123 people kill themselves every day.
In the United States alone.
Brothers, sisters, moms, dads, friends, relatives.
All with their own stories.
Their own demons.
And I’m no mental health expert.
But we hear about it all the time.
The shocking stories of suicide.
And five years ago, I thought about it.
I was 19, with a voice inside my head that wouldn’t shut up.
That I couldn’t control.
I remember laying in my bed.
Thinking that death would be better than this.
Better than the never-ending storm inside my head.
The thoughts that wouldn’t go away.
Thoughts that were too terrifying to reveal to anyone.
But luckily, I eventually did.
I talked about it.
To family and close friends.
And gradually, that saved me.
I managed to get it under control.
To examine it, open up about it, reveal myself bare to those closest to me.
And from there I worked to build better habits into my life.
What we tend to forget about mental health is that there are no boundaries.
It goes after the poor, the rich, men, women, young and old.
And we’re especially shocked when it happens to those who are ‘successful.’
Because they’ve got it ‘made’.
What a crazy misconception that is.
What a wild thing our society promotes.
The idea that money and fame are the cure-alls.
When in fact they only amplify what’s already there.
So, we must constantly remind ourselves what truly matters…
Love and appreciation.
And always remember what real strength looks like…
Vulnerability. Truth. Empathy.
I’m blessed to live in a generation that’s beginning to embrace that idea.
That it’s okay to feel weak, scared, depressed, and anxious.
That you not only can open up, but you must.
Now, I want to end this newsletter with the passage that saved my life.
I read it while I was at my lowest low.
If you’re struggling, I hope it helps you as much as it did it me.
It’s from Life of Pi by Yann Martel…
“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always … so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.”
You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it.
I hope you do.
PS – If you feel like you need someone to talk to but can’t find anyone around, please please please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline in your country.
You are not alone <3