Here’s one that’s been going around the web for a while, showing up in various forums, from Reddit to 9gag. It’s supposedly a passage from a therapist’s wall responsible for saving several lives.
While it’s impossible to know the veracity of such a claim, and there appears to be no known author, the content remains powerful. And this is possibly all the better, really. Sometimes unattributed advice is the best advice one can receive.
For anyone who has ever struggled with depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts and feelings, this is good stuff, and it makes sense. And even for those who haven’t, it can help provide a better perspective, and thus more understanding and compassion.
I don’t like the phrase “A cry for help.” I just don’t like how it sounds. When somebody says to me, “I’m thinking about suicide, I have a plan; I just need a reason not to do it,” the last thing I see is helplessness.
I think: Your depression has been beating you up for years. It’s called you ugly, and stupid, and pathetic, and a failure, for so long that you’ve forgotten that it’s wrong. You don’t see good in yourself, and you don’t have any hope.
But still, here you are; you’ve come over to me, banged on my door, and said, “HEY! Staying alive is REALLY HARD right now! Just give me something to fight with! I don’t care if it’s a stick! Give me a stick and I can stay alive!”
How is that helpless? I think that’s incredible. You’re like a marine: Trapped for years behind enemy lines, your gun has been taken away, you’re out of ammo, you’re malnourished, and you’ve probably caught some kind of jungle virus that’s making you hallucinate giant spiders.
And you’re still just going “Give me a stick! I’m not dying out here!”
“A cry for help” Makes it sound like I’m supposed to take pity on you. But you don’t need my pity. This isn’t pathetic. This is the will to survive. This is how humans lived long enough to become the dominant species.
With NO hope, running on NOTHING, you’re ready to cut through a hundred miles of hostile jungle with nothing but a stick, if that’s what it takes to get to safety.
All I’m doing is handing out sticks.
You’re the one staying alive.
There’s also a wonderful poster of this saying (possibly as a gift to pin up to your therapist’s wall?) featuring tumblr’s ‘Boggle The Owl’, that you can view here.