My Decision to Volunteer for the Crisis Text Line
Trigger warning: This post discusses suicidal ideation and the Crisis Text Line.
Five symptoms of anxiety and depression include feelings of worthlessness, intense fear, rumination, thoughts of suicide, and guilt. I have experienced all of these symptoms. This has led me to miss out on opportunities that could have helped me improve my self-esteem, reach my goals, and find fulfillment. Last week, I decided to change that by volunteering for the Crisis Text Line.
The Connection Between My Symptoms
About three years ago, I recognized the connection between my low self-esteem, fear, rumination, suicide, and guilt. It was right after I lost my first full-time writing job. I was terrified of pursuing another one and failing again. Yet, I didn't think I was good at anything else. So I ruminated on my past failures and imagined worst-case scenarios like, one day, becoming homeless and then dying as a lonely failure. These negative thoughts became so frequent and intense that I thought about ending my life.
One night at around 2:00 a.m., shortly after losing my writing job, I desperately weighed my options for ending my life. But then I thought about my loved ones and the pain I would cause them by killing myself. The thought of it caused me to feel intense shame.
Saved by the Crisis Text Line
My hand hit my phone, which was resting next to my pillow. I then realized that my best option was to talk to someone. But who could I talk to? Everyone was asleep.
I then remembered the Crisis Text Line. After talking to a crisis counselor for just a few minutes, she reminded me my fate was not determined by my perceived failures. She then helped me come up with ways to fall asleep again and feel better for the rest of the day.
As I look back on that conversation, I feel extreme relief and gratitude. In a way, that short text conversation saved my life. A while after that, I thought about volunteering for a crisis counselor position with the Crisis Text Line. My phone was my constant companion, anyway, and texting was similar to writing. Halfway through the application process, though, I stopped myself. If I couldn't help myself emotionally, how would I be able to help someone else?
Becoming a Crisis Counselor at the Crisis Text Line
After receiving a lot of therapy and support from my loved ones, I finished applying for the crisis counselor position at the Crisis Text Line. I am almost done with the training course. I enjoy learning about human connection, empathy, and crisis intervention. To take care of myself while volunteering with the Crisis Text Line and maintaining a full-time job, I am seeing my therapist, spending time with my loved ones, and writing for pleasure.
Are you or a loved one currently missing out on a new opportunity due to anxiety or depression? If so, I hope this post brings you comfort and encouragement. You deserve to feel good about yourself and pursue your passions. You can make a difference in the world.
If you are interested in using the Crisis Text Line, just text HOME to 741741. For more information, visit www.crisistextline.org.
If you feel that you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.
For more information on suicide, see our suicide information, resources, and support section. For additional mental health help, please see our mental health hotline numbers and referral information section.
Lueck, M. (2023, July 3). My Decision to Volunteer for the Crisis Text Line, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2023/7/my-decision-to-volunteer-for-the-crisis-text-line