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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Not Alone - Part I (Suicide Prevention and other help lines)

Hi, all. This is just a 'quickie' - a departure from my normal style. I wanted to get this out there right away, because it's super-important. Maybe the most important thing ever.

You're not alone.

No matter who you are, no matter what you've gone through, or who you've lost, there is someone in this world who cares about you, whether you know it or not.You are not defined by how many people are around you. You are not defined by anyone's judgments about your lifestyle, your identity, your orientation or your choices. The only definition you should accept of your life is the one you create for yourself - out of love and self-respect and a feeling of your own value. 

I don't have any value. No one cares about me. I don't have anyone, I don't deserve to have anyone, I will never have anyone, and I will always be alone. 

I know what it's like to have those thoughts, to feel as if no one would notice if I didn't wake up tomorrow - or ever again. I know what it's like to feel alone. And I also know what it's like to hang in there when everything that makes the sun shine seems dark, and - eventually - come out the other side.

If you are struggling, I need you to know (and believe) that no matter how bleak your today is, there will never BE a tomorrow if you throw it away. Hear that: Tomorrow can't be better, if tomorrow never comes. 

Hang on. Not for me, not for anyone else, but because you feel somewhere inside that you deserve better, and in order to get there, you have to keep going. I know that's easier said than done, but I also know that if you close your eyes and trust just for a moment, you can find that feeling of 'yes' inside of you again. Yes, I deserve to be happy. Yes, things are dark right now, and yes, I sometimes want to howl and shriek and tear at the sky, begging for something different to release me from this pain. But also yes, I will try to believe that a time is coming when this will be in the past, where it can't hurt me anymore, and I can live free.

If you are in that place, there are people who do care, and who, more than anything, want to help you. If you don't have someone you trust that you can reach out to, reach out to these folks. You will NOT be bothering them. Trust me. They want to talk to you. If you know someone who is struggling, give this information to them. Tell them it's important. Tell them more than once.

Resources: has a list of suicide hotlines in the US. has an extensive list of hotlines for topics including depression, suicide, dating abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, runaways, eating disorders, cutting/self injury, reproductive health, and veterans, as well. 

The Trevor Project is a resource specifically dedicated to LGBTQ youth. Their website details some of the warning signs of suicide. Their hotline is 1-866-488-7386. 

The Hotline is a national domestic violence help hotline, and can help if you are in an unsafe situation.

This list is in no way exhaustive. Many communities have local groups that are welcoming and happy to help you, as well. I'll be posting more like this as I come upon them.

Please, if you don't take anything else away from this post, take this: There are always people who care, and who want to help you find your way to a better place. 

If you are not safe right now, due to your own thoughts or due to an unsafe living situation, GET HELP. Call a hotline, call 911, call anyone who might be able to help you, but please don't give up.

You are not alone.

Author's note: So much for the 'quickie' I promised you at the start. I've never been very good at those. ;)

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