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Suicide Prevention: It could be you

I've talked about my depression and anxiety before. I've even talked about my checking myself in to a local mental health facility. But I haven't really talked about suicide.

Twenty years ago, if you had told me I'd battle the urge to commit suicide, I'd never believe you. When it happened to me, I didn't tell anyone. It seemed too dark and too scary to speak out loud - as if the very act of talking about it would somehow bring me a step closer to the act.

I thought about all the pills and alcohol in my house, and how taking them might stop the pain. I thought about crashing my car. I knew a good spot, I thought.

When those thoughts got too real, I checked myself in.

After I'd been in the hospital for a few days, something amazing happened. I sat in a small group and listened to people give voice to the same thoughts I was having. It gave me courage. For the first time, I talked about my struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide. And people listened. They talked to me, and supported me. I felt safe - safe enough to keep talking - and that saved me.

If you're having these thoughts, talk to someone, preferably a professional. If you're not sure where to start, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255. Someone there will talk with you and help you.

Give yourself the chance to speak. It will save your life.

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