Reposted from Facebook Messages:
Hi Alan, I hope you don't mind me calling you by name but you were so kind to me when we talked after class a few weeks ago when you visited our school. I have so much difficulty trying to tell other people how I feel but you said about writing our thoughts down. I've tried to do that now so I can share my feelings with my counsellor. I did as you said in your talk and I've spoken with an amazing lady counsellor. I know she will help me but even with her I have no words. So I will express myself in writing.
I'm only 17 but I've been tempted to end my life so many times even though I'm on medication and my doctor is lovely. My step-dad keeps telling me to smile, to be more positive and mum agrees with him. I do try to please them both, I really do, but it's hard to smile when you're dying inside a little bit more every day.
I know other kids have tough lives and I see the children in Africa dying from malnutrition and I know, I know that I have so much compared to them but my sadness isn't rational. I know it isn't "normal" to feel like this but sometimes there is a special kind of peace when you are so sad you can't get any sadder. It's like resting at the bottom the sea, calm and dark and remote.
How can you explain to people that you just want to be alone, to be undisturbed. Nobody to tell you to cheer up, nobody trying to get you to talk or join in or the worst of all, be supportive. How am I supposed to support my sister and brother when it takes all my strength to support myself? Come to this dance class, attend this play, dress up for mass. So much of my strength goes into these things when I want to use my strength to fight this blackness.
I finally feel like I can split my attention between surviving and living. I want to live but it has to be more than just survival. Some people dream that they will be granted a vision of God to justify their faith; I dream of seeing a sliver of light piercing the darkness around me. Oddly enough I'm not a danger to myself as I just don't care enough to struggle through the planning required to end my life. And I have taken that first step you talked about, knowing you need help and asking for it.
Since this blackness took over my life and thoughts my friends have stopped asking me to do things with them. I can only imagine that I must have been terrible company as I just wanted to be left alone. After your talk one of my oldest friends came and asked me to go for coffee. I said no but she kept asking; eventually I went with her to stop the hassle. We went to a busy coffee shop and we didn't really talk but just being with her and being surrounded by people didn't seem as bad as I remembered. She told me she had spoken to the school guidance teacher as she wanted to make sure, like you said, that we shouldn't allow our friends to slip through the cracks. Apparently 7 different people talked to teachers about me after your visit so I guess I've not been hiding things as well as I thought. Or maybe they just know what to look for and what to do now.
I'm going to finish now and just thank you again for what you do and for what Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland are doing.