Let's Talk About Suicide, For Tyler Hilinski's Sake

Let's Talk About Suicide, For Tyler Hilinski's Sake

I, for one, am a basket case a lot of the time, and it’s OK if you are too.
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Ah yes, the dreaded conversation about mental health.

Many of you have probably heard of Tyler Hilinski, a WSU football player and student who took his own life on January 16th, 2018.

So many people struggle with mental health — my friends, my family, my peers, myself. For something that so many people go through, it absolutely breaks my heart when people feel their only option is to end their life.

It’s times like these you see Twitter and Facebook flooded with messages about loving people and checking in on your friends. While these are great messages, they seem to fizzle out after a while.

It’s time we keep the conversation going and love the people around us even harder.

Depression, anxiety and other mental disorders are like cancer to the mind and soul. Cancer is a serious condition, so why do we so often brush mental health under the rug or just try to suck it up when it can be just as fatal?

If you are someone who is struggling with your mental health, please know you’re not alone and you aren’t crazy. You are allowed to not be OK, and you are allowed to put yourself first. If getting up and getting dressed is all you can do today, it’s OK. The best you can do is something you should be proud of because you are here.

Don’t talk yourself out of reaching out. “People have it worse than me,” is not an excuse to not get help. Your problems matter, no matter how big or small.

If you think someone you know is considering suicide or might be having a hard time, ask the hard questions. “Are you thinking about suicide?” “Are you hurting yourself?” “Do you need help?” Just ask them. It is so much easier to have this conversation with someone before you no longer have the opportunity.

Something I’ve been working on is saying how I really feel while I’m feeling it. No more “I’m good, you?” b.s. If I had the greatest day, I’ll tell you all about it. If I’m angry, I’ll be sure to let you know too.

Something my mom said to me during one of my I’m-so-pissed-off-and-sad phone calls that stuck with me was “You are allowed to let yourself feel, even if you seem like a basket case because you are human.”

I, for one, am a basket case a lot of the time, and it’s OK if you are too.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram |

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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A Year After My Suicide Attempt I Can Say That I'm Happy I Failed

I failed in taking my life, and now a year later, it's completely changed.

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Warning: This content talks about suicide.

On February 4th, 2018, I tried to take my life.

Obviously, my attempt failed.

It was the day of the Super Bowl—the only reason I remember is because all of my friends were too drunk to take me to the hospital.

I had just gotten off of work, and a coworker and I had just had a nasty fight. I worked closely with sexual assault survivors—I was chair of the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Planning Committee at the time—and we had been screaming at each other about why it was important to believe survivors. He, like many, believed that it wasn't fair to the wrongly accused, and people should always be suspicious if there's an accusation.

Earlier that day, one of my fellow managers at Pizza Hut was hired back onto the team even though there had been many complaints by employees as young as 16 that he had sexually harassed them.

That and the confrontation with my coworker on the same day sent me over the edge. Chairing that committee was the most important thing I had ever done, and it wasn't going well whatsoever. Moreover, I felt like whatever I did accomplish on the committee, people like these two men would still exist and survivors' voices would continue to not matter.

I felt hopeless like nothing mattered. I didn't matter.

I was so overcome leaving the office that while I was waiting for the light to turn to cross the street, I walked in front of a car.

They stopped just in time, and I remember running to my car, sobbing and embarrassed at my failure. That was one of the worst nights of my life.

Two days later on my birthday, I was diagnosed with depression. Over the next few months, I started taking mood stabilizers and worked with a counselor on campus to get me through the semester.

Looking back a year later, I think for probably the thousandth time about how thankful I am the driver missed me.

I was fired from Pizza Hut (for something that was totally, obviously, not my fault!) that same week, and it ended up being one of the best things that could have happened for me. That job was one of the biggest stresses in my life, forcing me to deal with sexism, homophobia, and racism daily from my coworkers, not to mention screaming customers who don't treat you like a person.

I presented at a conference, learning and teaching my peers about rape culture.

That April, I developed an event where survivors could present poetry they wrote themselves to have their narrative heard. To this day, I've never experienced any feeling like the one I had laying in my bed that night, reflecting on some of the thanks I received and the emotion I saw.

I also found my dog on the side of the road and rescued her. Now she's my emotional support animal, also the apple of my eye.

Around the same time, I started to crochet. I still have a lot of room for improvement, but if I hadn't gotten depressed and went sober, I wouldn't have had so much time on my hands, which gave me the time to learn what is now one of my biggest pleasures in life.

A few months later, the night before my first Pride, I cried in the back of my friends' car reading the Wikipedia page that helps you work through whether or not you're genderfluid. Any queer knows that if you have to Google it, you probably are. I came out to my support group shortly after. Then Pride happened, and it was the most deliciously queer thing I've ever experienced. I felt more validated than ever.

I started binding when I needed to feel more "me." Now I live authentically, respecting and loving my male and female side equally.

That same month, my roommate got a companion for my Stella named Pepper, and she brings so much joy and laughter into our lives. Their sisterhood is adorable, and the four of us have become a little family in our little college apartment.

When school started, I received a scholarship, started two internships (one as a Content Creator with this fine establishment), and earned straight A's for the first time in my life.

Towards the end of that semester, my beautiful girlfriend and I started dating, and it's easily one of the best relationships I've ever been in.

At Thanksgiving, I came out to my parents as gay.

Soon after, I went back to Seattle where I was born and was reminded how much I love the mountains and trees.

I got four tattoos in 2018. All of them are beautiful and special, and make me feel like art.

Now, I'm starting the last semester of my undergraduate degree.

I sit here now, with so many accomplishments under my belt and high points in this past year, and thank whatever gods may be for stopping the car.

As cliche as it may sound, I've developed a newfound appreciation for life and everything it has to offer. I can sink my teeth into every day, and my heart is full with the bounties I get to enjoy because I chose to work for my mental health and work for my place here on this earth.

I deserve that. Everyone deserves that.

It really is true what they say, that if you don't stick around to watch it get better, it never will. I, and this year are living, breathing proof of that.

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