Canadian poet Shane Koyczan has become well-known for his heart-wrenching poems and videos — about surviving bullying, about trolls, and about the fragility of our home. “Instructions For A Bad Day” isn’t quite as well known, but it holds an important message for World Suicide Prevention Day, part of which we’ll excerpt here:
If you think for one second no one knows what you’ve been going through; be accepting of the fact that you are wrong, that the long drawn and heavy breaths of despair have at times been felt by everyone – that Pain is part of the Human Condition, and that alone makes you a legion.
We hungry underdogs, we risers with dawn, we dissmissers of odds, we pressers of on – we will station ourselves to the calm. We will hold ourselves to the steady, be ready player one. Life is going to come at you armed with hard times and tough choices, your voice is your weapon, your thoughts ammunition – there are no free extra men, be aware that as the instant now passes, it exists now as then. So be a mirror reflecting yourself back, and remembering the times when you thought all of this was too hard and you’d never make it through.
Remember the times you could have pressed quit – but you hit continue.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you are outside the U.S., you can visit IASP or Suicide.org for a nearby crisis line.
If you’d like to know more about helping a friend who may be suicidal, HelpGuide offers detailed recommendations.
Remember, you’re not alone.