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Dear Suicide

Dear Suicide,

 I would just like to begin by saying I hate you. I know hate is a strong word, but you deserve it. You have brought me more pain than anyone else I have ever met, and you left me broken and distrustful. While we have never met directly, you befriended and took my little brother away from me, and for that I will never forgive you.

 Six years ago, I learned you are so much more than a behavior or illness outlined in a textbook. I learned that you start by finding a vulnerable person, perhaps an individual suffering from depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, or you may simply prey on a young and impressionable adolescent. It is appalling how you then convince your new friend that you are the only option for them, and that they have no reason to continue living for anyone else. You enter into this person’s life, and change their world and the world of their loved ones in a split second. You take that person away; you convince that person to give you their whole world and their entire life. But you do more than just affect your new friend. You also hurt every single person who has ever spoken to, known, or loved the person you beguiled and befriended. And worst of all, you surprise these people when they least expect it with a pain that never fully heals. And these people will never forgive you; nor are they required to. You are unforgiveable.

When you befriended my little brother, you broke me. In a matter of seconds, you taught me that nothing lasts forever. You ripped my heart in half when you forced me to bury my best friend. You showed me that, even those closest to me, who seem to be the strongest and happiest individuals in my life, could be silently fighting uphill, and seemingly unwinnable, battles.

You clarified for me that no victim is off limits for you, and that you are willing to cross any and every boundary to take them away. When you befriended my bother on that day six years ago, you left me in a place of questioning, forcing me to wonder if any of my other friends or family members would leave me for you as well. And more than that, you led me to trust less. You made me afraid to become close to people, because you planted the idea in my heart and mind that friendships and love wouldn’t, and couldn’t, last. It has taken me years to get to a place where I am able to accept new people into my life.  To let down my guard. It has taken me years to believe again that all of my loved ones will be alive when I wake up the next morning, and that they will be strong enough to turn you away if you ever try to enter their lives. For that, I will never forgive you.

I am not an island, Suicide. I know I am not the only person you have affected. While I still hate you, there is one thing for which I can thank you. You revealed to me that sometimes your victims seem to be picked at random, without reaching out to you or asking you for your friendship. You have made me more understanding by teaching me that anyone I encounter could be battling with you. You encouraged me to approach people with kindness, and be empathetic toward them when they may be having a bad day. You showed me that the phrase “I am going to kill myself” is not a joke, and that there is never shame in going to the hospital or seeking help to battle you, because it is better to be alive than to be your friend.

Finally, Suicide, you have made me proud of each and every person who wakes up in the morning and not only lives through the entire day, but also thrives and shines. You showed me that you could take anyone at the drop of a hat, even someone who seemed healthy and strong on the outside. While I’m no longer constantly afraid of you taking my loved ones, you have taught me to celebrate each day that I am with them. Don’t think this is a compliment to you, Suicide. It was you, after all, who brought me the worst day of my life. However, after countless hours of discussion and tears, I have moved from living in fear of you, and letting your repercussions dictate my life, to simply disowning you. And I promise, I will tell my story to anyone who asks. I will honestly share my thoughts and feelings about you with them. I will do this with the hope that my story of how you have affected my family and me will help them to understand that they are loved by so many people, and that by befriending you, they will bring many other people the worst day of their life. I promise I will do whatever I can to make sure you cannot befriend any more people who I love.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah

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