something not easy to talk about, but it is in being silent that we lose our ability to prevent it.
This is a post about my experience, but more so about something even more important – How we can help others who feel hopeless and helpless. So, please bear with me while I tell my story. Then I promise to get to the part where I tell you how YOU can make a difference.
I have struggled with depression since I was a teenager. Maybe even before that. There have been many times throughout my life that I felt hopeless. That it felt like there was little in life to live for. When just functioning normally through the day was a struggle that seemed too heavy a burden.
I have always been fortunate to have wonderful people in my life who were able to pull me through those moments. Often without even realizing that was what they were doing. They were just there, loving me, caring for me, taking care of me. Then there came the day (well, night actually) when even the people who cared about me didn’t matter. Yes, that is a harsh statement but it is true. I had hit rock bottom. The point where the pain of being me even outweighed how much I loved the people in my life. The night I decided I could not wake up even one more time. I said my goodbyes… sending emails to treasured friends asking them to please take care of each other and my children…and I took an action intended to put me to sleep and not let me wake. Fortunately, it did not work. Friends rescued me and made sure I got the help I needed. That moment changed my life for the better. It gave me a new perspective. Does this mean I don’t still have down moments? No. It just means that I know how important having someone to talk to, someone to get you through those crucial moments can be.
The Kristin Brooks Hope Center and IMAlive.org provide just that. IMAlive volunteers have talked several thousand hopeless people off the proverbial ledge by supporting them through their most desperate moments. The online crisis chat is currently available most hours of the day but to be truly effective, they need to be available all hours of the day and night.
On September 10th, National Suicide Prevention Day, the Kristin Brooks Hope Center is hosting the first IMAlive 24-7 Giving Day. People across the country are raising $50,000 to fund 24-7 service of the IMAlive.org online crisis chat.
How can you help? Donate. Fundraise. Spread the word. Form a team and compete in the fundraising challenge. All of the above! Check the link for more information on how you can make a difference.