My Suicide Story

My Suicide Story

You will be found

When I realized that this month was a month that made awareness to something so near and dear to my heart, I almost cried. My life has been significantly altered by suicide and its effects. Unfortunately, I have witnessed both suffering because of it, and felt it on a personal level. I have written a lot about suicide on Odyssey, but this is my outlet, and I choose to use it to pour my heart out.

I will never forget the first time that the thought of "I want to kill myself" popped into my head. I was 13, going through the unimaginable, and thought that my life was not worth saving. I thought that if someone could hurt me that much, that I needed to hurt myself. Luckily, I saw the effect of what suicide did before that happened. My freshman year of high school, a classmate committed suicide. I was in the midst of planning and getting ready to give my stuff away. But because I saw that, I felt compelled to stay, if not for me, for my friends.

So, high school came and went. Things got better. I only had a few times when I was actively thinking about killing myself. However, what stopped me was the "(insert life changing event) is about to happen." Or, "you have friends now! You have got this!" What people fail to realize is that when I am surrounded by people that I know love me, I am much happier.

Graduating from high school was euphoric. I felt like I was on top of the world, the stars, and more. I felt like nothing could stop me. Then, college came. What a lot of people fail to say about college is that even though it appears okay on the surface, a lot of the time, it's not. That was the exact case with me. I had a hard time adjusting. College is difficult to adjust to, but what was brewing was a "I need mental help" stew. I figured, at the beginning, that it was a phase that I would outgrow. However, a situation at home warranted my own emotional trauma. I thought, again, that I was not worth it.

This time, I had a plan. But you know what saved me? It's funny, but Gilmore Girls actually has an impact of why I am here. It was a personal connection with witty characters. It was something to look forward to each night and I knew that I could go to bed with a smile on my face. I had yet to get professional help, but just a few years later, I would have no choice.

They aren't kidding when they say that a lot can happen in a summer, and it did. I grew, and for the first time this past summer, I realized I was not alone. Plenty of people in college rely on others for help, and I am one of them now. Without that help, I would not be here today.

I write this to tell you that you are stronger than you realize. Just because you need a boost every now and that does not constitute weakness. You are stronger than they say, and you will surpass any expectations that you set for yourself. I am the living, breathing example of just that.

Sometimes, I think that I am not capable, I just have to remind myself that I am. It can be hard on some days, but I do it. How? I do my makeup. I write. I realize that everyone is going to have bad days, but they make it through them, so I can, too.

In Dear Evan Hansen, there is a line that says, "you will be found." It is so true. If not now, eventually. Don't lose your place on the map. You are on the right track

If you or a loved one is considering suicide, please contact 1-800-273-8255.

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I'm Pushing To #StopSoldierSuicide, And You Should Too

Twenty-two a day is 22 too many.

Between February 5 and February 26, 2018, my fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi, is sponsoring a nationwide campaign to advocate, volunteer and fundraise for the veteran's organization Stop Soldier Suicide. The campaign is split into three weeks, with each week having its own national goal for Stop Soldier Suicide.

Stop Soldier Suicide is the first national nonprofit organization that focuses on the prevention of veteran suicide. Veterans are 22% more likely to commit suicide than people who have not served, and the systems in place cannot keep up with the demand for help. So in 2010, Brian Kinsella, Nick Black, and Craig Gridelli founded Stop Soldier Suicide to help deal with the financial stress, soldier-to-civilian transitioning, and offer various mental health services.

Alpha Delta Phi's national campaign benefitting Stop Soldier Suicide takes the form of the Brothers in Arms Challenge. Over the course of 22 days, we lead a national awareness and fundraising challenge between our chapters at various colleges in the country to see who can raise the most money for Stop Soldier Suicide.

Why 22 days? Every day, 22 veterans and 1 active duty soldier take their own lives, a shocking reality of a nationwide epidemic that we intend to help relieve. Donations help provide mental health services, emergency financial aid, housing assistance, therapy, education and veteran bonding programs.

Week 1 is about advocacy, where we focus on engaging with campus personnel and students to raise awareness about what Stop Soldier Suicide is.

Week 2 is about volunteering, where we reach out to our community to work with veterans and any association that wants to help further the cause of helping veterans.

Week 3 is about fundraising, pushing for events to help raise money for the ultimate cause.

Some brothers, like myself, take it upon themselves to do the #BIAChallenge, where they do 22 push-ups a day for 22 days. Because of my connection to weightlifting, I put a personal twist on it and instead do 22 exercises, at 22 reps, for 22 days. The exercises are as follows:

So, what can you do to help? If you want to read more about what Stop Soldier Suicide is, you can find their website here. Additionally, you can always check out my Instagram page to see videos of some of the rep challenges I am doing here

Finally, the link to donate to our fundraising page to directly benefit Stop Soldier Suicide can be found by clicking here. Our goal as a fraternity is to raise enough money to connect each one of our brothers with their own veteran to provide support for an entire year. The Alabama Chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi consistently is one of the best donators in the country and with your help, you can help give back to our veterans.

Manus multae cor unum.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Even When You Feel Like Your Life Doesn't Matter, It Does

Nothing would be the same without you.
"You can never truly disappear, something will always remain: a kind word you said to a stranger, a kiss for an old lover or papers with your handwriting scattered through time, pieces of you that make up history."
"You shouldn't make anyone feel like they aren't good enough."

Stop and think about this for a minute. Nothing would be the same without you. Your existence matters. You deserve all good things. You being here, right now, makes the world a better place.

If you feel alone, know this, I am rooting for you. You can do this. You are here for a reason, please stick around to see that. We have struggles, some more than others. Don't be afraid to open up and share your thoughts with others. You never know what impact it could have.

You are loved beyond measure. You are special and unique. You have so many reasons to keep living. The world does not define you by any means, nor does your past. Each day is a new day to be exactly who you want to be. Be the person you need.

You matter.

If you need help, do not be afraid to reach out.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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