Thoughts of suicide: words from a teen who has been there

If you’re reading this because you’re not sure you want to go on living or know someone who feels hopeless. I understand. I don’t know you or your situation, but I’ve felt the same way. I used to think about suicide a lot, because it seemed like a way to make the darkness and bad things go away. At the time is seemed like a solution to my problems.

It took some time and some help from others, but I’ve found my way to a better place and I’ve realized that I want to live. I still struggle with problems and there are days when I can see the darkness out of the corner of my eye, but I’ve gained hope and become happier. My therapist asked me if I would share some things I’ve learned to help other teens who feel like I’ve felt.

  1. Things will get better, but you have to want it bad and be willing to work for it. You can’t just sit there and hope tomorrow will be better. You have to take steps to make it better.
  2. Try talking to a counselor. If that doesn’t help, or if you don’t like the counselor, try another one. You may have to try a few, but when you find the right one, it makes all the difference.
  3. Exercise and a healthy diet are definitely good, but it’s okay to treat yourself too. If chocolate puts a smile on your face, have chocolate. (My therapist would say to do this in moderation, of course.)
  4. Don’t isolate yourself. Staying away from the people in your life won’t help you get better. And the longer you isolate yourself, the more it hurts, and the lonelier you’ll feel. Stay connected with the people you enjoy and not just by screen. Spend time in person with them.
  5. Find art, because it can help. It doesn’t matter what kind of art — acting, singing, drawing, coloring — just find a way to express yourself without using words. Listening to Mandisa’s “Out of the Dark” album helped me find my own way out of dark. I recommend it.

If you have friends or others around you who are talking about suicide, help them get the support they need. If you’re not sure how to do that, text 741741 and you’ll hear back from someone who can tell you how to help your friend. You can be the difference in their life.

Join us for our discussion about suicide and the church. Register here.

Join us for our community workshop on suicide and depression. Register here.