I’ve always been a lover of stories and one of my favorite things about people is that they have so many stories to tell. I think telling stories is of prime importance. Stories are the only way we can grasp at the rest of humanity and truly attempt to understand one another. Our stories are such a large part of who we are. As the Doctor would say, we are all just stories in the end.
Suicide has been a part of my story for years, slipping in when I least expected it. We do not tell these stories and so they sneak up on us. Instead of sharing, we quietly remember the first time we are touched by pain so deep that it seems like the end, in our lives or the lives of people we love. As long as we stay silent and as long as these stories hide in the shadows, we cannot ever escape them. We cannot see the coming light. I believe that light is always coming, but when we hide from our stories, it becomes all the harder for the light to shine through.
Most of the stories I have regarding suicide aren’t entirely mine to tell at least to all of the Internet. But this week, I encourage you to tell the stories that are yours. Tell them with your voice or your keyboard or your paintbrush or your song. Bring on the light in all those dark places. Tell your story so that someone else can hear it and know that they are not facing the end. Let them know that the light is coming for them too. Tell them it will not always be so dark, but also that you know the darkness too. Tell them that you survived and keep surviving it. Tell your story just to hear your own voice, a voice that no one else has. Don’t ignore the darkness. Don’t forget the light.
Maybe you aren’t ready to share your story yet, and that’s ok. Please know that it’s ok. But also know, that someday you might be ready. Let yourself be filled with hope.
No one else can play your part is the theme of National Suicide Prevention Week this year and I can’t think of a truer thing. Everyone who has touched my life has played a part that was exclusively theirs. I have been touched by a network of unique people in both positive and negative ways. And I have touched them. Life is so interconnected. You cannot ever truly be alone. And you also cannot ever be replaced in the network. No one else can play your part. I’d like to add to that, just a little, too. No one else can tell your story.