An Open Letter to the Person Contemplating Suicide

Subject: An Open Letter to the Person Contemplating Suicide
From: Kirsten Corley
Date: 23 Nov 2015

I remember being in my college dorm, awoken by the sound of my ringing cell phone at 2AM. It had been weeks now: the same phone call from the same person, and the same conversation every night.

A dear friend of mine wasn’t just suffering from depression, he was completely consumed by it. During those phone calls, he wasn’t the friend who rode shotgun with me in the summer and laughed at my jokes. He was someone I didn’t recognize.

That’s what depression does to someone, especially in the late hours of the night when serotonin levels aren’t balanced and their mind is racing with worries. It all seemed to come out at 2AM, and I listened to every word.

One of the hardest things about watching a friend suffer was the dark place he took me to as he reached for my hand. He told me about his horrible nightmares, he told me nothing was worth living for, he told me he didn’t see a future, he told me he was unhappy. He’d describe things to me that I can only compare to a horror movie.

I always reminded him that he wasn’t alone. I always reminded him that he didn’t have to worry about the things he thought he did. And after talking for a long time, we’d end the conversation.

I always told him I loved him, and how happy and lucky I was to have him in my life. He thanked me, we’d talk throughout the day and then we’d have the same conversation again come 2AM.

I knew as long as he was talking to me, he was there with me and he was safe.

My greatest fear was to wake up to a phone call that could turn into my worst nightmare. Everyday, I’d send him an inspirational quote to get him out of bed.

The conversations shifted slightly. Dark thoughts became darker actions. I wasted no time in calling his parents and forwarding messages to his brother. To this day, the hardest conversation I have ever had with anyone was when I told his parents, “He’s going to try and kill himself.”

And despite his anger towards me, I would have rather lost a friend that way than be left standing at his funeral.

So, I am going to tell you the same thing I used to tell my friend.

I know there are really horrible days. I know there are moments you can’t even get out of bed, let alone imagine tomorrow. I know what it feels like to be in such a state of darkness. You fear reaching to anyone because you’re scared of the place you’re in. I know what it feels like to be alone in a room full of people, consumed only by your rushing thoughts. I know what it feels like to be unhappy.

I know what it feels like to be sitting alone at night and begin questioning everything. I know you may have thoughts of ending your life. You may have even tried already and thank god you failed. But before you consider doing it again, I want to tell you a few things.

I want you to know you are not alone, even if it feels like you are.

I want you to know how much people love you. You are too depressed to see that right now.

I want you to know there’s a future waiting for you, if you choose to get there. In your future, you’ll know happiness. In your future, this dark cloud won’t be hovering over you, and you will meet some of the most remarkable people.

There are many wonderful days ahead of you. This heartbreak, whatever has caused it, will end.

Maybe you’re overwhelmed with pressure of perfection and you feel like you can’t keep it up anymore. Maybe you’re the star athlete with a 4.0 and you’re always happy, but inside you feel like dying. It’s okay to feel those things. That means you’re human. And although the gift of life doesn’t seem like such a gift right now, and I am asking you not to let go right now. I am begging you not to.

You may think nobody cares, but they do. You may think those bullies who told you to end your life were right. I need you to know how wrong they are.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret about bullies: bullies lose in the end. Bullies become the losers, the ones who amount to nothing, and the one’s they picked on (like you and me) come out on top, successful and well-liked by everyone. We win and they lose, I promise you that. I need you not to listen to them.

I need you here. Your parents need you here. And there is someone so special in your future waiting to meet you. Please don’t end your life. Suicide eliminates the possibility of it getting better. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I need you to trust me when I say these things you’re feeling, these dark days you are experiencing, they don’t last forever.

You’re unique, beautiful, and loved by so many. Your presence in the world, it matters. I need you to know that. And I need you to get through this. I need you not to be afraid of getting help. You’ve been so strong up to this point, and I am so proud of you for carrying this burden for as long as you have.

Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness. I need you to walk with me through this storm and together we will stand on the other side, and maybe we can even help someone else who’s felt the way you have. You getting through this and choosing not to end your life could save someone else's.

Sometimes the most beautiful people you meet in the world, sometimes the kindest people, the one’s who smile the brightest, fight the toughest battles in the dark hours of the night. I know you may feel alone, but I need you to remember we’re all alone and we’re all in it together.

I need you here. I want you here. And I am with you.

I’m asking you to do something for me. That letter you might have written or are considering writing as your final one, I want you to rip it up. Instead, I want you to write a letter to yourself in the coming years. It’s in those coming years that all of this darkness and everything bad that seems to be happening will be worth it.

You’ll come out a better stronger person because of all of this. I want you to end the letter with a thank you to your present self, for choosing not to end your life.

I hope you think twice about your decision. I hope you know you’re not alone. I’m with you. I am with you until the end - and the end, my friend, isn’t right now. The way I see, this is only the beginning.



P.S If you have overcome a suicidal past. Thank you.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255

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