Every few months, a post on the local news site from my hometown emerges that has sadly become the norm there.
And all too familiar, my feed becomes a central hub of knowledge, the deceased’s name being exposed long before the news outlets.
This time, it was a person I only knew mutually who was part of the fire department. A friend of many, but nobody I was close with.
Although given the situation at hand, the thoughts and feelings going on in that person’s mind are familiar to me. The thought of not being worthy of love, the stress bubbling up inside you enough to make you explode, the tears you can’t cry in fear others will judge. The feelings you can’t show, but know they are there. So far, people are assuming suicide, which has been a frequent topic brought up by these train tragedies.
Like the Robin Williams suicide a year ago, nobody knew the troubles this person faced. A lot of my newsfeed friends said they recently saw him, how happy he was and how upbeat of a person he was. Happiness is a mask for many. But it can only take you so far.
My hometown has had its share of troubles, so many, I dare not go into detail here, and the almost monthly suicides have recently been a problem only treated by adding another fence instead of adding another walk in mental health clinic. The town’s priorities are indeed out of wack, and it’s heartbreaking that yet another family has to deal with this.
More needs to be done to prevent this from happening and it needs to start with being a better friend and opening up to one another without fear of judgement. It needs to start with mental health resources being available to all. It needs to start with taking pride in our community and taking care of one another instead of fighting like high school never ended. It needs to stop being judgemental of others and loving one another despite what problems a person faces.
I went thruogh the same feelings and the same thoughts this young man has, and nobody should ever feel that way. The stigma of getting help scares many off and I want you all out there to know you are not alone.
In my case, I spent a week in a mental hospital under close watch after my thoughts spun out of control, how I went with three solid weeks of little to no sleep and that strong feeling of taking my own life. It took months of therapy to cope with my thoughts and take charge. But with enough love from those around you, you can take your life back. I was lucky to have those resources and a family that was close, but some don’t have that, or quite possibly choose not to take that hand when they need it most. .
If you are ever in crisis, big or small, there are plenty of resources available, starting with the 211 Hotline that connects you to valuable services ranging from mental health and crisis centers to food banks and housing. Any phone in North America can connect to this resource by dialing 211. There is also access to someone available to talk to 24/7 by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. (8255)
There is help out there, whether it be Levittown or Orlando or wherever. You don’t ever have to end your life this way. You are valuable to many and I hope nobody ever has to go thruogh this anymore.
I pray I never have to see this on my feed again. My thoughts are with this family and many others during this rough time.
Remember, you are loved. Always.