As I have previously mentioned, at times I have experienced relentless suicidal ideation. I have been quiet on this topic for years because of shame or fear of what other people would think of me. When the feelings have been too intense I have evaluated plans of action to end my life. There was a time when my first thought when I woke was disappointment that I hadn’t died in the middle of the night. I felt so alone, but I wasn’t truly alone then and I’m not now. There are so many people out there suffering silently, internalizing their painful thoughts and feelings until they feel they have no other options. If only we could help.
AFSP supports programs that work to reduce stigma through education that fosters understanding instead of judgement. They advocate for legislation that promotes suicide prevention efforts. They offer resources and support to those that have lost a loved one to suicide (the foundation itself was created by those who’ve lost loved ones to suicide). On top of all that the AFSP also funds research that helps us understand suicide.
I walk for so many reasons. I walk for all those we have already lost and all those we stand to lose. I walk for those who still feel the loss of a loved one who committed suicide. I walk for hope. Hope that we can minimize and eventually rid ourselves of the stigma that is associated with mental illness. Hope that those out there struggling every single day to keep themselves alive will keep fighting. Hope that those close to the edge will reach out and grab someone to pull them back.