Nobody plans for it, ya know.
Nobody plans to wake up each morning with such a deep sense of hopelessness – some days so intense it’s impossible to get out of bed.
Nobody plans to be up all hours of the night with an enormous weight of anxiety on their chest – so heavy it makes it hard to breathe and impossible to sleep.
Nobody plans on feeling so much shame and guilt after eatingthat they believe they have to compensate for the calories by purging and/or over-exercising.
Nobody plans on waking up in the middle of the night, screaming and drenched in sweat due to demonizing flashbacks of trauma.
Nobody plans on experiencing random hallucinations or hearing unfamiliar voices that impair their perception of reality so significantly it makes it hard to function.
Nobody plans to be face-to-face with a mental illness.
Nobody plans on their life becoming so controlled and taken over they feel the need to self-medicate with drugs & alcohol.
Nobody plans on having to resort to numbing the agonizing psychological pain with physical pain.
And nobody. NOBODY plans on feeling so lost and helpless that they feel their only option is to just end it all.
September is suicide awareness and prevention month. But to be honest, EVERY month should be suicide awareness month, & mental health awareness month, & really just HUMAN HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH.
Y’all, let’s get real.
We gotta talk. We HAVE to talk. About mental illness, suicide, all of it – every month, every week, EVERY DAY.
Let me just throw some statistics at you real quick (bear with me):
Suicide is the TENTH leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages. (CDC)
Every day, approximately 123 AMERICANS dies by suicide. (CDC)
There is one death by suicide in the U.S. EVERY 12 MINUTES. (CDC)
Suicide takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans EVERY YEAR. (CDC)
Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world EACH YEAR, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds. (WHO)
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years. (WHO)
Suicide among males is 4x’s higher than among females. Male deaths represent 79% of all U.S. suicides.(CDC)
1 in 100,000 children ages 10-14 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
7 in 100,000 youth ages 15-19 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
12.7 in 100,000 young adults ages 20-24 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-old Americans. (CDC)
Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65. (CDC)
Please read those stats. And then re-read them. Let them sink in.
And those numbers aren’t permanent. They are rising every single day.
Because we aren’t supposed to “talk about our feelings.”
Because men are supposed to “suck it up and be a man,” and, “justrub some dirt on it.”
Because women are just “overly sensitive” or “crazy.”
Because in today’s society it’s okay to chat online, but notokay to talk with a therapist.
Because mental illness is seen as weakness.
Because if you can’t physically see it, you’re faking it.
THIS IS BULL SH*T (sorry mom)!!!!!!
But I’m just so TIRED of hearing all these stereotypes and taboo beliefs about mental health.
It is REAL. It is a PROBLEM. And it NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.
Because honestly, I don’t want to lose another friend, another classmate, another co-worker to suicide – all because they were made to feel ashamed and were (rightfully) afraid to open up and talk about their mental health.
Too many people need help but feel they have no one to turn to. No one to listen to them. No one to really be there for them and actually care about their struggles.
Enough is enough.
Life is utterly short. A whisper of time. Gone in the blink of an eye.
We hustle and bustle through the days. Yearning for more; living for less.
We’re all on a quest to “get that bread”. And as we rush through the hallways and down the streets, we don’t even notice who we pass – our faces stuck in devices and our ears plugged with headphones.
We don’t even realize all the opportunities we miss. Opportunities to have beautiful conversations, share radiant smiles, and be a helping hand to those we unknowingly pass by.
We don’t notice the broken, the hurting, the lonely – we are living in a mindset of “me” instead of “we”
We’re so “busy” constantly chasing after something bigger and better, that we forget the most important thing – to care for and help our brothers and sisters, friends and family, peers and strangers who need us – who need that warm smile, who need a helping hand, who need a genuine conversation, and, most of all, who need to feel seen and heard and understood.
So, be that person.
Be the person whocares.
Be the person that makes the effort and loves without hesitation.
Be the person who makes people feel seen and heard.
Be the person who shows up – no matter what, no matter why, no matter for who.
Check-in with people – friends, family, classmates, co-workers, students, teachers.
Be there for them. And let them be there for you.
Let us take care of each other and lookout for one another.
Let us be kind to everyone we meet and everyone we see.
Because you never know whose life you just might save by showing a little kindness.
If anyone needs someone to talk to, my number will be provided at the end of this post. If you are in a dark place and you feel you have no one to turn to, please do not hesitate to reach out through a phone call or text.
Another great resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). The Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also have Lifeline Chat – a service of connecting individuals with counselors for emotional support and other services via web chat, available 24/7 across the U.S. Here’s the link: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
Alright y’all, starting this month let’s pledge to #BeThe1To help someone through a crisis.For more information on how you can take action to prevent suicide, pleasevisit: https://www.bethe1to.com/?_ga=2.136774132.552887613.1567990873-1652897981.1567990873
Spread joy and throw kindness around like confetti.