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.

A few weeks ago, I came across Winnie’s post who re-blogged an excellent post, “Before You End Your Life” written by Accidental Blogger. Please read it if the following points apply to you:

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.

Childhood Crush
“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.

Cousin
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.


Colleague
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.


Friend
“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.

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Great information. We have to keep putting these messages out, not just for awareness. We need to let people struggling know they have support.

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Thank you for the support! You have encouraged me. I will think of this message every time I post information like this.

  2. This moving and very personal post with stories that hit home on many levels. It’s touched my life or the life someone I love many times. Very powerful and impactful. Thank you for sharing as even if it only reaches one per, you’ve made a difference. Sharing our stories definitely helps others.❤️

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement! It means so much. It’s the first time I’ve shared something like this. It’s only a snapshot too. 🙂

      1. You’re snap shot of your story that you chose to share and help others, it was well written, heartfelt and empowering!❤️🤗

  3. V.J. Knutson says:

    Suicide affects so many – the ripple effect you describe. Thanks for sharing.

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Thank you – I have more stories, but it felt too personal to broach right now. There’s so much literature and shows that explores this.

  4. Reblogged this on In Dianes Kitchen and commented:
    Kudos to you for blogging about a subject most people don’t want to talk about. You have excellent information…Thank you!

    1. theresaly520 says:

      You’re welcome & thank you so much for the reblog! It’s good to know resources and that there is support out there.

  5. Winnie says:

    Great post, dear! Thank you so much for raising awareness about this sensitive subject. I wish people are going to be more aware. There are a lot who are fighting their battle alone. ❤

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Thank you for your encouragement! I’ve never shared this before, but it feels good to know that there is a lot of support/resources out there. I’m worried about the aftermath of impressionable teenagers who watch 13 Reasons Why and feel like it is their only way out.

  6. I feel really happy to read this as what I wrote is spreading among people.
    Thank you for sharing this ❤️
    Loved it

    1. theresaly520 says:

      You’re welcome! 🙂 I wasn’t sure how to share this information at first, but I had a lot of encouragement! This is just a small snapshot from my life, and there was a lot more.

  7. As someone who has seriously contemplated suicide in the past, I appreciate you expressing your feelings about the ripple effect. That’s what stopped me–the effect it would have on my family and friends. Thank you for sharing.

    1. theresaly520 says:

      I’m glad my message and stories meant something to you today! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing. I enjoy your lovely photos on your blog. Sharing the beauty in the world is a precious thing. 🙂 ❤

  8. You brought tears to my eyes. And it was uplifting at the same time!

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Thank you for stopping by! I didn’t realize my untold story could affect people this way. ❤

  9. InspiresN says:

    We never realize how many people are affected as they go about normally in their lives ! t is wonderful that you brought awareness on this topic.Hats off to you and a great post with personal stories indeed.

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Great point to make! That’s why I feel like I strive to be kind to others. I never know if they are walking the edge of their personal “nuclear reactor”. Thank you again! ❤

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