If you’re wondering what all my posts on suicide and staying alive and well were about…

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you may have been wondering what all my tweets and posts on suicide and staying alive and well were about yesterday. Well-known YA author Ned Vizzini (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Be More Chill, Teen Angst? Naaah . . .) who wrote about depression and was an inspiration for many teens, killed himself Thursday. I think the YA writing world is rocked by this. I am. I’m finding it incredibly painful and sad and heartbreaking. I always find hearing about anyone who’s killed themselves very painful, and also triggering but especially when it’s someone who’s put good into the world. Who’s tried to make a positive difference. Who had a good heart.

You may know that I struggle with severe depression myself (a direct result of the abuse and torture I survived). I also have PTSD, dissociation, anxiety, and other direct effects from the abuse, and I’ve dealt with suicide and thoughts of it for most of my life–again, a direct result from the abuse and torture I survived, and some of it actually taught to me (cult teaches victims through torture and mind control to kill themselves or want to kill themselves if they tell or escape–and I did both. Though I would have wanted to kill myself because of the torture, even if they hadn’t taught me to want that.) I had years where I wanted to die–every day and night of my life–because of the torture and abuse I was living, because it felt like there was no hope and no other way to end the pain, because everything felt too hard all the time. And sometimes I can still go there when things are really rough.

But while I’ve struggled with all of that, and sometimes it feels very hard, I also fight and keep fighting to stay alive and stay healthy and safe. I know how much killing or hurting myself would hurt, even devastate the people (and animal) I love and who love me. I know how much it would sadden and hurt my readers, and take away their hope. I know how it would effect even people that “just” like me and know me less deeply–just the way it would hurt me to hear about someone good dying like Ned. It’s a loss to the world. No more books that reach readers and make a difference with his exact voice and insights. No more readers being able to meet him and talk with him and tell him what an inspiration he is for talking about something that they, too, find painful.

No matter who you are or what your life has been like, I hope you can always feel the way you’re connected to other people, the way you matter, the way what you do effects them. I hope you always know that you matter, that you deserve kindness and compassion and happiness, and even if it feels hard to find at the moment, you will find it again and there will be more. If you struggle with depression or panic or anxiety, if you have PTSD or dissociation or trauma, if you’ve been sexually abused or tortured, if you’ve thought of suicide, if sometimes everything feels too hard and too much–I’ve been there. I understand. And I want to remind you–it gets better. It really, really does. Keep reaching out for support when you need it. Remember to make use of crisis lines. There are always people who care. And please read my post on not killing yourself.

Most of all–please, please take gentle good care of yourself. Treat yourself the way you treat someone you dearly love. And know that even if things are hard right now they will get better. You just have to hang on and be here to see that happen.

If you need to, please read my post on not killing yourself, contact a crisis line, and remember that you matter and you make a difference in this world just by being alive.

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