World Suicide Prevention Day : My Story #IKeptLiving
Saturday, September 10th, 2016 General
Today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day.
This is my story.
As I was recovering emotionally from my suicide attempt, I knew that I needed to do more than talk. I needed more. I had been saved, I was still alive. It was time for me to pay it forward.
To keep moving..
To keep loving..
To keep serving..
That was the only way that I could quiet the demons in my head.
And so I walked.
in the night.
With my mom who almost lost her baby.
And two friends who had lost a father and a brother to suicide.
And then I did it again the next year. 20 miles. Through NYC. With one my best friends who struggled, just like I had.
And I raised $10,000 by rallying my troops and doing a big 2 day garage sale. So many people donated to that garage sale – whatever they could do. Old furniture, clothes, shoes, knick-knacks, and checks if they could.
We advertised my garage sale. Strangers came from all over. My grandpa guarded the sale by sitting in the driveway, shooting the shi* with strangers, while he lounged in a lawn chair, sipping lemonade.
And when these ‘strangers’ realized that 100% of the proceeds were going to Suicide Prevention … some people told me their stories. Some people held their breath and put their hand on their heart.
One woman walked through the garage, slowly tracing the books, beanie babies, lamps, and knick knacks with her fingers. As she turned to leave, with nothing in hand, my grandma and I thanked her for stopping by.
She stopped in her step, turned around, and told us that she had just lost her son to suicide.
And then she took out her checkbook. She didn’t want anything from the sale, but she wanted to support this cause.
I’ll never forget her.
We are all in this together. We have all been impacted by depression or suicide — if not personally, then it at least hits close to home in some way. I’m sure of that.
As I walked those 20 miles, I walked alongside strangers who told me their stories. Why they were there. Why they were walking. There were points, late into the walk, where I literally had to keel over, because I felt like I was going to be sick. The stories were heavy. My pain was still heavy. Each time I stopped, my friends held onto my arms, and kept me going. We were in it together. When one of us was weak, the other was strong.
The best is yet to come.
There is so much to live for.