Suicidal? Ask for Help: Send Up a Flare!

By Martha Bolton:

Feeling suicidal? Or seriously depressed?  Do ask for help. Send up a flare!

Image from Wikipedia: Flares are sent up during military exercises so soldiers are prepared for when they must call for help.

If you had been hit by a car, you wouldn’t get up and limp along on broken legs, hoping bones would snap back into place, would you? Or  if suffering from internal bleeding, hope it would somehow stop on its own?

Of course not.

Some situations we go through in life can leave us feeling like we’ve been hit by a car, can’t they?  Or a train.

But just as we wouldn’t expect our bodies to heal on their own from a real car wreck, we can’t expect our emotions to heal on their own in the aftermath of life’s disappointments and calamities either.

If you’re injured, send up a flare.  Let someone know you’re hurting.

Help is available.

Call a hotline, a friend, your pastor, a counselor; call someone!  If you can’t reach your first choice, call the next one.  And the next.  Keep going until the right person for that moment in your life answers.

Even if you’re already getting help, but find yourself at an especially low point right now, speak up and tell someone.  If you were in the hospital after a car wreck, and the pain got too severe during the night, you’d ring for the nurse, right?  No matter what time it was, you’d let her know how badly you were feeling.

If it’s in the middle of your night, if the emotional pain is unbearable, pick up the phone and make a call.  Or walk into the next room and wake someone up.  Reach out to somebody.  Like injuries sustained in a car wreck, many emotional injuries can’t sufficiently heal without being attended to either.

So don’t limp along on your brokenness, hoping your emotions will heal on their own and then when they don’t, take matters into your own hands. Suicide isn’t the answer.

You’ve been wounded, perhaps deeply.  There’s no shame in asking for help for those wounds.  Don’t attempt to go it alone.  Wounds can heal. Broken hearts can mend.  Disappointments can turn around.  Pain can subside.  But the first step is to let someone know you’re bleeding.

Feeling suicidal?  Not sure who to call?

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.