Ok, I know it has been a while since I’ve published a blog. But, you have to understand that working full-time, going to school for my master’s degree, (was) planning a wedding, and developing my non-profit organization take a lot of time and effort. Please forgive me!
However, because I have taken time away, I now have more content to talk about in regards to recent news and personal experiences. So..without further ado, let’s get to it.
There has been a lot of controversy in regards to mental health and suicidal related topics, especially within the last 6 months. The hype with 13 Reasons Why, Kate Spade’s suicide, Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, Kanye Wests’ outbursts, Bow Wow’s cries for help, and the recent murder of rap artist, XXXTentacion. XXXTentacion did not commit suicide, but he did manage to use his platform to bring awareness to those things. May his soul rest. I say all of this to say, “If you are not understanding that mental health is necessary, then you are hiding under a rock right now.” Mental health does not always mean actual suicide, or mental illnesses like bi-polar disorder, etc. Mental health goes a long way, and the only way that we can focus on it more is if we talk about it. This is why I give props to XXXTentacion. He talked about it! He used his music to draw attention to the depths of the darkness that people face. In his song, Sad, he states, “Suicide, if you ever try to let go, (uh) I’m sad and low, (yeah).” Do you all realize how many people may possibly feel this way?
We can throw around suicide prevention hotline numbers all day long, but most people won’t pick up the phone to call because these people are at the end of their ropes, and don’t believe that anyone cares. This is why we have to talk about it. Those suffering need to know that it’s ok to feel the way that they do, and that they can talk about it openly without being told, “you’re tripping”, “you are stronger than that”, “you’re just looking for attention”, etc. Not only should we all be aware of the signs, but we should know the proper way to help someone, and stop turning a blind eye to the signs. There are ALWAYS signs.
Back in 2012, right after I graduated from high school, I decided to get the Implanon birth control. This was the worst decision that I could have ever made. The side effects caused me to have anxiety attacks, panic attacks, out-of-body experiences, etc. I would lie in bed all day long crying, and depressed because I hated how I felt. I did not know how to cope, and at that point in my life, I was unhappy with where I was in life and my emotional well-being. I did everything to try to keep the darkness from closing in on me. I opened my blinds in the morning, rearranged my room to find comfort, I looked for new churches to attend, tried to go out with friends, you name it. I did everything in my power to make it stop. But, the thing I learned about depression is that it does not compromise. You cannot barter with depression, and you cannot establish a give and take relationship with it. Depression is dark, closed in, and lonely. Imagine this: You are in an elevator, and the lights go out. The doors won’t open because you’re stuck between floors, and there is no one in the building to help you out. What do you do?
After about three months of this, I was at my lowest point. I wanted it to all be over, and I considered letting it all go (many don’t know this about me, but here it is). However, my mama and Cam witnessed everything that I was going through, and they let me talk through it all. I could cry, and not feel judged. We even came up with an action plan on how to cope, and it worked! I must admit, if no one was there for me, I probably wouldn’t be here, and that is why I feel it is important to let those suffering know that there are more reasons NOT to let go, than there are to let go. I’ve said all of this to say, “take that extra 4 or 5 minutes to inbox that person making depressed statuses on Facebook. Smile at that person on the bus who has tears in their eyes. Randomly call your family to let them know that you were thinking of them.” Take those extra steps to let them know that they are not alone. Give them resources. You could save a life or two. My mama and Cam saved mine.
If you or someone that you know is suffering from mental illness, or suicidal thoughts, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255.