To Those Indigenous Folks Contemplating Suicide

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Breathe.tipi

Suck back air.

Keep that oxygen coming,

Those pints of blood pumping,

Even if you want to open the rivers

and let them run red right out of you

When you’re this close to death

You have everything to lose

And no matter what you think,

You have nothing to prove.

Focus only on the present

Kick yourself out of yesterdays

And tomorrow,

Well it’s not here yet.

 

Breathe.

Suck back air.

Know that it is the sweetest thing

To ever roll across your tongue.

Savour it, if nothing else seems salvageable

Only keep the moment

When days become unmanageable

 

You come from Indigenous seed

And Ancient forests have laid roots deep

Beneath your feet.

You are walking on the bodies of those

Who came before you.

Don’t ever feel unsupported or alone,

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

You come from warriors,

Unflinching and unafraid,

That’s how hell and high waters were faced

Blood memories of braves

Still run rampant in your veins.

 

Honour them.

 

If you are weak,

Stuck in a full throttle spin

Shook to the core

And you see everyone’s life

Better off if you’re not in it anymore

Then try something different

 

Let traditions and ceremony be your medicine

Let the ancient tongues of your grandmothers be your lullaby

Let prayers be the wings that give you flight

Let not another light be stolen

Let not another of our own be sacrificed

 

Not another loss to suicide.

 

Not now.

 

Breathe.

Suck back air.

Even if you have to do it slowly

With the lights turned off

Because it’s too hard to live in the light

Choose life.

 

I know this sounds cliché

But it’s real talk when I say,

Things won’t always be this way.

Don’t let your knees buckle

It might seem like a stretch right now

But one day you’ll be standing proud

Know that your skin is the most beautiful shade of brown

And you are still a warrior

But battles are now fought on different ground

You are most likely feeling the strain and it’s hard

Whether it be from pulling double shifts,

Living daily with the stressors of addicts,

Being addicted,

Or suffering from some other infliction,

You are more than this.

 

Breathe.

Suck back air.

Even if it’s the hardest thing you have ever had to do.

Don’t tell me that you can’t,

Because I,

I’ve been there too.

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