Most of us have experienced feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and defeated by the world or witnessed our loved ones in this depressed place. Many of us barely know how to manage these tough emotions within ourselves, much less how to be there for a friend when they hit rock bottom. Losing someone to suicide can be unbearable. It is so hard to even talk about that many of us lack the basic coping skills to help prevent suicide. Let’s increase our own resilience so that we can also help our loved ones. It all starts with friendship!
THE PLEDGE FOR LIFE is a vow we make with those we love that no matter what we will take the time to say goodbye before one of us ends our life. It’s a promise that we make with our closest family or friends that makes it safe to talk about suicide and all that’s connected to it. Sometimes when the pain of existence is too much to bear we can lose sight of the impact our actions have on those we love. Sometimes just taking the time be in the presence of someone who loves us is enough to weather out the storm. -Pledge for Life Website
The world is filled with conveniences that also leave us relatively isolated from community, social connection and love. Love isn’t just an intellectual concept. It relies on touch, eye-gazes, laughter, engaged listening, and sharing our stories in person with friends and/or family. Ironically you might be reading this article now on an electronic device and maybe even sitting alone somewhere. Luckily, if we are wise, digital and social platforms can also allow us an unprecedented opportunity to organize, share, and inspire social connection…
OUR GOAL is to shine light on this aspect of our shared human experience and unify in order to heal and evolve. The specific goal of this campaign is to get people to MAKE and SHARE THE PLEDGE. We believe that it has the potential of saving lives and preventing unnecessary suffering and we wish to partner with all who are committed to Preventing Suicide. Please SHARE with your friends and MAKE THE PLEDGE! -Pledge for Life Website
When someone is suicidal they are so consumed with pain and suffering that they simply want to shut off the agony that has overwhelmed their existence. They’re not necessarily able to rationally think and consider the impact their actions will have on everyone in their life. This feeling is common to more people than you might imagine. It is hard to know what kinds of internal struggles others may be hiding from the world. With coping practices it is possible to turn anger, depression and rage into wisdom and compassion.
The reason the Friendship Pledge works is because it bonds two people who have committed to honor the importance of goodbye. This kind of unconditional love doesn’t try to change someone else, it just accepts and meets them where they are. Once a person vocalizes their intentions of suicide, not as a threat or game but to sincerely say goodbye, then the person will also witness how this might make their friend feel. This is a powerful way to recognize how much you mean to other people and to see the bigger picture that often gets lost when we are deep in depression. Below is a powerful and short personal story, please watch.
Very often people are shocked to discover their loved one was depressed or suicidal and they are left with feelings of guilt wondering what they could have done differently. It’s likely that someone you know is struggling silently with severe emotional challenges. This is an opportunity we have to show up for someone as a true friend. This is the chance you have to get real and to deepen connections with the people you love. How often are you given the chance to save a life ?
I hereby promise to NOT end my life without first communicating with a friend to say goodbye. -Pledge for Life
The campaign is simple. Reach out to the people you love this month. Reaffirm your connection, love and friendship with them. Make the pledge to them in your own words if necessary. Then share this article, the video, and website through your social networks using the #pledgeforlife hashtag. The website is full of resources, locally and internationally for people who are suffering. World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10, don’t let it pass without making the Pledge for Life!