This blog post is part of the World Suicide Prevention D
When Melanie of Dear Debt tweeted that she was looking for people to participate in her suicide prevention blog tour, I emailed her immediately. Suicide has never been a direct part of my life, but it’s touched me rather profoundly in an indirect way. I wanted to chime in and share my support for those that are dealing with thoughts of self-harm.
Firstly, I’d like to say that I have never dealt with suicidal thoughts. It’s not something I can speak to from personal experience. I’ve never lost anyone to suicide either. My experience is very much so that of an outsider, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that.
Three years ago, a friend came into my life who has attempted suicide in the past. We’ve grown close, and I can say that this person has made my life better. When I think about them wanting to self-harm, my heart aches. When I think of my life without this person, my mind is blown.
They have been a source of support, of love, and of kindness to me. This friend makes me laugh so hard I cry. This friend has listened to me when I’m crying and upset. They are a giant in my little world. Without them, my life would lose a shade of color.
It’s so blindingly clear to me what a gift this friend is to the world. They are compassionate, and loving, and considerate. They freely give of themself. I find this friend to be one of the most remarkable people I know. I even wrote them a little note once that said ‘I’m so lucky to be your friend!’ because I really think I am blessed to have them in my life.
Yet this friend struggles to see that value in themself. At times, they see no value in themself. Suicide can seem like a logical answer to them. Why not do the world a favor, they think, and rid it of my terrible self?
I don’t know what it’s like to struggle with thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself, or end your life. But I do know that people have amazing, powerful impacts on others in their lives. Even if you believe that you are nothing, you could be making a difference in someone’s life by being yourself.
That’s what my friend has done for me. They have made an impact in my life that I don’t think will ever go away. Even if our friendship ended today, I’ll carry the imprints of our friendship on me for the rest of my life. That’s not a writer’s dramatic hyperbole- it’s a simple fact.
Melanie wrote that she gets a lot of emails about people who want to hurt themselves because of their debt. My loans were a big part of the toughest time in my life. They can be a crushing source of negativity.
If your debt is weighing on you in a scary kind of way, I encourage you to reach out to someone. Call the number above, or turn to friends and family. Debt is not forever, and it’s no reason to end your life. If you feel like you’re backed into a corner you can’t escape from, try to remember that you may be the ray of sunshine in someone else’s life.
If you feel like you have no one to talk to, email me. firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to talk to you if you need help.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.