Numb, in shock and finally acceptance. Like many mental health advocates, the news of Robin Williams hit close to home for me. Suicide touched my life when I was in high school when a dear friend of mine committed suicide. I tried to blog about this earlier, but my brain could not wrap itself around forming words for the many emotions that a suicide brings up in me.
I remember the feeling of helplessness. How could someone who was so loved and so kind feel like she was all alone? I knew in my heart that this struggle ran deeper than just normal teenage stress. If I could go back in time, I would talk to my friend more. I would help her pull down that facade of being the strong, smart and in charge one. I would tell her what I now know to be true. Asking for help is not weak. The strongest among us have struggled with some large demons, and those struggles have refined our characters. Asking for help is the strongest thing that you can do when you are struggling.
Many of my blogging friends in the mental health community have struggled with suicide and suicidal ideations. These amazing men and women are true survivors. They have fought those thoughts, and they have come out on the other side. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for sharing your stories. Suicide carries so much stigma and shame. It is time that we stop whispering about it behind closed doors and talk about it openly.
There is hope. It gets better. If you are struggling, please call the national crisis hotline at anytime.