It is National Suicide Prevention Week, and today (Thursday) is World Suicide Prevention Day. I’ve observed online activities undertaken by To Write Love On Her Arms (TWOLHA) before, but often avoided participating. I told someone yesterday how much turning 40 felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, enabling me to share without fear (or less fear). It felt like an excuse to publicly tackle why “You’ll See Me Tomorrow,” TWOLHA’s writing prompt for the campaign.
I also saw my college classmate Anis Mojgani post his reply via his website yesterday (I’ve written about him and his influence on my life from afar in the past). I typed it up my response to the writing prompt provided by TWLOHA and pasted into the PDF TWLOHA provided on their website and have shared it as a JPG both as the post’s image and via some of those social media platforms people can find me (showing off just how geeky I’ve become during these last twenty years). Considering the size of the image I’ve posted, I’ve shared the text below as well.
I’m going to invite you to share your thoughts as well, either below or however else you feel like doing it.
Words can sting with the strength of one thousand punches to the face, but receiving a smile or a hug from someone who cares can soothe so much.
Yoga, subways, weekend drives (with one eye always open), and wandering through unfamiliar streets whenever possible.
Because I fear time, but chase clocks. I enjoy watching the craft of keeping time, and the mystery of passing through it.
I’m learning others lash out because they hurt or want to hurt, regardless of whether they actually want me to hurt too. They don’t seem to care either way, I’m learning how to do so more often.
I’ve learned whether people care or not, and how it doesn’t matter so long as I can find ways to become more comfortable with myself.
I won’t know if not being here makes a difference if I’m not here.
I love the ability to escape via white lines, right angles, curves, and grass. And order. Always order.
Sitting on the porch during a steady rain, watching and hoping my worries are being washed away. Putting one foot in front of the other, hoping I can run my problems away, even if they only escape for a moment before fear sucks them back to the forefront.
Knowing there will always be stories to be told, and people willing to listen to those stories. Trying to give voice to those issues helps to give voice to my own. There’s still a world to explore as well, even as I know I’ve barely scratched the surface to start the journey (finding another part of myself around every corner). Wondering if I can ever be as good as Ed Bradley, or even if I should try?
Semicolons as buttons on bags and tattoos on bodies means knowing someone is battling similar issues, even if a nod is all that’s needed to feel relief temporarily.
Understanding that someone will never really tell you the reasons why, and accepting it will never change, even as they occasionally check in on my life and want to share theirs, without apologizing for never truly explaining the hurt.
Saying something about this pushes some away, but pulls though I need so much closer, a great reminder of what really matters, and why rainbows can bring so much joy to me.
Because I need to be able to write a story no one else can for me.
There are other reasons to be sure. The friends from college that this existence left way too soon, seemingly on the cusp of finally having it all go their way after suffering for way too long. Always wanting to be able to answer the question, “What if I did this instead?” Sitting calmly as a cat decides he wants to keep you from doing what you think you need to do. The very idea of still wanting to find answers to questions. The idea of knowing this never really ends…
Why will we see you tomorrow?
Also published on Medium.