as a tree has many roots, a suicide attempt has many causes. I attempted suicide on a summer's day when I was eighteen. it was not followed by an immediate epiphany, but it did begin a new chapter: life after. it was the culmination of struggling for years with alternating suicidal thoughts and self-harm, results of being overwhelmed on many levels of life. I sought out support from close friends, family and counsellors starting a few years before my attempt, but it wasn't until two months after attempting suicide that I really began to seek gentleness toward myself.
I do not pretend to assume I've figured it out; there are still many moments that a gentler lens toward myself would benefit me greatly, but the goal is progress not perfection. though it is often said that perfection is not a wise goal, my "year of gentleness" really showed me why. to be gentle with myself, treat myself as a being who impacted the world, I needed to see the whole of me as something worthy. doing so meant accepting I would not be perfect, that improvements could be made, but that the focus should be on the good things around and within me.
throughout my journey I have had to ask for and be open to help from others and let them into very broken places. recovery involves intentionally choosing healthy and safe alternatives to harmful urges and ultimately seeking to thrive instead of merely survive. I created "naming darkness finding light" as a place to share moments of light found in everyday life with others who need a gentle reminder that there truly is an end to the tunnel of darkness.