Suicide: It Affects More than Just One

Back in high school I remember waking up one morning to text message from a friend, a person I thought I was fairly close to. It wasn’t unusual for her to message me, but this text was a bit different. The entire length of it was her apologizing. Saying she was sorry for things she had done in the past, for being an awful person and treating everyone she knew like crap and so on. As I read the entire paragraph my heart was sinking. I knew she had had hard times in the past, that she had had some low points. I knew she was having issues and I knew that even though I was a good friend of hers that I didn’t know everything. I was so scared for her, I didn’t know if she was going to attempt something, I didn’t know if this text message was her way of saying goodbye. I was extremely worried for my friend, for her wellbeing and safety. 

To say it plainly, I was scared. 

I was desperate to get a hold of her, firing message after message to her and waiting for a reply and even coming close to calling a teacher that I knew could get a hold of her mom if need be. I was going out of my mind thinking of what could happen. Finally, she messaged me back, told me not to worry and that she felt she had to make amends, but she wasn’t going to do anything. I only relaxed a little bit and made sure that an adult we both had known for quite a while was aware of what had happened. 

For a while after I couldn’t help but think of what would have happened. How the circumstances might have been different had I not been around to receive the text. I wondered what she might’ve done if I hadn’t been there for her if she ever needed to talk. But I also thought about how this situation could’ve been avoided altogether. I’ll never know why she felt the need to apologize for everything she did, why the need to do so came on so suddenly but I knew that it was something she needed to do so I wasn’t going to argue. Instead I was going to be there for her. 

I had never had a scare like that before in my life, where I thought I was going to lose a friend, and it brought up so many questions. How can I be there for someone without pushing them? Do I give them space or smother them with attention? How can I help? 

I hate to say it, but this type of situation is common too, and we may not even realize it until it happens. All the emotions I felt are emotions I’m sure many others have gone through too, but it’s important to also realize that many people aren’t going to flat out tell you that something is wrong. While you may be close, you may never see what they’re going through and that is not your fault. We, as friends or family, can only dig so deep. 

There are so many simple things to help people who feel as if suicide is there only option. Include them, bring them along, talk with them, but one of the most important ones is be there for them. Create a space for them to be themselves and express themselves. Sometimes all anybody needs is a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen. 

If you ever feel like what you do isn’t enough, that they are going to endanger themselves, tell someone. You aren’t betraying them, even though it may feel like it. You can also direct them to different people and hotlines to talk. 

Please never fell like you or anyone else is alone. Even the smallest act can change someone’s day. 

 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 

Call: 1800-273-8255

Chat: 

Suicidepreventionlifeline.org

 

Agora Crisis Center

Call: 505-277-3013

         866-HELP-1-NM

         800-273-TALK 

Chat:

Agoracares.org

 

New Mexico Crisis and Access Line 

Call: 1-855-662-7474