This is important if someone you know has survived an attempt, or is even going through struggles with their mental health:
I love that you love me. I love that you accept it has happened and haven’t buried it under the carpet. But please, don’t mention it. My suicide attempt is mine. There are so many emotions with it that you can’t begin to comprehend because neither can I! Tell me you love me, yes. But please, don’t remind me that I was almost gone. It’s not something I will ever truly forget. And neither will you. It’s not something I need to be reminded of. Every time you do, it’s is a stab in my heart. It’s guilt and loss and grief. When I’m ready, and if it’s needed, I’ll come to you. Until then, let me focus on the future without the darkness of the past encroaching.
The reason this quote resonates with me is that when I went through the worst with my mental health, and came out of the hospital and tried to rejoin the world, so to speak, the one thing the vast majority of people struggled to do was to treat me as the same person I was before I got really sick. I saw the way they were suddenly uncomfortable around me, the way they were afraid of saying the wrong thing, the way they didn’t want to have to deal with all of “that”. If I could go back in time, the only thing I would say to them is “just be here”. You were my friend before, just be my friend now. You don’t need to fix me, you don’t need to ask about it. If I want to talk about it, I will. If I make a joke about it, it’s OK to laugh, if you want to just talk about sports, or music, go to a show, etc., that’s fine. Just don’t avoid me because you don’t know what to do or say. I understand that you don’t know that, I don’t either. But the more I can be “normal”, and do the things I used to enjoy, the better it is for me.
Alas, I can’t go back in time and tell people that. Most of them are no longer part of my life. I’m OK with that now, but it was hard to lose so many friends basically all at once. If you know someone in that boat, try not to do the same thing to them. Just be with them.