I remember when my father
asked me to stay, stay up all night to watch fireflies.
I didn't want to,
but he was right. It was the most
magical thing I'd seen.
My mother asked me
to stay, stay patient until the chickens got here. I just wanted to pull them
out of their eggs and play. I was so glad I waited. [CHIRPING]
This kid I knew asked
me to stay on his team. We lost the game, but he
became my best friend.
And when I became a
teenager, everyone kept telling me to stay. Stay focused. Stay out of trouble. Stay faithful. And all I could think
of was the stress, the pressure, the expectations.
Things I used to be excited
about now seem nothing like I'd imagined--pointless, heavy. And then people
asked, "How are you?" And I said, "Fine." And people said, "Is there
anything I can do for you?" And I said, "No." I tried to smile and
hide my darkness.
I remember waking up on
my 17th birthday wanting to end my life because I
felt so much pain, because I felt nothing.
So I decided to tell
others how I feel, bring everything hidden
into the light, because I knew one
of them could help.
I remember my dad holding
me, my mom, and my sister. Now they ask me to stay
around for another moment, for another agonizing
week, month, even if I couldn't see that
tomorrow will get better. And I realized that somewhere
in between my new dark existence and all those beautiful
moments that I've experienced in the past,
I forgot something.
I didn't have to stay alone.
The pain doesn't fully go away. It still takes many endless
conversations, therapy, prayers, medication. But as time goes on, I
choose to stay hopeful. I choose to stay; to experience
small, simple things I love; to see new places, meet new
people; to discover who I am; to be surprised; to be loved. You can choose to stay, too. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Suicide Prevention: Choose to Stay
A young man who struggled with depression shares a message with others who have thought about suicide: "Please, choose to stay." For suicide prevention resources, click here.