BENEFITING: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
I lost one of the greatest people I know to suicide 12 years ago, the man I got to call my dad for 19 years. He struggled with mental illness and addiction, two topics I spent years feeling were taboo, I sometimes still stutter for a moment when someone asks how he died, I've become a pro at evading the question. The hole he left in our world is still felt today, when I look in the eyes of his grandchildren, when my sweet little babe asks me "where your daddy at?", everything in me screams- "you should be here", because this love, this life, he mattered in it.
And the thing is- being silent about suicide, about mental illness, about addiction- those are the things that perpetuate the stigma and the shame, and we just can't be silent any longer. In the words of one of my favorites- "life is hard, not because you're doing it wrong, just because it is." That doesn't mean give up, it means waking up everyday fighting the battle because we are all in this together. You matter, all of you, no matter your path, or what you feel you've done "wrong", you matter in this great beautiful world. If you need it, ask for help, if you see someone in need, offer it, and above all do not be ashamed for the weight you think you alone carry, if nothing else, September has shown me we all carry this weight with you, and many hands can lighten the load.