A Promise to Raise Awareness
TRIGGER WARNING- This blog post and pages it links to contains information about suicide which may be upsetting to some people.
Are you at the lowest of your life right now?
Does everything seems to be falling in front of you?
Have you lost faith in yourself?
Do you feel like taking your own life & end everything?
After reading Jenna’s riveting post, “Speaking My Truth: Suicide Awareness and Prevention“, I learned that Nov.17th was National Survivors of Suicide Day aka International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.
I chatted with her about awareness, and I decided to create a new category on my blog. There are several causes that are close to my heart, but haven’t shared them due to cultural upbringing. Slowly testing new waters here!
I came across this blog post by Jason Muckley from Poems for Warriors posted a quote by Maya Angelou that seemed to be a game changer for me.
Between my studies this week, I want to share a few stories like I always do and take the time to reflect on important memories in my life. I’ve worked on this post little by little feeling a lot of things in small doses. Names have been changed. I don’t know if these people know how much they mean to me or how much they have touched my life. I want to tell you how much I love you. ❤ There’s a ripple effect when someone commits suicide. Everyone who has known a person who struggled with it will know that feeling. I’ve explored that in my own relationships.
“There’s an emergency! Liam passed out in the bathroom!!”
I looked up from my assignment and saw my classmate yelling at our fourth grade teacher pleading for help for his best friend. “No, it couldn’t be.” I was numb and distraught because I harbored a silent crush on Liam ever since I met him.
Liam didn’t hold back just because I was a girl when we played basketball. He gave it his all and played aggressively on the court which in turn made me a better player. He defended me when some girls decided to pick on me. He was always the cool, confident boy that both girls and guys liked.
I found out that Liam tried to kill himself while taking a restroom break. Here was a guy who I thought nothing could faze him. His best friend told me that his father recently killed himself, and Liam blamed himself for everything. I felt so fragile knowing that Liam was going through this pain, and I had no idea how to help him. It was the first time I heard of the term suicide.
I was so rattled that I was the last person to finish the writing portion of a standardized test a few weeks later. I was sweating, crying, and could hardly focus on the assigned prompt. The teachers proctoring the exam spoke among themselves. Writing usually came naturally to me, yet it was unbearably difficult that day.
I found out my cousin’s girlfriend broke up with him causing a severe depression. He told his mom that he wanted to kill himself. His mom was surprised that her normally happy son felt this way. My aunt took him to a suicidal ideation treatment center & hospital where he stayed for several weeks.
News reached out to the rest of us like a ripple effect. We were all really worried. I grew up with him. I had a blast playing video games with him growing up. When he was finally discharged, he was never quite the same. When I smiled at him during one family reunion, I was grateful that he smiled back. I hugged him. I was glad he was back.
One day I was walking to school, and I noticed several police officers stationed at the apartment adjacent to us. Brilliant math student died by suicide that afternoon. His classmates felt like he had everything going for him, and didn’t understand what happened or why he felt that way. Yet, so much was going on the university campus that year. The student body was in a perpetual state of frenzy. Students were protesting about tuition hikes and slept outside to make a statement. Political climate was toxic at the time.
“Trick or treat!” My friend opened the door and showed off her skeleton makeup. She had invited me over for a small Halloween get together one year.
When I first met her, she had this awesome rocker chick vibe. Her witty remarks easily made me laugh. Her humor was tinged with a sharp intelligence. I was fascinated by her essence and the impressive insights she shared in class. Her poetry was exquisite and the structure of them was captivating! I admired her boldness and outspokenness.
One day at 3 am, she sent me a chilling message informing me that she was in the hospital because she attempted suicide and thanked me for being a good friend. She now works for Americorp helping kids, published a book, won a few awards, and lives a life with purpose and gratitude. I’m so proud of her.
Suicide can affect anyone from any background at any time in his or her life.
You are not weak when you are asking for help.
If you need help, please call or text this number
1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Line.