TW: This post talks about suicide, and depression.
Today, September 10th 2022 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Our intention in writing about and talking about suicide today is to bring awareness and normalize the idea that many of us live with or have experienced suicidal feelings at some point. We tend to feel uncomfortable talking about suicide, both because it's a heavy topic emotionally, and because sometimes we just don't know how to talk about it. It's important to talk to, the people in your life - because you never know who is suffering in silence. The tricky thing about depression and struggling with suicidal ideation is that if you don't talk about it, then it can be easily hidden. It often comes with shame, or fear of being judged or even institutionalized, which can be a deeply traumatizing experience.
When I was in my teens I was struggling a lot with my mental health, and it was hard for me to talk about, because reflecting back on those moments, I didn't even understand what was happening to me. It felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel for me, and that my world was just getting darker day by day. It got to the point that I didn't want to live any longer, and I attempted suicide at 15. Of course, I am still here today, therefore it did not work. But I am so grateful that it didn't. That was nearly 11 years ago for me, 11 years of life that I would not have been able to experience. I would have never met my brother or sister, never graduated high school or college... twice, never gone to university, never opened a business with a really cool business partner or met my wonderful life partner and friends that I have in my life today.
I am not saying that it's been easy ever since, because it certainly has not. I went to therapy and got the help and support I needed, but I've had many breakdowns and lows and struggled a lot throughout the years. The one thing that always pulls me back, is This Too Shall Pass. These hard times will end, and something else will come in its place, but there's going to be a lot of wonderful times and moments in between and those are the things to look forward to, and hold on to.
Going to therapy and talking to professionals about my mental health is what got me to where I am today. Mental Health is just as important as physical health, so why don't we go seek counselling when we are experiencing burn out at work, or having increased anxiety about going back to in person classes? These may seem like small things but getting help is important and can prevent you from getting worse and potentially going down the road to a breakdown.
If you or someone you know is struggling please reach out.