do that when people have other illnesses do we? NO. We SHOW UP.

If you get that call. Or that text. Show Up. Sit with them. Bring them soup. Or bread. Or a smoothie. There is a good chance they aren't hungry--but bring it anyway. Sit with them. Be with them.

Sit with them as they call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Or YOU Call if they can't or won't: 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Stay with them until someone else can come and stay with them. Stay with them until they are in the hands and arms of other people. Stay with them not only through the crisis call but until they have either family or friends or professionals by their side who will not let them go until the emergency has passed.

Ask them if they have a plan to take their own life. ASK. And if they say yes, call emergency professionals.

It is not your job to decide whether they are "serious." It doesn't matter. This is not the time to decide what you think is "true" about that other person. Whether they are trying to manipulate you. Show up. Stay. Call. Period.

See, here is the thing. In the throes of the pain, it feels like it is going to last forever. That person may have been struggling for a while. Or maybe they have good days and bad days. But in the middle of the pain it feels unrecoverable, insurmountable, and like it will last forever--like it will never, ever, ever be better. And it is in the midst of THAT pain, that people choose a PERMANENT solution to a TEMPORARY problem. Because it doesn't feel temporary. It feels like forever. If feels like there is no other way out.

So show up. And stay until they are safe.

End rant. My love to you and to yours. ~B

booth kammann