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Musings on suicide: love might save a life

*Warning: this post may contain triggers*

I’ve been struggling with living.

But it makes me appreciate those moments when I laugh, when I am amongst friends, and experience the kindness of strangers, even more.

I’ve been thinking a lot, about how many of our friends also struggle, but in silence, only to take their lives, leaving us in mourning.This week it was Katie Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Next week, we don’t know who it will be.

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It might not be someone you know, but it is still someone. Someone with hopes and dreams, wanting to live a fulfilling life, but for whatever reason, they choose to opt out.

Every time I hear someone ends their life, it breaks my heart. I hurt, as if it is my own loss. And it is. That person is me, and I am them. I have almost died a few times; but I was fortunate.

Why some of us don’t ask for help

I was saved by love.

There were people who were constantly looking out for me, (not just when I was vulnerable), and even when I was being difficult and reclusive. They noticed things like changes in my mood when it plummeted; If they had any doubt when I was missing, they acted.They got me the medical help I needed on time. So I could live to fight another day. But for some person, somewhere, there is no coming back.

There is love. And I realise, when I strip away all else, it is that that sustains me. Please love. Love with all you have. Be kind to people you meet. You never know. It could save a life. Click To Tweet

I was told off this week by a friend for not speaking up when I was in a really bad place. But I thought about it, and realised it was because I have visited this dark place so many times, I just couldn’t bother to tell anyone who cared. I thought to myself, ‘this is old,’ ‘ You know what will happen, you’ve been here before.’

Read more: Supporting suicidal loved ones

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It is partly exhaustion, and being too familiar with this place you have visited, that you’ve become acquainted with. You feel it is pointless. You feel like a broken record if you tell a friend. They’ve heard it before. You can recite their responses. You can recite the emergency phone numbers. There is stigma. It is tiring.

You are walking along a path and it feels like no matter what direction you take, all roads lead to the same place.

This is one of those things, that even thought I’ve been through it, it still baffles me. But I know it is wanting to leaving this world because there is a vacancy of some sort. Because despite all that is beautiful, there is a huge vacuum, despite all the beauty one has seen and heard. Sometimes it is because of all the pain one has seen and heard. And felt. Sometimes there is a calling for more, a search for something, somewhere that one cannot find.


But this is where we must step in to carry our friends when they cannot manage it on their own.

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Love might save a life

There is no one answer for this, I am only trying to reason it out aloud. Maybe I am a hypocrite, because I struggle how I do yet it rips my insides apart to hear that another fellow human friend-sister-brother did not make it.

...We must step in to carry our friends when they cannot manage it on their own. Click To Tweet

What is it about this life? about its gut-wrenching  pains, its deep sorrows; its euphoric joys? It is pleasure and pain. Beauty and ashes. Darkness and light. All we desire and despise, wrapped up in a package with a bow.

It takes courage to live. But it also takes courage to die. And that grieves me. Because every day I decide to live, another person, someone, chooses to die. Their struggle is my struggle, but they have now gone while I still have a chance.

All that has been keeping me is love. Love in this mixed-up world. I see it everyday, amidst the blackness. Amidst the chaos, the wars and politics. I see the love. I feel it, and experience it. At work, at home, across the seas from my soul friends and amongst strangers I meet in passing. There is love. And I realise, when I strip away all else, it is that that sustains me.

Please love.

Love with all you have, and accept it too. Be kind to people you meet.

You never know.

It could save a life.

Gentle hugs xxx

P.S and remember you’re never alone x

If you are in the US, UK or Canada you can call the phone numbers below if you need support. If you’re thinking of hurting yourself please call your local emergency numbers.

UK – Samaritans –      116 123 (UK)
Emergency: 999                                                          

US –   1-800-273-8255 
Emergency: 911

Canada – Canada Suicide Prevention Service  (toll-free) 1-833-456-4566
Emergency: 911

Photos by Tim Mossholder and Ahmed zayan

Alisha Nurse is a curry-loving writer & comms professional who holds a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism (International) from the University of Westminster, London. Get in touch with any feedback or questions via the contact form in the 'About' section.

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