Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mental Illness

Today I learned a friend of my daughter lost her brother to suicide.  He was a kid, eighteen years old, suffering inside and unfortunately his story did end.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have dealt with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember.  As a teen I struggled with mental illness but I really didn’t understand that was what was wrong with me until adulthood.  I didn’t understand because at that time mental illness wasn’t discussed as openly as it is today.  I struggled with who I was as a teen.  I abused my body with drugs, alcohol and even dabbled in a bit of bulimia at one time.  I was reckless.  Fortunately for me I survived my teen years and early adulthood.  I still continued reckless behavior but I was surviving. 

Fast forward to my adult life and my depression grew more intense.  Those feelings of hopelessness and helplessness came upon me swiftly.   The darkness covered me and all my thoughts consisted of please let me die.  I thought many times how I was going to end my life.  I lost so many of life’s moments during that time.  I look at old photographs and I can’t remember when they were taken.  My children have memories of events I can’t recall.  Three years of my life is like Swiss cheese, there are just holes where parts of my life is missing. 

When I heard the news today about this poor boy ending his story it brings back those bad times.  Another boy lost to depression, suicide and questions unanswered for a family.  Guilt, frustration, anger, hurt and shear heartbreak for another family.  There are so many kids struggling and hiding behind smiles.  There are even more screaming for help with their actions and words.  Our youth are turning to drugs, alcohol, cutting and suicide.   

I learned about ProjectSemicolon a couple of weeks ago.  If you aren’t familiar with this project please visit their site.  It’s time to raise public awareness regarding addiction, depression, self-hurt and suicide.  Please take the time to talk to someone if you believe they are struggling.  Listen to a person if they begin asking questions about death.  If you see the signs of self-injury don’t stay quiet.   If you feel helpless tell someone.  These struggles are difficult but they can be managed and you are not alone!!!  Does depression and anxiety go away?  I deal with things day by day.  Are there bad days?  Yes! Are there good days?  A lot more once I learned what was happening to me and ways to manage it.  Life is worth living! Your story isn’t over!  

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