Discussion and Giveaway: World Suicide Prevention Day

today is world suicide prevention day

And in the states, this week is National Suicide Prevention week.  I was inspired by a good friend and lovely author, Jess Fortunato, to highlight it.  

click here to read her very moving post, and here to get a FREE book! 

I was lucky.  I never tried to kill myself.  That doesn't mean that I had the ideal growing-up experience.  At school, I hardly had a single real friend from third to eighth grade, unless you count that lovely year I spent with my good friend Tracey before she moved.  

I wasn't cool.  I wasn't pretty.  I had baby fat, braces, and glasses that were always inexplicably crooked.  People teased me for getting good grades.  Or they ignored me.  My so-called friend, whom we'll call 'J', decided that, in eighth grade, we "needed space."  Thanks to the school's lovely assigned lunch table system, I was forced to sit with her and her more desirable friends for three weeks until we could switch tables.  I pretended to be invisible.  I buried my nose in a book.  I went to the bathroom to hide.  

I was lucky.  The day of table switching, I sat alone.  Ready for a term of total isolation.  Humiliation.  Until another outcast came up to me, and asked me if I wanted to sit with her, and her friends.  

it's amazing what one act of kindness can do 

High school was better.  I made friends.  I wasn't exactly Ms. Popular, but I didn't have to worry about sitting alone at the lunch table, either.  In college, I was lucky to meet some of the most wonderful people I've ever met.  

Then I went to grad school.  I knew no one.  I had just been broken up with.  My so-called best friend stopped speaking to me, forever.  I didn't know if I could make it.  

But I have.  I've been lucky.  I've had friends, and close family.  But not everyone has that.  Only there is one thing that no one can take away from you.  And that's your head.  Sometimes it's your enemy, but it doesn't have to be.  Because you can pick up a book and let it fill your head.  Let the author's world replace all the dark thoughts.  Find friends in books until the real world gets a clue.  

never give up 

I've been there.  I've cried myself to sleep every night.  I've been reckless, impulsive, self-damaging.  

It doesn't have to be like that.  Depression hurts like a bullet to the gut, but it can be healed.  

find your strength 

And don't be afraid to ask for help.  From a therapist.  From a friend.  From a teacher.  It feels embarrassing, weak, hard to connect.  Guess what?  There's nothing wrong with asking for help.  

And if you need to find the strength to ask first, go grab a book.  Breathe someone else's strength, and take it as your own.  

In honor of this week, I'll be giving away a copy of 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, a book that I previously reviewed and love beyond measure.  It spoke to me during one of the worst times of my life, when I thought there was no light.  I hope it can be a light for you.  This month, I'll be reading and reviewing other books that deal with tough, real-life teen issues, beginning with Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  

you're never alone 

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.” 
― Jay AsherThirteen Reasons Why

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