Editor's Note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following story could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741741.
“From the day I became aware of what both psychology and mental illness truly were, my fascination and love grew for it. Mental health was something that has always been of interest to me, and it has personally affected me when I lost a friend to suicide in 2012 and then lost my brother to suicide in 2014.
At the time, I was 20-years-old when I lost my older brother, Travis, and he was 22. It was a cold January night and I was laying in bed. The next thing I heard was my mom screaming repeatedly, ‘he hanged himself’. The words hit me like a giant punch in the gut.
My entire world changed in that moment. The person that I was before my brother died was gone. I lost my best friend on that Sunday night and began struggling more with my own mental health issues.
One month led to three months, which led to a year, to now four years since his death. Every year has been a different kind of challenge. I struggled with depression, severe anxiety, and even battled my inner demons at my lowest points. Lots of therapy appointments, visiting his grave, and having a select few trusting people in my life has helped the grieving.
Throughout these past few years, I have lost friends who didn’t know how to handle the grief, as well as gained many friends, too. Figuring out where to put all of that pain and emptiness drove me to become an advocate, spreading as much about both suicide and mental illness awareness as possible.
I thank organizations like Lost Got Found who shed light specifically on mental illness and suicide. It’s not talked about enough, which definitely has resulted in the stereotypical views and opinions that people usually have towards mental health and suicide.
My goal is to get more people talking. People won’t understand unless they know. Be kind! It helps make the darker days a little brighter.”