The writing community can be a powerful place, and with that intention, a friend of mine, Chris @alchemistpoetry came up with the idea of Project 11:11. Sadly, every 11 minutes someone dies by suicide. That’s an incredibly upsetting statistic. The goal of Project 11:11 is to raise awareness and prevent suicide through the power of spoken word.
I felt compelled to join this project for various reasons. I have not only battled with depression and suicidal thoughts for many years, but I have also lost a dear friend to suicide in 2021.
Even though, I am in a good place right now, I know how fragile our mental health can be.
This poem comes from a raw and vulnerable place and was written with the intention of giving hope and making you realize you are needed and wanted in this world.
I could tell you all the reasons why you should stay but you already googled what’s the best way to kill yourself. So now what, you don’t have a gun. You’re too squeamish to slit your wrist and see all the blood. How about pills? Or should you jump? Would it matter though? You’ll be dead soon anyway. Why even give a fuck. All you do is cry on the bathroom floor, then on top of your unmade bed. You forgot how to pray but you still wonder if angels exist at all. And in that moment, she calls. “Hi, just wanted to see how you were, I know we haven’t spoken in a while.”
You breathe through your mouth because your nose is out of the question by now. You breathe in hope. She is handing you a rope – will you climb back to life? Maybe she cares. Perhaps she knows deep down that you need saving. Sometimes, angels come disguised. And that’s okay. You can put aside your pride, take her hand, and take it one moment at a time. I know what it’s like when “I’m fine” means I want out. But fuck the shame, we can’t keep pretending that we are okay until isolation paves the road to our death. Because even that is more tempting than loneliness. But as you can see I’m still here, turning one moment into two, and two into three. I’m still counting the days, and looking forward to the months and the years to come.
And yeah, I could tell you all the reasons why you should stay, I could try to convince you that you’re bigger than your pain but all I want you to know is that it’s worth it. Don’t quit just yet, because what if the next sunset is the most divine you’ve ever seen? What if falling in love doesn’t have to mean you’ll be falling alone? What if someone actually cares? What if they need you? What if you need you? What if tomorrow is different from today and your world feels lighter, friendlier, and more hopeful? What if it can be beautiful? Even if it’s just a beautiful mess. So please, add your lovely brushstrokes to this existence. Because there is no one else with the same unique hues. We need you. You need you.
© Olivia Bella
In addition to this piece, I’d like to share some thoughts from readers and followers who previously responded to my question:
What do you love about being alive?
- Being out in nature brings me the most joy in life. Cheers me up immensely on a bad day.
- I’m on my own two feet, after dealing with a childhood deformity on my legs.
- Free thinking, making your own choices, live how I want to
- Taking time to see the beauty that exists and the lessons that show up for me
- Mother Earth
- Laughing and crying
- My animals give me so much joy and peace, they really keep me grateful and present in life.
- To love and be loved. To know beauty, art, and the glory of nature. To feel through all the senses. To have gratitude for life and a growing spiritual awareness.
- Art in all its forms inspires me and motivates me. Just seeing the world outside can be Art. There is always something new to see, hear and experience. Art is limitless.
- I’m here for love. Pure, unaltered, raw love from nature’s beauty and inspiring souls who live authentically. That’s what keeps me going.
- The struggle – I think it gives you appreciation. I think it makes you realise how blessed you are. It’s the dark to the light and the pain to the pleasure. Without one, there’s not the other!
And what do I love about being alive? Here are a few things I admire:
Sunsets & sunrises / lakes, oceans, rivers/ forest walks / laughing with friends / playing with dogs and cats / being around people I love/watching good films or TV shows / being intimate with the person I love/writing/taking photos / admiring art and photography / taking naps/coffee and toast in the morning.
You can watch the replay of my live reading of this piece on my Instagram.
Photo credit: Gage Finke