There have been two very public people who recently lost their lives to suicide. And yes…..I said lost their lives. They have made public a very real issue in our world, one that is still so hard for people to talk about openly. There are so many misconceptions about suicide and mental illness.
I used to be that person. The one who thought you just had to snap out of it, and you would be fine. That taking your life was just a coward’s way out. I thought all of this even after I had my own time of crisis my first year in college.
I truly thought if I snapped out of it and everyone else should be able to do the same thing. Then life hit again…..and it got bad again, and I couldn’t just snap out of it. I found myself falling in to myself…..deeper and deeper. Life was crazy around me and it helped me fall further…..until I actually had to get help. Mental illness runs in my family. Depression, anxiety, and I’m sure other undiagnosed things. I truly believed that you only had to change your attitude and you could be fine. I also had people all around me telling me…..just count your blessings…..you are better off than most…….you are stronger than this. Those are people who just don’t know and have never experienced it. Or they are like me, and don’t know yet just how bad it can be.
Going through cancer and living with my new normal life after gave me a new perspective on life. Life is complicated, difficult, heartbreaking, and just so damn hard. And sometimes you just can’t help the way your mind works against you. When I was going through therapy a few years ago, I told her about something I heard that made it all click for me. Your brain is another organ in your body…..and just like your heart, or liver, or any other part of your body…..it can get sick. And when you get sick…..you treat it. Sometimes your mind truly plays against you. It doesn’t mean you as a person is bad…..but your brain is sick and makes you think some terrible things. Some people never get over what their brain is telling them and it becomes overwhelming. And your brain will tell you that you don’t need help. Overcoming those thoughts to get help is one of the hardest things……and I will never again look at someone to dies by suicide as weak or as a coward. Something is wrong and they never got the help they truly needed. This is controversial! There are people who strongly believe they are cowards and selfish. I used to be that person, even in the midst of my own personal trials.
You know when a person you love isn’t well. You can tell they are different, changing, or in a bad way. Sometimes you have to be the person they need…..the person who steps in and helps them realize they aren’t alone and they need some help. Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness. And getting help can literally be life or death.
NO ONE IS ALONE!!!!!! Do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help, ask for a listening ear, lean on those that are willing to be there. We have seen recently just how deep those feelings can go, no matter how successful you are, loved by the world you are, rich you are, or strong you think you are…….this hits everyone.
My heart breaks for those who didn’t realize it didn’t have to be so hopeless……but I also have a better understanding for those thoughts that are hard to fight. Honestly…..I struggle daily with thoughts that creep in and I know what I need to do if they become to overwhelming or strong.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you feel lost, alone, and hopeless. I may not have the perfect words or solutions…..but I’m a willing listener and supporter.