Perhaps you watched the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, in the early seasons, and believe that if you suicide, you’ll be around later to watch the way your death affects the people who hurt you but there are no guarantees about that. For all anyone knows, death is final. If you believe in an afterlife, you likely believe in a Higher Power who ensures everything happens for a reason, meaning you’re right where you’re supposed to be. If you don’t believe in a Higher Power, then death can seem like the ultimate escape, an end to your suffering. However, as wonderful as that might currently sound to you, death is a permanent solution to an often-temporary problem. Since the Netflix show gave you 13 Reasons Why, I’ve compiled a list of 13 Reasons Why Not, and believe me, there are many more.
- If you’re considering suicide as a way to send a message to someone who hurt you, know that the best revenge is a life well lived. The body has the potential to overcome extreme emotional pain if you give yourself time and space to allow healing to happen. You may be the lowest you’ve ever been today, but it could be the catalyst that propels you into feeling your best weeks, months, or years from now.
- You don’t get to choose what happens to you; you do choose how you respond to it. Bad things happen to good people all the time. It can make you feel like you want to just give up—but persevere. Life comes at you fast, and you never know what is just around the next corner.
- What people say about you says more about them than it does about you. When a person feels the need to bully or put down someone, it generally means they don’t know how to feel good without making someone else feel bad. It’s their character flaw, not yours.
- You may think no one cares but I care, there are 24/7 hotlines backed by people who care and innumerable people you haven’t met yet who will care in the future if you just hold on. You cannot know what your future will bring. You may meet the person of your dreams, start a family and have children who see you as a light in their lives.
- There are people who want to help, so tell people the truth of your story until you discover someone helpful. Of course, you may find some who don’t know how to help but keep trying. There are good people who are trained to help people with problems like yours. Keep looking.
- Know your value and worth, even if others don’t see it yet. Everyone in your life may have told you that you are worthless and will never amount to anything. These people may even be your parents, and if so, I’m going to guess that your parents also grew up hearing these messages. They don’t know any better, but it doesn’t mean they are telling the truth. They are doing the best they can, and their best is definitely lacking, but don’t believe those people who can’t see what’s special about you.
- Paulo Coelho says, “Always remember the proverb: This too shall pass. Your negative feelings won’t last forever; there’s a light at the end of every tunnel. It might not happen today or tomorrow, but you’ll feel better eventually.”
- You may be a victim of a viral post that shows you in a compromised situation. This is horribly unfortunate and extremely painful. I am so very sorry that happened to you, and I’m sure it feels like it will never end, however, there’s always the chance of a brand-new start. You can use your experience to help others in similar situations, use the notoriety to your benefit, or move to a new area for a fresh start.
- Sharing divides the pain. Find someone you can talk to. It could be a friend, an adult, a religious leader, a counselor or even a pet. Keep talking until you find someone who makes it feel effortless. There are people who care. When you share what is happening with you, you can strengthen your support system.
- No matter what you think right now, life will not always be this way. Even if you can’t remember a time when you were happy, it doesn’t mean you never will be. I am a firm believer in the balance of life, which means we are on a roller coaster ride—there are highs to balance out the lows. If you’ve had your share of lows, know your highs are coming. Be patient, claim them and await their arrival.
- If you are the victim of trauma, do not allow those who have hurt you to win. Survive and triumph instead. You may have had an unimaginable thing happen to you, but I have worked with many trauma survivors who healed from their trauma. Yes, it takes time, but it is possible, with the right help and information.
- Queen Elizabeth II taught us that, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” If you are grieving the loss of something or someone important to you, love was in that space first. Focus on how fortunate you were to experience that deep love in your lifetime for however long you had it. Do not close yourself off to love to avoid grief. Grieve and focus on the love, not the pain. Love never ends.
- I have a podcast called, “Life equals Choices; Choices equal Life.” Our life consists of all the choices we have made. If you choose suicide now, it will prevent you from making any choices in the future. Never limit your ability to make choices. It is the most important thing we do. You never know when your next choice is the thing that is going to turn your life around.
The main thing to remember is that you can be in so much excruciating pain that you think you can’t possibly survive it, or you think it will never get any better, but you can survive and the pain can lessen and even disappear over time. Try to remind yourself that one day, you will be free from what is plaguing you now. It requires endurance and patience to get to the other side. If you are looking for options of what to do instead, check out our last blog.