We Need More Safe People

 I know the feeling of thinking they’d be better off without you.

I know what it’s like to think that’s crazy and to think it’s completely true.

I know the feeling of wanting to unburden others from my me-ness, from the work it takes to be in relationship with me, someone so unsettled and uncertain and unsure. 

Being a person who struggles with maintaining consistent emotional equilibrium comes with so many challenges. 

When I hear about people like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade I first think of them with love and empathy and so much understanding. “The belief in the ‘they'd-be-better-off thoughts just got too real,” I think. And then I think about their children, about how certain I am their children don’t feel better off and how brutal that juxtaposing reality is. 

What could have helped them? What could have kept them here? While I have never experienced suicidal ideation, I’ve had they’d-be-better-off-without-the-weight-of-me thoughts and have experienced the fear of saying those words out loud and then — the relief that comes when someone can hear it and not assume you’re planning to harm yourself.

What I think I’m staying here is that we need to be able to talk about all of the thoughts that come before the suicidal thoughts. I don’t know if that could’ve helped Anthony or Kate or any of the roughly 3,000 people who sufferingly choose to end their earthly lives each day. But I know that for me, speaking heavy words to safe people helps me feel like I belong. And belonging keeps allowing me to stay. 

Be a safe person for someone. Please. 

More and more the individual suffering people are enduring is just ripping my guts out. I want to sit in the middle of it, just surround myself with it and hold it in my body and my energy field and touch the arms of the people who have to carry it and just sit there together and be surrounded and stay, together. 

It’s so hard. 

My god, I know it can be so hard. 

And we need you even when it’s hard. 

Especially then.