To Write Love on Her Arms Suicide message

In which I thank a friend for saving my life

I shared the above graphic on my personal FB page tonight. You see, today is National Suicide Prevention Day, kicking off a full week of awareness. I’ve seen blog posts, links, graphics, etc, pop up all over the place. Hell, even Wil Wheaton shared about depression.

A year ago this time, I was dancing with Suicide. Tango, actually. Cheek-to-cheek. There was no rose, no romantic embrace, just chills, thoughts, wondering, wanting, yearning. It was a dirty affair with no promise of a happy ending.

But I had this friend. An online friend who recognized my fall from grace despite my best efforts to convince everyone around me (and myself) that everything was hunky dory. My divorce had just been finalized. I was still unemployed. Not with my children. My heart broken into a zillion pieces, scattered and yet still throbbing on the cold hard floor. Yet somehow, I fell asleep every night and awoke every morning.

Did I want to? No.

Every time I was in my car, I wanted to swerve in front of every 18 wheeler I saw, every sturdy oak, down every steep hill. But I didn’t.

Then there was THE day.

The day when I stood upstairs, in my bedroom at my parents’ house, staring out the window, calculating at what angle I’d have to throw myself out of it in order to hit the cement retaining wall which separated the house from the lower driveway. As my hand reached out and touched the screen on my window, I recoiled. Ran downstairs, phone in hand, and sat in the living room with my mother, silent.

I texted my friend.

“I am not okay.”

He responded. Wanted me to call him. I did. He talked me through it. Searched online for an agency which offered income sensitive help. I called them the next day. I was in therapy until this past May with an amazing therapist who constantly pushed the envelope and forced me to face life head-on, something I hadn’t done for years.

That friend?


Do you hear me?


For so long, and even now, I am *that* person for others. To be on the other side of the equation is impossible for me to fathom. It was then and it is now. But even those of us who *KNOW* about mental health and the toll it has on lives struggle from time to time. We are not perfect. We are human. We too need support when it gets dark. In fact, I’d even postulate that it’s sometimes more dangerous for those of us who *KNOW* about mental health because we tend to talk ourselves out of it without reaching out for help because dammit, we’re supposed to know our stuff.

Reach out.

If you’re suffering, reach out.

If you’re not suffering, reach out to those around you and ask how they’re doing.

Then LISTEN. Don’t listen and think about what you’ll say in response, just listen. Let them pour themselves out and wait for them to need a response. Sometimes? We don’t need a response.


We just need a comforting and safe place into which we can pour our fear, our darkness, and let go of our terrors. We need a warm hand willing to lift us out of our miry clay into the light. We need to be rescued before it’s too late.

To the friend who saved my life, thank you. Thank you more than the number of stars in the sky, atoms in the universe, and more than all the bacon I will ever eat in a lifetime. Because of you, I am still here. I am still breathing. I.BREATHE.BECAUSE OF YOU.

Thank you more than I can EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER say.

If you or a loved one are thinking of suicide, there’s a button at the top of my sidebar on my homepage here at the blog – click on it for resources. You are not alone. Suicide is a very permanent answer to a very temporary problem. There IS light, laughter, and love on the other side – I’ve found it and I will never again take it for granted.

0 thoughts on “In which I thank a friend for saving my life

  1. ace1028

    Thank goodness you are still here. I thank that friend for helping you beyond what many would have known to do.

    Sending love. Thank you for always being open, Lauren.

  2. mammacockatoo

    Thank you, Lauren, for reaching out when you needed to. Thank you, Lauren’s friend, for responding in the way you did. Thank you both for being alive. Thank you for all that you do to give help and hope.

  3. Sandy

    Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for the links. Thank you for all you do for #ppdchat. I too used to have thoughts of swerving into oncoming traffic. In fact, I am still so scared that in a weak moment i’ll follow through with it that it’s been almost two years since i’ve driven. I am so glad you reached out and that your friend listened.

  4. tranquilamama

    Thank you for sharing your story Lauren. I am so glad that you are here and that your friend was there for you. I cannot imagine how my recovery would have been without #ppdchat. It saved my life. In saving your life, your friend saved hundreds of womens’ lives who are touched by you.

  5. redrose856

    thanks for sharing your story! You are a remarkable woman! Thank goodness you are still here…you have a responsibility to yourself to be here and safe and also to those of us at #PPDCHAT..we love you!

  6. oldsunbird

    I wish my son had known someone like you. Unfortunately, he didn’t share with us that he was about to kill himself. I’ll always blame myself. 12 year ago and I still can’t think about him or look at his pictures.

    1. Lauren Hale

      First, I am so very sorry for your loss. There are no words I can say to convey the tragedy you’ve experienced. But I can tell you no one could ever know someone is about to kill themselves – and truly follow through with it unless they decide to share it with you. Depression and mental illness make us hide things, even from those closest too us, sometimes especially from those closest to us. If you remember nothing from this brief encounter on the wild yonder of the Internet, remember this – your son’s death is NOT your fault. There are families who have done everything right, gotten help, and still lost members to suicide. In no way am I saying we give up on them because I know we don’t. We love them ferociously even if it’s a tough love. I don’t know your specific situation but my heart aches for every person who has ever lost someone to suicide. I’ve lost someone to suicide. It hurts. It leaves you with questions, confusion, guilt, and wondering what you could have done differently. It’s times like these some of us wish time moved backward too.

      My heart truly goes out to you and I’m glad you found my blog. I hope, in some small way, it has soothed your grief, even if fleetingly. (HUGS)


      1. Esther (@cornmuffinsmama)

        I agree wholeheartedly. When I was dealing with ppd, before I finally got help, I was darned good at hiding my feelings, especially from my famIly. They were the ones I most feared hurting and failing, feared letting down.

        What happened is not your fault. Just from your comments it’s evident that you are a wonderful person, a wonderful mother who loved her child very much. We hold no blame in the life choices of others. You hold no blame. Please don’t feel that you do.

        Sending lots of good vibes, thoughts, prayers, etc. your way for peace and healing.

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