If any of you followed my other blog, you’ll know that suicide has been a factor in my family. It seems like if you have a teenager, it’s probably not much different for you. Cutting and thoughts of suicide are becoming the norm when it comes to the thoughts of teens today.
Suicide in Teens
This post was inspired by a friend of a friend who chose to end her life not long ago. She was 16, and absolutely beautiful (I’m not sharing her picture or her name). Looking at her picture made me wonder what was going through her head, and what made her choose to end her life. Then I thought, this could very well have been my daughter a few times. She’s talked and written about ending her life many times, and she’s only 14. We’ve sat down and had discussions about her cutting, which she’s thankfully put an end to, but she still shares horrible memes about suicide that make me sad and angry. Not quite as often as she did before, but they still make it to her page, and I still yell and threaten to shut down her Facebook and all forms of social media, which stops those kinds of things for a while.
While I was talking to my friend about the girl who had ended her life, I looked at my daughter and thought, this is an amazing time to start a conversation. Sierra went to school yesterday and had several panic attacks. We went to pick her up early to let her have a bit of a mental health day, and I got to realize that my beautiful girl is a whole lot like her mama. The conversation that we had a lot to do with where she is mentally, and I had a few thoughts.
Tell Someone How Much They Mean To You
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could sit your friends down and have them make a 30 second or minute video about what they love about you? Have even those who are only acquaintances do the same. Let someone know how much you think of them, so that when they’re feeling down, all they have to do is hit play? To let them know that what they think of themselves, isn’t what others think of them… I think that’s a pretty beautiful idea, even if I say so myself. I refuse to call suicide selfish, but I think that at the same time, they can’t get out of their own heads, wanting to end their pain, and they forget about the pain that their death will cause everyone else. They get so stuck in the “no one is going to care because everyone hates/dislikes/doesn’t notice me,” that they forget that there are so many people that DO love them.
Cutting and Suicide
Know that not every suicidal teen has been, or is being bullied. Some of them only have suicidal thoughts because their brain is sort of wired that way. Could we call this depression? Sure, but I’m not sure that’s all it is. I think some of it may be that the whole emo thing still hasn’t found it’s way out of our teenagers from when we were teens. It’s still “cool” to be sad all of the time, and cutting has emerged from there as well. Cutting to “let the pain out.” I never could have done that because a. I’m a wuss, and blood makes me want to barf, and b. I don’t like pain. Not one little bit. There are teens that are being bullied, though, so if you’re a parent, please pay attention to your children! We’ve lost enough of them.
Back to my thoughts on the videos… If your child is going through thoughts of suicide, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to try to get their friends and/or family to make a video telling them just how much they’re loved, and how much they’d be missed if they weren’t here. That way on their absolute worst days, there is something to look at to show them what we see when we look at them. That we don’t see ugly, stupid, dumb, whore, bitch, whatever it is that they’re seeing. That we see a beautiful person, inside and out, and that we love them more than they could ever know. That life without them would be absolutely ugly and bleak, and that we couldn’t imagine our lives without them, and we absolutely do not want to. Will it help? I hope so, but I’m not sure…It can’t hurt to try, right?
I Love You, Have a Good Day!
I do try to tell my daughter how much she is loved every single day. She doesn’t walk out the door often without hearing me say “I love you, have a good day!” and if I do happen to forget, she gets a text saying the same thing. I don’t like to send my kids out the door without that message, just in case.