“If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in the petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.” ~ Brene Brown
There is not much space to talk about suicide in our society; not only are suicidal feelings stigmatised, but suicide attempts and life after an attempt rarely gets a voice.
This project hopes to unite survivors of suicide attempts and those living with suicidality, by providing a space to connect and share stories. Through doing so we allow ourselves the chance to feel heard, validated, and to heal, whilst opening up a much-needed dialogue in wider society.
The intersections of identity and mental health are also rarely acknowledged. Yet identity of course affects the way world treats us and thus the way we see ourselves. This project is inclusive and encouraging of people of oppressed identities who wish to share their experiences of survival in these intersections.
You can find us on Facebook, here.
Who organises the zine?
I am a writer, herb nerd, surfer, skateboarder, napping enthusiast, and nature lover. In April 2012 I overdosed whilst living in San Francisco. Following that time I felt lost and really fucking scared of the path I was walking. I spent a lot of time on Google searching for anything that made what I was experiencing ‘make sense’ and feel more manageable.
I found resources that brought me some of the solace I needed. I found an amazing online community of writers, journaled on my blog, and wrote articles for online magazines. I fell in love with the power of telling your story – of sharing our human experience in order to feel heard and connected, to raise awareness and talk about things that need to be talked about, and ultimately to heal. But no matter how much I talked about life – and read about people’s experiences of it – there was still a gap in the dialogue out there. Surviving suicide was, and still is, such a silenced subject.
Seeing health as a political issue is, and has been, fundamental in my journey. By beginning to un-pick and challenge the beliefs modelled to us by the society we live in, and exploring the impact they have on my health and relationships (with myself, others, and my sense of place in the world and global community), I have realised we can only be liberated from them through having these conversations.
I still think about suicide or physically harming myself at some point every day, and I have done in varying ways since I was a kid. Sometimes the thoughts or desires feel so intense and crippling I barely feel able to hold on, but other times they are a passing cloud that I am able to look at with a comforting distance. I still feel scared and overwhelmed by it a lot but I also feel a stronger sense of robustness and ability to self-soothe that I hope continues to bloom as time goes on. I have in no way figured it out but rather than feel at the beginning of my healing journey with the road ahead feeling blindingly unfamiliar, I feel in the (somewhat messy) middle. Somehow that feels reassuring.
I hope this project can be part of bringing a voice to both a subject and a community that needs and deserves to be heard.
If you would like to be part of the team, or help spread awareness about the project, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org