I have a very heavy heart this week. The flood of emotions raging inside of me is almost as bad as the literal streets flooding outside from this week’s endless rain.
Thursday marked the beginning of Mental Health Awareness month and I’ve never felt the need to spread awareness as much as I do right now.
I was approached yesterday for advice to give a young person who is cutting. Twelve years old and this person is already trying to escape the pain they are feeling inside. It makes so sad to hear these stories, but I can relate. It takes me back to my younger years when I turned toward physical pain as an outlet to escape the torment of emotions I couldn’t deal with at the time.
I didn’t have advice. I wish there was a magic wand I could wave and this person would no longer want to harm themselves. But no such thing exists. All I have to offer is this:
There’s no perfect phrase to say to make this situation better. People cut becuase they’re unhappy with themselves or what they’re going through. They cut because what they’re feeling is so much to bear that they’d rather feel physical pain than emotional pain. Sometimes it’s a cry for help. The only thing you can do is make sure they know how loved they are and that, whatever they’re going through, will eventually pass. Make sure they know that you can see what they’re doing to themself and give them resources. Be willing to be an outlet with open arms and listening ears. Sometimes, that’s all you really can do.
A person that is close to my heart, and is someone I grew up with, was recently affected by suicide. All of a sudden I had a flood of messages coming in asking what could, or should, be said in a situation like this for the grieving family members. I was at a loss along with everyone else.
I sat. I cried. I reflected on this family and on my own past situation. I could feel my heart breaking.
What do you say?
I love you. I’m here. We can talk; we can sit in silence. I’m here.
That was the best that I could do.