In the United States, September is National Suicide Awareness month. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of depression and suicidality nationally and globally have increased tremendously, and our community at Biola is not immune to these impacts. This letter is for those of us who are struggling, for those of us who know someone who is struggling, and for those of us who want to know how to understand the experience of those who are struggling. You are not alone.
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), text HOME to 741741, or call 911 immediately.
I may not know you and you may not know me but there is something I do know that we shared in common at some point. I know that you’re hurting. I know that you are exhausted. I know that you want out.
I know that you want to get rid of the demons. The ones who cling and weigh you down.
I know how stubborn they can be, how much control you feel they have over you.
I know that you spend your morning silencing them, bargaining with them. I know that your afternoons are filled with anything to distract yourself from the lies they tell you. I know your nights are spent swimming through the doubt and trying not to let it drown you.
Most importantly, I know how much effort you put into hiding them. That smile that you plaster over your beaten and weary soul—you’re exhausted.
You’ve numbed yourself waiting for the day you can fight back and walk into the light where you can finally breathe again.
And finally, I know that right now it feels like that place is unreachable.
But, I know right now that I want you to live. I need you to push through. I know that you have the capacity to do it.
I don’t have the relationship, nor the right but—I’m pleading you to stick around.
I’m pleading with you to stay and to endure your painful, stinging, drowning now because I have so much excitement and eagerness to see your then.
Your then is a place of potential, of beauty, and of strength. Your wounds will heal to reveal marks of valor and perseverance. Your days will be filled with hope and eagerness for every tomorrow and it is the tomorrow that I hope you stick around for. You’ve got this friend. You are loved and you are strong.
A friend who knows.
P.S. If someone you love shows signs of suicidal tendencies, thank you for your patience, your tenderness, and your sensitivity. Thank you for the hours of sitting in patience and the silent hugs that spoke more than any words could have. Thank you for choosing to admit that you don’t know what to say rather than trying to fix us. Thank you for loving us regardless of where we are in life. We thank God for you.
[Signs of suicidal tendencies include withdrawal, sudden calmness, “making preparations,” hopelessness, and a disturbed sleep schedule.]
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts right now please reach out to someone - whether through the US national hotline or Biola’s resources:
Available 24 hours, 7 days a week:
- Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741
- Call Biola’s CAMPUS SAFETY office at (562) 903-6000 to speak with an on-call staff person
Available during normal business hours: