I spoke to a friend recently about his life. It was an easy going conversation centered mostly around relationships. My friend, who we’ll call Carter, had his first real relationship in high school. It lasted 2 years, and it ended bad, as often relationships do. It ended because his girlfriend cheated on him. Carter didn’t take that well. He loved her and it hurt him to the point where he tried to take his life. He woke up in a hospital and has since then, thankfully, turned his life around.

It was unreal for me to hear that. It was unreal because I’ve never know anyone who has actually ever attempted suicide. I’ve read articles about it, heard songs about it, I’ve even had a friend of a friend of a friend who knew someone who’d tried to commit suicide. But this was the first time I’d known someone so close to me who’d attempted it. And that shook me a little.

It made me remember being in the hospital and fighting for my own life. It made me bitter to think that Carter had just tried to take his own life away by choice when I hadn’t even had one.

Life is painful and it’s hard. And there are days where it’s so difficult to keep going. But suicide is not the answer. A permanent solution to a temporary problem is never the answer. Confide in your family and friends. Talk about what’s bothering you. People are willing to listen. Someone is willing to help.

Never forget that you are important. You are valuable. You matter. Don’t you dare let anyone make you feel like less of a person.

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