Step Out of The Darkness

By Austin Cowan
Assistant Web Content Director

Recently I attended an Out of the Darkness Community Walk, which is an event made to fight suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention puts on these walks to encourage people contemplating suicide to not go through with the act and to help people not struggling with suicide to feel more comfortable talking about the subject with those who are. Many people in the world are affected by suicide whether they have contemplated it or not. When I participated in an Out of The Darkness walk I found the entire experience to be very supportive. My family was devastated when my father committed suicide when I was just a child. Since then I have discussed how his self-inflicted death has made me feel because it was difficult to find other people who have been through what I had been outside of my family. Attending this walk surrounded me with people who both empathized with me and wanted to support me. To anyone struggling with suicide or affected by it, I hope that by recapping my Out of The Darkness experience you too can find the strength to fight against suicide too.

Why Suicide is Not Worth It

You will regret it.

People who chose to commit suicide often times regret their decision before they die. A great example of people regretting their choice to commit suicide are suicide survivors who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. In the video above Kevin recalls his suicide story and how happy he is to not have died. Kevin immediately regretted his choice after jumping off the bridge and will continue to deal with his regret as he deals with the long-term effects of his suicide attempt. Kevin’s family will forever be worried about his mental health and he will have to continue dealing with his depression. The point I am trying to make is that suicide is a regrettable decision. If anyone out there is struggling with suicidal thoughts just know that ending your life is a mistake.

You will be missed.

Many people who commit suicide do so because they believe a lie. Some examples of lies believed by people contemplating suicide include the idea that the world would be better off without them, they are not loved by anyone, or that they deserve to die. Whatever reason a person uses to justify suicide is a lie. Suicide is never the answer. In 2016, The New York Times published an article that says that suicide has rates have hit an all time high for the last thirty years. To be honest, news like this breaks my heart because I lost my father to suicide when I was just a young boy. When he died, my family was devastated. Whatever that went through his mind before he died, none of us will ever know, but I know that he is missed. His wife, children, brothers and sisters and friends to this day miss having him here. If anyone contemplating suicide believes that nobody in their life cares about them, just know that you are cared about. When someone takes their own life people do grieve for them. Suicide hurts more people than just the victim.

Life is short but it is filled with choices. If life seems to no longer be worth living, then make your life one worth living for. Step into the light and bask in the love of the people who hold you dear. Life is an adventure, so do not end yours early like my father did with his.

Ways to Step Out of The Darkness

  • austin darkness c
    Attending an Out of the Darkness walk can connect you with people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or the impact of suicide. Photo contributed by Austin Cowan.

    Friends and family can make life joyful, so if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please go to somebody trustworthy and seek their counsel. If it is hard to find a trustworthy person then contact a suicide prevention agency and talk with someone on their staff. Suicidal thoughts are a symptom of a mental disease that needs to be treated in order to get better. The only way to cure a disease is to seek treatment for it so please seek help.

  • Sometimes stress is a large reason why people contemplate suicide. I am going to be straight to the point here, if a person has a job or career that makes them so stressed out that they consider killing themself then they need to quit immediately. No job/career is worth killing oneself over.
  • Find a hobby you are passionate about and never stop it. When people are contemplating suicide they are most likely depressed, but fortunately hobbies can help people cope with depression. I view hobbies as an ingredient in life which provides joy, and joy is a side effect of a happier life. Finding something you are passionate about can give you a reason to live your life.
  • Go find a loving church group and surround oneself with love. I actually suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts at one point in my life. However, when I joined my local church I found that my faith in Christianity allowed me to find worth in my life. I discovered that my life is important and that I am loved. By getting involved with church I found myself being loved like I had never known before.
  • Last but not least, going on an Out of The Darkness Community Walk can help people avoid suicide. Potential suicide victims can find support, love and joy while surrounded by people who understand what they are going through. There are many ways for a person contemplating suicide to choose life over death so go ahead and try them all. A person’s effort to find love is worth the expense, especially while lives are literally on the line.

14 Reasons Why Life Is Worth Living

  1. Spending time with family.
  2. Making memories with friends.
  3. Hanging out with your pet(s).
  4. Being with or discovering your soul mate.
  5. Waking up to the sunshine in the morning.
  6. Road trips.
  7. Food. Food. Food.
  8. Trying new things, over and over again.
  9. Going on trips to new cities, states, countries and etc.
  10. The ability one has to make a difference in society.
  11. Sitting next to a campfire, while roasting marshmallows, with friends.
  12. Getting lost in your favorite music.
  13. Parties.
  14. Finding your inner self.

There are numerous reasons why life is worth living. I want people struggling with suicide to remember that no matter how many reasons someone has to justify suicide there are always more reasons for them to keep on living.

Suicide is never the solution. If anyone out there is currently contemplating suicide, find someone to talk to about what is going on within your head. Overall, I urge anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts to be brave. Be brave enough to hope that life can and will get better for you and the people around you. Every person is put on Earth for a reason which means that you (yes, YOU!) are precious. Make the choice, step out of the darkness and into the light.

Featured image by Austin Cowan.

hannahwist

ktsw web content editor & music journalist. finding magic every day.

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