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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Say the Word Suicide: Give It Time

Trigger Warning: Self harm and suicide
“I don’t want to be alive, I just want to die today, I just want to die.”
I was walking down a long road with my new puppy, Mocha, and my mom. The sunlight was bright, streaming through the green branches of the trees rising up above me. It was beautiful. And yet all I wanted to do was die. I had just gotten out of a sixteen-day hospitalization, and I felt like I wanted to die. In that moment, I did not feel like myself, and I liked who I was on “the inside” (the hospital) better than who I was on “the outside” (not in the hospital).
I had felt so pro-recovery Raquel on the inside of that hospital stay. Without the hospital, it felt like I was just struggling Raquel. I did not like that. I wanted to be back to the person who was a resource, and a helpful one at that. I wanted to feel useful and content, but I was not. Not yet.
It would take many more days ahead of me of not acting on self-harm thoughts before I began to feel differently. It would take a ten-day stint at a partial program (during which I went to groups and went home at night) and the lessening and lessening of crises before things would change.
Even when I had a crisis in the start of August, I worked with my outpatient therapist to figure out where I could intervene with myself before a crisis came to exist. It took understanding my needs and when to ask for help, despite who might be around me (family), and just making the phone call or accessing the online chat service.
“I want you to be alive. You don’t gotta die today. I know where you’ve been, where you are, where you’re going. I know you’re the reason I believe in life. What’s the day without a little night? I’m just trying to shed a little light. It can be hard, it can be so hard. But you gotta live right now; you got everything to give right now.”
This song spoke to me in more volumes after the hospitalization than it did beforehand. There was some sense of community in it while I stared out the enmeshed, double bolted window of my hospital room. There was the sense that I was not alone. It was the sense that I had never been alone, and never will be.
Because: so many people have also experienced suicidal thoughts at some point in their lifetime. Because: there are people that live a long, desirable life after being suicide attempt survivors. Because: life moves forwards, pain is temporary and suicidal crises pass, given time.
We just have to give it time.
“I finally wanna be alive, I don’t wanna die today, I don’t wanna die. I just want to live. I wanna feel alive; I don’t even wanna die anymore. ” Featured lyrics by Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid from the song 1800-273-8255.
Giving it time meant not acting on the suicidal thoughts right this minute. It meant giving me time to heal, to feel better, to let the feelings pass. It meant reaching out to friends, one day soon reaching out again to a hotline, and just holding on for the seconds, for the minutes. Because holding on for the seconds and the minutes will turn to hours and days, weeks and months. And somewhere during that duration of time, I will feel better again, and I won’t want to die anymore at all and some days, I won’t want to die as much. And in that time, I work on my adaptive coping strategies. I tolerate my feelings, which does not mean I like them, but I co-exist with them.
And soon, the sunlight comes drifting through my white curtains, and my new unicorn canvas sparkles in the light. And I find meaning and purpose in every inch of space I acquire. Because: by then, the pain is just a fleeting memory.
And I’m alive, I’m alive and I’ve survived, like a true survivor radiating badassery.
And that’s all that really matters.
Stay safe, give it time, and hold on, pain ends.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal ideation, know that you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline anytime 24/7 at 1800-273-8255. For resources on suicide warning signs, check: American Association of Suicidology. The Counseling Center on campus is also an available resource, and can be reached at: 617-287-5690 or the Quinn building on the second floor, past general medicine. They can also be reached at an after-hours emergency phone number: 855-634-4135.