September 11, 2020 3 min read

I didn’t realize that childhood, and the experiences that you go through as a kid can shape so much of your future. I grew up with a hardworking career driven mother and a very abusive, power hungry father. My depression today stems from anxiety, worthlessness, and guilt. I blamed myself for a lot of things, things I couldn’t control. From losing friends, gaining weight, not getting a good grade on a test, etc. I blamed myself for all of it. Today, I continue to struggle with triggers that instantly take me back to a very low place, however, I am grateful that I was given tools to pull myself out of it.  
 

How do you think people can better support their loved ones struggling with suicidal thoughts? 

Patience. Depression seems never ending and telling someone that it will be okay does not end the struggles that they are going through. Continue to let them know that you love them, reach out to them when you are in need of a helping hand- When I felt needed, I felt like I wanted to be here longer 

How long did you struggle with your mental health- and how did you find relief from suicidal thoughts? 

I continue to struggle with my mental health, I’ve had opportunities to speak to therapists and continue to do so when needed. Being aware that something is wrong is a big step when I begin to sink into those dark thoughts, I realize what is happening and I work with the tools given to me to get out of my funk. I struggled with suicidal thoughts for about 2 years, having a therapist and serving others were a big part of my suicidal recovery.  

what are some tips you would like to share to anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts? 

Breath. I’ve learned to slow down and take a breath. Grounding myself and realizing that I am needed, that I am loved, and that my presence on earth right now is needed.  

Why do you think someone would choose suicide? 

For me, suicide was a way to escape the pain. I felt like I was drowning each day I stayed... and if I was drowning, I couldn’t imagine what I was doing to others around me just by simply being here. I didn’t think about my family or my loved ones, I knew they would be okay... However, the thought of not drowning anymore was exactly what I wanted.  

What are some warning signs of suicide? 

I feel like everyone is different. I wanted everything to feel normal- I was good at wearing a smile and acting like life was amazing. I never wanted anyone to suspect that I was struggling. I made plans and made sure my life seemed as normal as possible to others even though I was hurting so bad inside.  

What can the average person do in their everyday life and relationships to be the kind of person that someone can turn to in the event of a mental health crisis? 

Be kind, ask “how are you” and listen, really listen. Reaching out and showing anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts that you care is so helpful.  

How can you help?

You do not have to be “perfect” to help another person going through mental health problems. Being kind, showing up, and listening when needed is more than enough when it comes to helping. However, a professional is best suited to help another with suicidal thoughts. Though being a friend is essential, tools given by a professional will best help the person get the help they need. 

During the week of September 12-19, you can donate to AFSP on our website + you will receive a free Laci Sunflower Ballcap, which you can use as a reminder that you can be a light to those stumbling through the gloom. 100% of your donations will help AFSP in their mission to save lives + bring hope to those affected by suicide. 

As an extra "thank you" for donating, we'll also offer you 20% off any additional items you add to your cart. Together, we #KEEPGOING.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

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