I feel the cold of the thin, sharp razor

Slit through my skin

And instantly all the pain is gone.

All emotions dissipate.

I'm free again.

The blood drops steadily to the floor.

My arm trembles as I lose more of it.

*deep breath*

Tears fall from my eyes,

Stinging the cuts on my arms.

But nothing can stop me.

I dig deeper into my flesh.

Hoping to hit the right spot.

Hoping to finally be done.

My knees buckle, unable to hold me.

I collapse to the ground.

Trembling, blood covers my T-shirt (and the cold, inviting floor).

The razor slides across the ground.

I outstretch my arm, trying to wrap my trembling finger around the blade.

But its too far to grasp.

My body weakens as each second passes.

I'm ready to die.

Ready to get rid of all the pain for good.

It's easier this way.

Truth is I was afraid to die.

Especially like this.

For it would only hurt those who love me.

The truth is I didn't value myself.

And still to this day, I'm not completely there.

Those suicidal thoughts, they still pierce my mind.

And it's hard not to relapse, I promise you.

The truth is coming out NOW! It's no longer a secret:

Truth is, suicide is the second leading cause of death for African American youth, ages thirteen to nineteen.

But we don't hear about it enough. Yet it's happening to us! Daily!

And sometimes it’s right under our noses.

Sometimes it's your best friend. Your sister. Your brother. Roommate.

It's me. It's possibly you.

But you're, no wait, we’re scared to seek help and support.

Because of judgment.

Because of the "ain't nothing wrong with you’s!"

And the “You’ll be a’ight’s.”

And the infamous, “What you got to be sad about? You got it made’s.”

You see mental health in the Black community is "non-existent"

To us included in the community and to those excluded.

Black people are seen as “strong” and “powerful”

So we can’t possibly have mental health issues.

But trust me we do.

We’re not just strong-minded people.

We suffer too.

And often, it’s worse…

…because we have to hide it.

These troubles sit within us,

Building in strength and pressure

Until it’s too late,

Now we’ve combusted.

We’ve been consumed by the fire.

And it’s either suicide

Or attempted suicide, but more often the former.

And only then does it finally “exist”

When the person it affected most is no longer around

No longer around to speak out

No longer around to get help

And when we live, that’s bad too

Because now you’re labeled as “crazy”

And it’s like everywhere you go you hear the whispers:

“She tried to kill herself”; “He’s suicidal”

And it’s not fair,

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