May Your Light Not Go Out

RubyWarning:  This post discusses suicide.  Not graphically, and not in detail, but if the topic is triggering to you, you may want to choose not to read it.

Today is 10 September 2012, a day that has been designated World Suicide Awareness Day.  I know that this is a very frightening subject for so many people, even those without mental illness, to talk about.  But do you know what I think is even more frightening than discussing suicide?  Not discussing suicide.

So many people suffer from so many things that make them feel they are alone, and that there is only one solution to their problems, one that can never be undone.  And the more we talk about it – openly, sensitively, frankly, and with no shame (or shaming) – the less alone they will feel.  I love so very much this representation that I found:

image via timeanddate.com

One hand holding on to another.  One human telling another human that they aren’t alone.  One person sharing their strength and understanding with another person.

Our Alice said in an email earlier this evening, It takes something from all of us when they take away themselves.”

I never wanted to post about statistics on suicide.  They may be sobering, but people are not statistics.  They are mothers and fathers and husbands and wives and sisters and brothers and best friends and children and grandparents and cousins and that guy at work who is always quiet but so very kind to you.  They are often the people you would least suspect of being that desperate and desolate.

And at least one of them is reading this.  And that scares me, because I don’t know who it is, but I know they need understanding and love and the knowledge that no, they aren’t alone, and yes, it does get better.  I give you my word of honor that it does.  You just need to reach out your hand for help, so that you have time to discover this.  Please don’t try to go through it alone.  You aren’t alone, no matter how much you may feel it.

image via World Health Organization

If you are in crisis or thinking of suicide, please contact one of the resources listed:

We have readers from so many countries, if I have made any mistakes, or you can add to the list of resources, please let me know in the comments, or privately at acanvasoftheminds@gmail.com so that I may make additions or corrections as needed.  All emails will be held in the strictest confidence, though please note, I am not in any way qualified as a counselor.

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Your light is beautiful.  Don’t let it go out.

© Ruby Tuesday and A Canvas Of The Minds 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruby Tuesday and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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30 thoughts on “May Your Light Not Go Out

  1. Reblogged this on Diversity is Art and commented:
    Right now I don’t know what to say about suicide but I think everyone should read this, it’s important to remember that there is hope, life can be hard but it’s definitely worth living.

  2. Reblogged this on Sloane Square and commented:
    A lovely write up posted today by Ruby over at A Canvas Of The Minds. Today is World Suicide Awareness Day, and since few can speak as eloquently as Ruby, I’d like to simply share her piece:

  3. I wish I could say more but I have good reason to say just how much I support the sentiments raised here. For now, I’ll just say that. Nothing more.

  4. Wonderful post. People are afraid to talk about this subject but if we were more aware and open, we might prevent some tragedies. I always take this subject seriously. Thanks for the post.

  5. I feel like this post should be made a “sticky” post. Could you put it as a tab at the top so people can find the numbers easily when they discover Canvas, just incase they need them? Just a thought 😉 xox

    • I think it’s an excellent thought, and others have suggested it, too. It’s a wonderful idea, we’ll sort something out for sure. xoxo

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  7. Thanks, Ruby, for this important post!
    The number and organisation you give for the Netherlands is for the UK!
    In the Netherlands you go to http://www.113online.nl or phone 0900-1130113. You might chat or phone with a volunteer. You can also get in touch with a professional therapist.

  8. My father committed suicide when I was very young, so the topic is very close to me. I must say that I don’t regret that he did what he did. I’ve come to the conclusion that (at least for me personally) the way he died was part of him. Unlike most people he choose the way and the day he wanted to die. I think if you want to love a person, you have to cherish him or her completely, embrace every part of them.

    That said, I wish he had seen an alternative or had had somebody who would have been able to take him by the hand and get through his “dark phase”. I guess my message to the other people who lost somebody this way is: reach out to the living, but be at peace with the dead.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • I’m very sorry that this happened in your life, and in the lives of your family. I do think it’s wonderful that you seem to have made a peace with it, and understand it was your father’s choice. And I think your message is enlightened and beautiful. Too often people spend their lives in sadness over someone they have lost, something they cannot change. The best way to honor those who have died is to take care of the living.

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    • Thank you for your input on the resources in Australia. I had to do a great deal of hunting and pecking and trying to figure out the best organizations outside of the U.S.

      I’m so sorry you had such a tragedy as that. Suicide leaves none of us untouched, which is why it’s so very important to keep the conversation going.

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