The Burden of Using Suicide as a Solution | Jeremy Lopus

September 2016 Pitcture.jpg

Photo by Xopher Wallace via

There’s a saying that God will not give you burdens too big for your shoulders. That the pressures and troubles you face during your life will not be bigger than you can bear. I don’t know that I believe this; it smacks too much of fate or predestination. But what is true is that sometimes we face things that can’t be handled by one person alone, and that facing them without help is a mistake. Asking for help is always a mark of strength and a good idea, whether you simply need the answer to a question or want a shoulder to lean on or sympathetic ear without any words spoken.

I work with children who are working through a variety of difficult challenges: developmental disorders, a traumatic home life, or mental health issues. Something that is depressingly common is the desire or impulse towards self-harm or suicidal ideation. That’s not to say that ideas of suicide are an indication of these types of problems, simply that these pressures can bring on this thinking. More alarming is when suicide is seen as a solution or relief for their particular anxieties without considering the wider damage that ending their life could cause.

One young man I’ve been talking to (let’s call him Pete) expressed to me recently that if his younger brother died he would kill himself in order to be with his sibling again. He saw no issues with this plan-it was the easiest way to reunite him with someone he cared about and hadn’t seen in quite a while. I sat down with Pete and tried to dissuade him from this idea by asking him about his relationship with his brother.

Did he love his little brother? Pete said yes, of course he did, that was why he would kill himself. Did he think his brother loved him? Again, the answer was yes, in the very typical “you’re an idiot” tone common to all teenagers. So far we had only touched on the outer edges of his concern. Next I asked him if he realized that his brother might not be happy if Pete hurt himself. This was something that the young man had not considered. I asked Pete if he was a Christian, and he again answered in the affirmative. “So since you clearly love your brother, and he loves you, do you think he would be happy if you met after you were both dead and he asked you how you died? Don’t you think he would want you to live and have a full lifetime before you met him again, so you could tell him everything you had seen and done? You get to talk to him on the phone, but imagine if you had years of experiences and stories for him?” Pete seemed taken aback by this idea, but he also promised to think about what he’d discussed and to talk to staff or a trustworthy peer. That he wouldn’t try to handle this problem on his own.

Pete has several burdens to bear; he suffers from violent outbursts, has difficulty dealing with negative peers, and occasional hallucinations, among others. His life for the foreseeable future is going to be very difficult. And yet, he promised to try and work on his troubles. That he would reach out for the help he knows is close at hand if he needs it. He understands that sometimes our shoulders are not broad enough, that sometimes the weight is too much for one person to bear. Our problems can seem insurmountable from the inside, and our pressure too much to handle on our own. Sheena Iyengar, a blind woman who became a prestigious thinker in business management, said it best: “Life hands us a lot of hard choices, and other people can help us more than we might realize. We often think we should make important decisions using just our own internal resources. What are the pros and cons? What does my gut tell me? But often we have friends and family who know us in ways we don’t know ourselves.” Asking for help can seem like weakness, that we’re admitting defeat and sharing a shameful secret. The reverse is true: revealing our pain and wounds can only help them to heal if we reach out to the people who love and care about us. At the expense of sounding trite: life is a team effort.

Depression Was Not Made To Rule You | Hollie Payette

August 2016 Picture

Just a little over a year ago, I found myself sitting in one of a sequence of chairs along the wall in a small health clinic. “Hollie”, they called out loud as they opened the door that led back to hallways that were filled with small, private rooms for patients that needed to be seen. I got up and walked back with the nurse that had me step on the scale and then check my height. She led me back to the room where she let me know that my doctor would soon be in. In that room, there sat a bed that patients are to sit on while waiting to be seen, however, I chose to sit in a blue chair that was opposite of the bed. I didn’t want to acknowledge that I had come to this point. Several minutes passed by while I sat there holding back what I would soon need to address, the true reason I was there.

My doctor quietly and slowly opened the door to see me sitting in the chair rather than the bed and had a look of confusion. She sat on her tiny chair with wheels and pulled out her laptop. The questions she asked were nothing more than her normal routine of questions that need to be answered before approaching the true reason behind the visit. However, what she was about to ask had nothing to do with why I was there. “So, it says here that you’re here because of your acid reflex?” I had lied while booking my appointment. I just couldn’t admit this to myself after all these years. “Actually, I’m not here for that…” She looked up at me confused. Years upon years of denial, of hiding, of suffering came pouring out. “I think I need to be on an anti-depressant”, I say as I burst into tears.

When I walked out of there that day, I had to calm myself down by softly stroking my arms in my car for about twenty minutes and telling myself, I was still Hollie, just now Hollie on a med.

Depression. What an ugly word. What a helpless state of being. What a horror to a mind that has suffered from it.

Years before that, before seeking help, I did everything physically possible to try to help myself. Journaling, exercising, changing my diet, getting more sunlight, extroverting myself daily, taking on multiple jobs, praying, seeking comfort from above, etc., I truly tried.

I didn’t want to be like this. I was known for being a ray of sunshine to others, but I was hiding and I did it well. I was surrounded by people who were truly wonderful and loved me levels deeper than I had ever experienced. My job was enjoyable, my situation was secure and comfortable, and I liked the person who everyone saw. Why was I broken behind this smile and bright blue eyes? Inside, there was this numb sense of pain.

During holidays I would sneak away and nap during dinners because it would strike me then more than on other days. The depression would show up and rob me of the joy that was supposed to be fueling my soul. Day by day, it felt like I was walking through high water that would wear me down more each hour. Life was not sunshine and rainbows, it was cloudy and rainy days, every day.

In the past, I had tried a few times reaching out to others and discussing what I was feeling with them, but the response I would receive back was cliché and made me feel more misunderstood. At one point, I questioned if I was crazy because I was in so much pain and no one understood. Behind this smile, was a desire to truly end my life and my lament was to be up above where I no longer felt any pain.

It wasn’t till I was 23, and finally found myself on an anti-depressant to see what I was truly experiencing all those years prior. With my doctor’s confirmation, I was diagnosed with severe depression. Now, know this was clinical depression, not situational, not seasonal, but truly clinical. My brain chemicals were imbalanced and needed to be altered, chemically. Without help from a medication, I would be unable to change what was going on in my body and I wanted to be myself again. I wanted to be Hollie Joy, with spunk running through my veins and a craving for making life a whirlwind of beauty.

Whoever is reading this, please know depression was not made to rule you. There is help and people who care. You were meant to go after life with such incredible force, pursuing the passions that burn within your soul. That gift of darkness, take it and let it build your endurance and keep pushing you only to higher and better places in a world where giving up seems like it is the only escape. There is a life with your name on it and it belongs to you. You have not suffered alone and there will be days, when you cannot find the love inside of you to feel safe in your own presence of your thoughts, BUT find those who will love you instead and choose to be with you during these times in your life. This does not define who you are at all. In one of my journals, I remember feeling a glimpse of hope and I wrote to myself, “You have lived too many bad days, to not live good days from this day on”. One day, I hope you find peace and power in yourself again and revive the soul within you by overcoming depression in a way that is healthy and a testimonial to others.

Luckily today, I can confidently, and with excitement, say that I am not anywhere near that state of mind that I used to be confined to. With much support and counsel from others who have endured the same pain, medication, and more than anything, the will to be stronger than the disease that held me in a box of darkness, I have come back to reality with a sense of joy and strength. There will always be waves that come through bringing a similar remembrance of that time in my life, but now, there is a girl who is much stronger than the darkness that ruled me once and never will again.

Please live. Please. People love you. People need you. YOU need you. Please, please live.

If you or someone you know is hurting, please call (800) 273-TALK (8255).


My Mother Was An Alcoholic | Andrea Kemble

June 2016 Picture

Photo by Reza Shayestehpour via

My mother was an alcoholic. She would have never agreed with that statement. She drank daily and I don’t remember a day that I did not see a beer sitting next to her. Because of this, my parents fought almost daily. According to the Mayo Clinic, a drinking problem is classified as having trouble controlling alcohol consumption, preoccupation with alcohol, continued use of alcohol even when it causes issues, or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when one stops or rapidly decreases alcohol consumption. So by medical definition, whether she would admit it or not, she was an alcoholic. My family tried to convince my mom to seek help but she was in denial. It was a never ending battle with her to try to help her. After a while, we just gave up the fight and decided to just not talk about it. She has since passed away and we leave the topic to rest with her.

Later in my life, I dated a guy whose father was an alcoholic. His family did exactly what mine had done. They knew that he had problem but they did not talk about it because it was easier to ignore the issue than deal with it head on. He has also since passed away from health issues related to his drinking.

Having met another family who was going through the same experiences I went through made my childhood seem just a little bit more normal. But I still did not understand why my family and his family had just let the issue go. I did not understand how either of our families could just give up on fighting with their loved one when it could have saved their lives?

Now, as an adult, I have a close friend whose father is an alcoholic and they struggle in the same way that my family and my ex-boyfriend’s family did to get him help. They have also given up fighting.

Now I understand why.

The answer is simple; no one wants the same fight on repeat, day after day. As an adult, I realize just how much the fighting effects each individual in the family separately. Fighting is exhausting. Fighting causes hurt feelings and nasty words that you may not intend to mean to be carelessly thrown around. Fighting can cause you to feel like a failure when the individual chooses the alcohol over their loved ones. It can make you feel like you will never be enough for them. One person can only experience these hurt feelings so often until they cannot handle them anymore. And then, for your own mental health, you just walk away.

In an ideal situation, we would be able get everyone the help that they need for their addiction. Unfortunately, with addiction, you are fighting the powerful hold the drug has on them. The person’s drug of choice changes the individual’s way of thinking and they do not think that they have a problem or are too embarrassed to admit it. Helping someone overcome denial is the hardest process when helping someone that has an addiction.

Luckily, my friend’s father is still alive. We have the time to continue trying to get him help. Alcoholism creates an increased risk of health problems. Alcohol is a factor is 25% of suicides and those that use alcohol have higher rates of attempted suicide than those that do not use alcohol.   

If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, what should you do? Be supportive and help connect them with local resources. Alcoholics Anonymous is a support group for individuals experiencing addiction. You can also call the Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline at 1-800-252-6465 for more information regarding treatment centers and local support groups. 

And don’t forget to get support for yourself too! Al-Anon is a group to support those that have a loved one experiencing addiction.

I urge everyone to fight this terrible fight for as long as you can in the hopes that you can get yourself or your loved one the help that they need. Know that the addiction is not who they are and that there is help out there.  



After the Death of My Son | Toby Weitzman

May 2016 Picture

Some Do’s and Don’ts for those of you who have good intentions but don’t know where to put them.

When my kids were very young, toddlers, one of their favorite books was a book called Do’s and Don’ts. It was about right and wrong, good and bad, do and don’t do. Now in my 60’s, with the unthinkable loss of my child, I was introduced to a world that tested not only myself and what I believed to be true, but how the world around my tragedy experienced me. And I could only think of this book, Do’s and Don’ts.

Like so many others, I was unsure of the proper etiquette in how to share my condolences to parents who lost a child. Would I say the wrong thing? Would I sound shallow in the wake of such a horrific loss? How can I possibly express myself when I’ve not walked in their shoes? We have all experienced loss, but a parent who loses a child is another category indeed.

We’ve all heard the saying; “It’s not natural for a child to go before a parent,” which seems to tidy up the scope of emotion putting it in a neat little box, tucking it far away unconsciously , because you can’t relate to it, and are afraid you could relate to it.

Our beloved son, Jake, was a kind, gentle soul, but the havoc of schizophrenia that played in his head was just too much for him and at age 36, he took his own life. I’ve had ongoing support from my family, back to the bare basic necessities of “did you eat?” And making me eat, and sleep. And my best friends, who stayed on course with me for months, and still do. And those were some rocky times that could shake any friendship off, but no one got scared and ran away. They know who they are.

We who have lost a child still need to be part of this world. It’s a new world for us without our child, but nonetheless a world. We still need to be a parent if we’re lucky enough to have other children, work, shop, and at some point (and this differs for everyone) resume some of our old enjoyments such as reading, the movies, etc.

I want to offer some small suggestions to those of you who have good intentions but don’t know where to put them.

When you see us in the supermarket, you may think, She is really doing well, glad to see that. And to a small degree we are, because we got out of bed, got showered, dressed and drove to our destination. But what you don’t see are the tears before we got to the market, or the tears in the market because the cereal aisle was our son’s favorite cereal, or that we couldn’t wait to get back inside our car where it’s safe, and we can drive and drive and sob and scream.

We have no broken legs or loss of hair to show we are in pain. And sometimes when we speak to a stranger, we are having another conversation in our head thinking, this person has no idea that I am only partly in this world and partly with my child in his or her world. And how could they? I know I didn’t, even though I consider myself a caring and compassionate person.

About nine days after my son’s funeral a friend called to give me advice. Get out there and go see a good movie. This might be worthwhile advice, and I use the word “might” gingerly, had it been my dog and not my son who died. (I know, I had to close my mouth too.)

It was about three months after that I ventured out to a restaurant that many in the community frequented. I was with my family and as soon as I walked in knew it was a mistake. I stayed just trying to get through it. A few minutes later acquaintances from many years back came in and sat next to us. (They were aware of what happened.)

We said our cheery hellos, and after the meal the woman came over to our table and had this Cheshire grin on her face, addressing my other two boys and commenting how they’ve grown!

Then silence. I think we were all stunned there was no mention of my son, their brother. But I know she didn’t know what to say.

So what DO you say? Several things. You can say, “I’m so sorry….”, or “I don’t know what to say,” or a squeeze of the hand, a look in the eye while you touch their arm, or, as several others have done, say nothing. They just came up and hugged me for a few minutes, saying nothing, because it was all in the touch, the squeeze, the look.

I gained a deeper appreciation of the Jewish customs involved with sitting shiva. Jewish tradition eschews the socializing and eating that tends to happen in some homes. Instead family and friends come into the person’s home and just sit with them. You are not to speak until they speak because it is all about them, and if they just want to sit quietly, that’s what’s needed. To me, this is a beautiful tradition because after all, there are really no words.


Springtime Sadness | Eric Harkreader


T.S. Eliot, one of Western civilization’s greatest contemporary poets, once began his famous ode The Wasteland with the line, “April is the cruelest month.” For Eliot, who famously struggled with depression and what he self-diagnosed as “abulia,” or lack of will, the promise of spring was much darker and more complicated than sheer joy at renewing warm weather: “Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring.”

The spring, it would seem, made Eliot long for the unapologetically darker, yet numbing and familiar periods when, “winter kept us warm, covering / Earth in forgetful snow.”

When I was in high school, I recall similar mixed feelings on the arrival of spring. Spring signaled the climax of my athletic and extracurricular commitments, when I’d ride a school bus two hours each afternoon to get precious time rowing with my team on the Allegheny River just upstream from Pittsburgh. I loved the hours spent on that water, honing my rowing technique to better harness strength built up in winter gyms to propel our four- or eight-man boats faster and farther. And yet, I distinctly remember the sensation, hidden just below the surface, that I was missing out. During the week, I couldn’t hang out with anyone outside of my small group of boat mates. And when other high schoolers spent their weekends prowling public parks and teen hangouts, I found myself in and between Holiday Inns followed by often-rainy race days spent on the water. As I’d fall asleep, I’d often wonder what I was missing out on and what else I could have done that day had I been a “part of it all”—one of the “Perfect People,” as a favorite song of the time termed it.

Later, on Penn State’s main campus, I recall a spring’s worth of hobbling around University Park on crutches because of an ankle I severely damaged in an ill-planned leap off of a concert wall. As I’d pass coeds sunning themselves on the sprawling lawn of Old Main and the nearby packs of Frisbee and football-tossing frat brothers, I’d feel again like life was passing me by—a feeling of isolation that I’d nearly forgotten because it had, as Eliot described it, lain dormant over the winter “feeding a little life with dried tubers.” With the rush of spring’s warmth comes the perspective of self-doubt and awakened loneliness.

Now I don’t mean to complain—I had plenty of good memories as well from the spring, and wouldn’t wish away the darkest moments even if I could—but I do resonate with the way springtime can bring on a curious and awkward down-and-out perspective. For a culture that has already equated springtime with sun and flowers, the crack of little league bats and barbeque season, to find anything but joy in April is seen as further proof of one’s self-imagined “other” status, apart from joyful living. But April is a month with highs and lows just like any other.

As I’ve struggled over the years to manage my own depressive tendencies, I’ve increasingly taken comfort in the cycle of my moods that are at least as strong as the seasons that alternately warm and chill our planet. For instance, when I experience the manic rush of the first warm-weather run and the sun begins to tease out the first hints of a tan, I try to remember that I will also face many days looking out the window at sunlight that seems to shine on everyone but me.

At 35, I am far from comfortable resting on my own accrued wisdom in this life, but I am fairly confident of one thing: Expectations can be dangerous. And to naively believe that my bad mood will melt with the snow is setting myself up for disappointment. And the data seems to bear this observation out. As a fellow Please Live volunteer once detailed in the Spring 2015 Newsletter, suicide rates have shown a noticeable spike in spring time at least as far back as the 1800s. This means that organizations such as Please Live need to play a stepped-up role in spreading the promise of community support and hope for the future.

I am proud to say that this grass-roots Central PA-based organization is doing its best to answer that call, hosting informational events and talks at area schools, churches and more. (For more information on Please Live, visit our About Us page or email event requests to For those seeking support, Please Live has an extensive list of free publications and resources, and more urgent needs are urged to call toll free at (800) 273-TALK (8255).

For me, I know that this spring, like all the others, will surely hold some gray days as well. But I am encouraged by the knowledge that I won’t be struggling alone—no matter how lonely I might feel at times. And I also know that so many people depend upon me and my ability to manage my emotions. As the father of little girls, I am inspired by the knowledge that what I can learn now about this life will help more than just myself. Someday, I can love on them as they face their own Wastelands. And I am grateful that they, too, won’t have to do it alone.

Two Events in Three Days – And More to Come! | Alexa Moody

Susquehanna University Post Cards

Please Live Post Secret Wall at Susquehanna University


Hello friends and fans of Please Live!

It has been a while since we have posted a general “update” blog, so this month’s post will be a reflection on all that we’ve done so far this year (and it’s only March!) as well as what is coming soon to Please Live.

Firstly, we have had a long but exciting week. With preparations for two events in three days, all of us at Please Live were on our toes as we got ready to bring our Love Life Ministries message to West Shore Christian Academy in Shiremanstown, PA and our regular Please Live presentation to Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA.

Around 8:00am on a windy Thursday morning, the 7th – 12th grade students of West Shore Christian Academy were ushered into a special Please Live chapel. Our presentation covered the basics that we usually cover – defining a mental illness, busting some myths about mental health stigma, signs of a mental health problem, how that can lead to suicide, and how to intervene in a friend’s life using the ACE – Ask, Care, Escort – model. But it also touched on the topic of religion and spirituality, honing in on the Christian scriptures to identify stories and characters that struggled, focusing on Ephesians 6 and the Armor of God to identify and fight mental and emotional struggles.

After the presentation, students were invited to hang out with one of 8 of our partnering agencies: Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Holy Spirit Teenline, The Meadows Psychiatric Institute, NAMI of Cumberland/Perry, Cumberland Valley Counseling Associates, True North Wellness, the Mental Wellness Awareness Association, and Minding Your Mind.

I had the opportunity to speak with several students after the event who expressed a genuine gratitude for bringing this important topic to their attention. One young woman spoke with me about her personal story and how she felt that her struggles were never taken seriously. After our presentation, she hopes that she will find more empathy from her fellow classmates.

A few other quotes:

“Alexa is awesome, and I am so glad she came in and spoke to us students and the teachers as well.” – Maddie, 17

“I never quite realized how society treated people with mental illness, how people put this topic aside. The speaker was really fun and made you want to listen.” – Caleb, 15

“I was given the hope that I’m not really alone, even when I feel like I am. I was super uncomfortable when it started because I knew that what was discussed described me, and I’ve always been ashamed of my feelings and thoughts. After this event, I am less ashamed.”  – Maddie, 15

Fast-forward two days, and Please Live has taken over the Degenstein Theatre at Susquehanna University. We spoke with a group of about 150 students about mental health, followed by four optional workshops for students to attend: Social Anxiety and Conquering Your Fears presented by The Foundation for Hope; Alcohol and the College Student: What You Need To Know presented by the PA Liquor Control Board; Question, Persuade, Refer suicide prevention training presented by Please Live; and Someone To Tell It To: Compassionate Listening and Story Telling presented by Someone To Tell It To, Inc.

Again, I found myself speaking with several students afterwards. One student was concerned about a friend’s tendency towards depressive thoughts after nights of too much drinking. Another was concerned about a boyfriend and wanted advice on how to help him get to the counseling department in school. A third recently lost a close family member to suicide and simply wanted to thank us for our time to discuss such an important topic.

Now that these two events are over, we will have a couple weeks to rest, plan, and prepare for our two feature events for 2016: Mechanicsburg Area Senior High and Cumberland Valley High School. We will be hitting Mechanicsburg’s freshman class during their health cycle this upcoming April, and will likely be hitting Cumberland Valley in September.

Please keep your eyes on our upcoming events and our social media sites as we launch into the remaining 10 months of 2016 with our most impactful year yet!

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My Crisis: The Struggle of Working in Crisis Intervention While in Crisis | Sarah Alvarez

Feb 2016 picture

Photo by Volkan Olmez via

I lost my dad when I was just 16 years old. He was the first person that I had ever lost in my life. I didn’t know how to handle a situation like that. My world was crushed and I was grieving. How could I understand grief at such a young age?

Fast forward 7 years, I continued to experience anger and denial. I thought that I was okay and this was God’s will. I thought that I needed to accept that my dad passing away was my fault. I did not deal with those emotions throughout those 7 years. Grieving is a painful process and I knew that I did not want myself or anyone else to feel this way. From then on, I vowed to help others dealing with grief and heartbreak, just like I have suffered.

In 2014, I was a fresh college graduate with a degree in psychology. I was excited for the opportunity to put my skills to use and I got my first job in mental health. I became a Crisis Intervention Specialist in Pittsburgh and I was so pumped to have this job in my field! I was responsible for taking crisis phone calls from individuals who expressed suicidal intentions. I would  assess them over the phone and sometimes need to go out and meet with them to do a further evaluation. However, I came to find out that working in crisis does not work so well when I was in crisis myself.

Every day I could feel myself slowly breaking down. My job was hard. Every day I would be on the other side of the phone trying to give hope to others when in reality, I was the one losing hope. I became aware of these negative feelings that were floating around in my head and the more that I was helping others, the louder these thoughts became. My breaking point was when my boyfriend and recently new fiancé of six years ended our relationship. This sudden heartbreak opened up the old wounds from losing my dad. The feelings I had never dealt with from the loss of my dad were coming back, stronger than ever. I was in a tailspin. Depression set in. I didn’t eat or sleep. I lost hope. My seemingly perfect life was destroyed. I became numb. I was an empty shell. The only thing I knew how to do was cry.

I had no hope, no feelings, and I was supposed to give hope to the hopeless. I was supposed to convince them that life was worth living when I didn’t even want to take another breath. The numbness consumed me. I did things out of habit, like eating and sleeping, only because I knew that I had to. The only time I felt anything was when I cut. Day after day I would go to work, put on a brave face, and act like I was okay. In reality, I prayed to God to take my life because the pain of my heartbreak was destroying me. I was not only hurting on the inside, but I was physically causing myself pain. Every day was my own personal struggle.

A teenage girl called me at work one day. She was in tears and she told me that she had been cutting and there was nothing for her to keep her alive. As I talked with her through her crisis, I realized that this girl could have been me. When I hung up the phone, I should have been relieved that I had helped someone but instead it was just pulling me in the darkness further. I got up from my desk and went to the bathroom. I stood there, sobbing and eventually sitting on the ground, hunched over because I could feel my heart aching. It hurt to cry, to breathe, to exist. As I was sitting there crying, I began to cut.

After a few moments of this torture and the aching sobs, I looked at my wrists and saw the damage that I had caused. I was disgusted, how could I have done this to myself? How could I rightfully talk to someone through their crisis, but I couldn’t take my own advice? It was my job to help others, but it hit me, I cannot help others until I got help for myself. That was the moment that I knew that I needed to do something.

I was tired; mentally, physically, and emotionally. When I got back to my apartment that night, I called my mom. When my mom answered the phone, I couldn’t speak. I just began to cry. All I could tell her was that I wanted to come home. Just like that, I left my job and my apartment in Pittsburgh, and I moved back to Harrisburg with my mom.

During this time, my family was my biggest support. Eventually, I was able to tell my mom about that pain that I had been going through and about my self-harm. I was able to let others take care of me after being broken for so long. I started therapy and found an amazing therapist. I was finally able to start healing. I was able to see that life is worth living. I was able to see that I am worth it.

As I’m writing this, it has been almost a year since I last cut. It took 7+ years to bring me to my breaking point and to the healing process. I would be lying if I said there used to be days where I wanted to cut, but let me tell you, those days slowly diminished. In those moments where I contemplated cutting, I would remind myself of my worth and how much that I have accomplished. I kept telling myself that I can and will overcome those negative thoughts. I haven’t had thoughts of cutting in months and I am so thrilled to be able to say that!

I know that this was a long story, but I just want to encourage all of you that you can get help and that life is worth living. Although it may seem dark now, you can make it through. It is okay to ask for help. You aren’t going through this alone. You have people who love you and will support you through your journey.

If you are struggling with self-harm, there is hope and you are not alone.  Please reach our for help and call S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) at 1-800-DONT-CUT (366-8288).