To live will be an awfully big adventure

I must start out by saying that I have edited this post for days now, trying to capture the right words to explain the importance of this week. However I do not think that I could ever capture its significance in one blog post.

This week marks the 40th Annual National Suicide Prevention Week. This week is to raise awareness that suicide exists, rather than sweep it under the rug like most in our society do. This week is as much for the living as it is the dead. This week is not to mourn the loss of friends we have lost to this tragedy; But instead this week is to try to save the living. After all, most people that are suicidal do not want to die, they just want to start living.

This life is a hard one. My generation has some of the highest suicide rates that the United States has ever seen. Yet for some reason many choose to believe that it doesn’t exist, and if they do accept that it exists, they assume it will never affect them in their life.

I have shared parts of my story on here before but this week marks something more. 2 years ago my life as I knew it ended. I disclosed the darkest secret in my life and as a result, I felt like I would rather die than continue to live. I decided that life on this earth would be better off without me. I decided that I wanted to go home to see Jesus, even though I was angry at him too for allowing these awful things to happen to me. Thankfully, I gathered the strength to keep going. I told myself one day at a time. One hour at a time. And eventually I learned to love myself again.

A boy I knew, and a precious family I had come to know and love, experienced this tragedy first hand when the combination of bullying and depression took this young man’s life. I think many times that I wish I had come to know him better. that I would have been able to help him. I wish I could have had one meaningful conversation with a boy who’s life was just starting.

Suicide is a topic that everyone refuses to talk about. Its a sad and heartbreaking topic that makes some people feel awkward and bad. But that is what NEEDS to happen. We should be so passionate about stopping these tragedies that people do talk about it. Our society cannot grow without expressing the hard things in life.

This week is so so vital to our nation because young lives are ending before they even get started. Their stories are being cut short mid-sentence by a period that should be a semi colon. They should not be blamed for the way they feel, they should not be considered “crazy” and they should not be made to feel that what they are experiencing is their fault.

One of my biggest pet peeve’s is when someone says that the suicidal are selfish. That cannot be more wrong because many times, people end their lives because they feel the world would be better off without them. In their minds. they believe that they are making it easier for the people they love.

The shame and stigma about suicide needs to be talked about. The blame needs to be pushed away from these struggling young adults and pushed back onto society to make a change. Me, and many others, have been there. I have been in their shoes. I have wanted to leave this world. Thankfully, I am still here trying to help other that are just like me. People who feel that suicide is the answer, are not broken. They are people who need to know that self love is not selfish.

If you are a person that blames the suicidal for the way they feel, please try to see it from a different view. Know that everyone hurts, and know that some people have no support system. They feel alone and misplaced in this world. Do not blame them or pity them. They are strong, they just need someone else to believe that too.

If you are suicidal and you feel like you have no one, you have me. You have more people around you than you would know. To Write Love On Her Arms has a campaign going this entire month Titled “We’ll See You Tomorrow” 2015. Please read their blogs and watch the video that is posted at the end of this post. Listen to  the words of these talented young people. Absorb their words like lyrics in a song. “If Depression is the verse then Hope is the chorus”. Please don’t end your sentence here. Your story has so many more chapters. Your story matters. No one else can play your part.

Peter Pan said “To live will be an awfully big adventure”. This is one of my favorite quotes because your adventure isn’t over. Your adventure is just beginning. Keep living. Stop the stigma about suicide. You may be going through hell on earth right now but even that sentence will end with a semi colon not a period. This is just one chapter I promise.

Live your adventure. I survived because the fire inside of me burned brighter than the fire around me.

https://twloha.com/blog/world-suicide-prevention-day-well-see-you-tomorrow-video/

College girl’s (or anyone’s) best friend? Support.

As I hinted at in my last post, I was not expecting the first two weeks of college to be this hard. College is supposed to be the best years of your life. But with that said, now that things are calming down and I am settling in, it occurred to me what has been bothering me the most; it has been the fact that I lost my support. Or, at least my support system has changed and shifted.

My best friend is in Kentucky, my mom is in Atlanta, my teachers are back in high school, and my boyfriend is in Augusta. I have always leaned on my family and my friends and these people so much and I had them around (for the most part) all the time. Now that I am here, everything has changed. Not for the worse, it’s just different. I am moving on with my life, but in a totally new and different place. I am meeting tons and tons of new/great people but in two weeks you cannot just develop a whole new array of best friends and family.

I am balancing my school schedule, a new job, managing the soccer team, starting up my own organization, living with new people, and being in the honors program here. I love each of these new adventures and I love the new experiences I am having but it is a lot to balance when your world just shifted.

I am (well, was, as of this coming Sunday) in a support group called “Starbright World” for kids and teens with chronic disabilities and illnesses. Starbright World connects sick young adults around the world. The people on this website bond and create friendships with people across the world with the same challenges that you face on a day to day basis. I have very good friends that live across the U.S. and all the way in Australia because of this website. Yesterday every member was informed that as of Sunday the website with go dark and no longer exist.

Last night (and even today) I feel like I am losing another set of support I had gained in high school when I was diagnosed. But, I am teaching myself that I can rely on myself as well as others. I am teaching myself that it is ok to need other people, but it is also okay to love yourself so much you do not have to rely on other people to make you happy.

The last 3 years have been rough, to say the least, but it was because of other people AND myself that I made it through. I want you to know that you do need support. You do need people to help you through the hard times when you cannot bear the burdens all by yourself. But you know what? Through the support of others, you can learn to rely on yourself as well.

Jamie Tworkowski emphasizes the fact that people need other people. People need love. People need compassion. People need the strength of others as well as themselves. These last 2 weeks I have had a hard pill to swallow. I had to learn to set boundaries for myself and I had to learn to rely on myself while I form new relationships with the new people around me.

When you are starting a new chapter in your life people do not tell you the hard stuff. They don’t tell you that you can be surrounded by hundreds of people all day long but still feel like you are alone in this new world. But, I am here to tell you that you have yourself, and you have me. Start trying to learn to trust yourself. Learn to embrace self confidence and self love.

I HATE when people say that no one will love you if you don’t love yourself. I didn’t love myself for 2-3 years. I didn’t love who I was. But it was because of the love of my friends, boyfriend, and my mom, that I retrained my brain to love who I am.

Please stay strong. If you are feeling alone and like you have no one to turn to, turn to me. Message me, call me, text me. I will listen. Keep fighting guys. Breathe. Your story isn’t over yet.