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Dear Leah,

If there was a way this letter could have gotten to you tonight, I don’t think you would have even listened. The grips of depression are relentless and intoxicating. It took years of deciding that despite the love around you, you are entirely alone. You think you are ready for your life to end.

You believe you are done here; you think you have seen enough, felt enough, hurt enough. You have been fighting through every single day but in reality, you surrendered a long time ago. You put on a fake smile at work, you wash your hair and you wear makeup, you lie about your thoughts and feelings, you keep everyone at a distance. You have cleaned your apartment, done all your laundry, emptied out your fridge. You have mused about what happens to you when you die, and you have come to no conclusion, but you are willing to take the chance. You know nobody would understand why you need to go and you think this is because they cannot feel the things you feel, cannot know the things you know.

You don’t realize that your suicide attempt will set in motion a ripple that touches every single edge and corner of this world. If you do not survive your attempt, your family and friends will never heal from the pain of losing you. It will be a deep, gnawing pain that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

I know you think you have the right to decide what happens to your own life, but what you fail to comprehend is that your existence is so much bigger than just you. You are a part of everything that exists, everything that has existed, and everything that will ever exist. Hurting yourself is hurting the entire universe. You matter. The part you play is important; you play it by just being you: no acting and no apologies. Who you are and what you feel is okay; you do not have to be anything else.

You are not your pain. You are not what happened to you. You are not a name, a number, a body taking up too much space. You are not the girl who simply lives to please others. You are not your years lost. You are not an empty shell. You are not a monster and you are not an alien. You are a human, and you are real. Your true self is in there, and she is incredible. You will meet her and you will love her, I promise. She is begging to be seen. You will find her.

I am sorry that you cannot feel any of this right now. I understand, but I am pleading with you, Leah; you do not have to do this.

You don’t know that when you get to the other side of this – and you will – you’re going to be reborn into someone you will genuinely love someday. You will be authentic and accepted. You will meet people whose paths coincide with yours for a reason far beyond yourself. The relationships you have that feel strained right now, they will grow so full and deep and sustaining. You will feel so different, so much lighter, so much more capable.

You will genuinely enjoy life again. You will be awestruck by nature, your heart will swell with the smiles and laughs of children, you will learn concepts and lessons that will excite and invigorate you. You will have hopes and dreams and goals. You will lean into the love from your friends and family and you will feel like you belong. You will look at time completely differently – the way it’s structured, the way it demands to be filled and the way you fill it, how quickly it seems to pass – and you are going to value it more than you know right now. You will use the time you are gifted for amazing things. You will feel passion and a fire will be lit within you each day by the excruciating beauty of your own life, your own willingness to live.

If you make this decision right now, you have no idea the whirlwind ahead of you. You have no idea the pain your near-death is going to cause your loved ones. You think you know exactly where you will go, that your plan is foolproof, that nothing can stop you now. You are wrong. You are so very wrong.

I am so sorry you cannot see that, but Leah, I want you to forgive yourself for all of this. I want you to be compassionate toward yourself and forgive yourself for not knowing any of these things before you knew them. I want you to be proud when you reach the other side. I want you to know that you deserve life and you are meant for life. I want you to know that despite the decision you make tonight, despite all the pain you have felt and the pain you have caused, despite the things you lose on this road, I promise you will gain so much more. Your life was and always has been written in the stars, and the world is so much better with you in it.

Yours,
Leah


Comments

16
  • Michelle

    Wow. I just stumbled upon this by chance and it took my breath away. I feel like you speak directly to me. Beautifully expressed and powerfully moving. I will bookmark this as a beautiful expression of hope for those dark times. Thank you.

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    • Leah

      Leah Leah

      Reply Author

      Michelle, I am so glad to know that my piece resonated with you. Keep fighting the good fight. (I promise it’s good.) ❤️

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  • Sarah

    Sarah Sarah

    Reply Author

    I really needed to read this tonight. Thanks.

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  • Carolyn

    Carolyn Carolyn

    Reply Author

    Thank you for posting this. I hope it is widely read. I hope it helped you to write this because it will help so many who are dispairing. Think of just one thing you are grateful for, the rest will grow from there. Please believe me❤️

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  • Joan

    Joan Joan

    Reply Author

    This was very moving and thought provoking. I have been down the dark path several times in my earlier years. Although my plans may include things people won’t understand, I know I will not live in physical/mental pain if there is no hope for recovery to an acceptable quality of life. That’s me.

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    • Vibrant Communications

      Joan, we’re so sorry for all the struggles you are going through and we want to help. Your life does matter – call us at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and let our crisis counselors help you find hope. Hurting yourself is never the answer! It can be scary to seek help, you don’t have to do this alone.

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  • Vibrant Communications

    Leah, Thank you for sharing your thoughts here on You Matter.
    You Matter is a special space for youth specifically to discuss dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. We welcome your suggestions and invite each of you to share your stories if you find it helpful. Thank you for making this a supportive and compassionate community.

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  • Dustin

    Dustin Dustin

    Reply Author

    I want to help out I need to work with this company a company any company please and I don’t just want to share my story I want to physically talk to someone if there going through something please this is something I need to do it needs to be done

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    • Vibrant Communications

      Dustin, Thank you for your interest in helping. Please visit our website to get more information on how to help. suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

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  • Sarah

    Sarah Sarah

    Reply Author

    Thank you for posting this i been having a really hard time this week and this was the first one i clicked on it inspired me so much

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  • Shelly Wolgamott

    I lost my 26 year old firstborn son Christopher 2 years ago to suicide and I myself have suicidal thoughts every single day and it scares me. The only way I know that I am going to make it is if I get to help others. That’s the only thing that is going to save me from dying to suicide. Please allow me to help others???

    Posted on

    • Vibrant Communications

      Shelly, We are very sorry for your loss. Please know that you do not have to struggle alone. The counselors at the Lifeline are available 24/7 to talk to you. You are never alone.

      Posted on

  • Vanessa b

    This is amazing. The part about how a person can touch different parts of the universe, what was, and what is to be was very powerful. I may share that part and reference it to this page. Thank you for writing this, and you matter.

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  • colin

    colin colin

    Reply Author

    Leah, My name’s Colin, and I struggled with depression for several years until Finally, finally one day, my therapy, my outpatient, my visits to the ER all paid off. I’m 14 now and I just wanted to say thank you, I mean it, really. Leah When I felt depressed I read your posts and I really felt like life was worth it, and that I was worth it. I don’t know if you’ve read any of my comments but I commented on your post “from rock bottom”, and Sharleigh’s post “letting go of parachutes, and it might be the meds, it might be the therapy, it might even be the music, but when people ask how I beat my depression I say “Leah”, and that’s all. that’s all I say. You’re one of the major reasons I’m alive, I don’t even know who you are, and you still shared your story with me, and helped me beat my depression. So much so that right now I’m telling a bunch of random strangers my deepest secret… I’m an alien. Nah JK I’m gay, for real though, I’m gay and this is my first time telling anyone. I can’t believe I wrote that… I can’t believe I’m hitting “post”.

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    • Leah Bartlett

      Hi Colin,

      Thank you so much for reaching out. Hearing your story is so inspiring, and I am beyond honored to have been a small part of it. You are incredibly brave for sharing your truth, especially at such a young age. I remember struggling around your age – being a kid who felt too much – and finding a home in my friends, in music, and in others’ stories, much like you! Sharing your story is so powerful and so vital to being the most “you” you can be, so I encourage you to keep being brave and doing just that. Beating depression is such a profound and immeasurable accomplishment, so remember how strong you are to have come out on the other side. I am humbled by how much credit you give my posts for your recovery, but in reality YOU are the one who beat your depression. You did all the hard work; you got through the grueling nights and the tears and the loneliness. That was all you. You are a warrior; you are worthy; you matter SO MUCH. Always remember that, Colin.

      Thank you for sharing a piece of your story with me. It goes both ways.

      PS: I’m an alien too! 😉

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