From the blogs that I have read in the past I noticed a lot of the bloggers first posts were started with something to the effect of not sure how to start a first post. Honestly, I do not know either, but something was posted to my FaceBook this morning that struck me hard that I figured would be a good first post because it is so near and dear to my heart.
August 31, 2010 – The day the breath was taken out of me. I can remember that day so vividly. I was with my boyfriend at that time finishing up my work from home opportunity I was working on. The smell of dinner was filling the house. Then…the phone rang. I answered it and it was static, but I heard my dad’s voice very vaguely. They lived in Fredericksburg, VA. They tried calling me back and just static again and faintly my dads voice. It was breaking up so bad and I knew where my dad was heading at that time. He was headed out to where my brother lived. That was the only place where cell phone service goes to die.
Finally, a clear connection. Then those words that will stay with me the rest of my life, “He’s gone.” My little brother was dead. He committed suicide. All I can remember was coming to my knees not being able to breathe, to think. I just wept this cry that I don’t think anyone has cried before and screamed no!
This is something that happens on a daily basis here America. Unfortunately, it is a subject that most just sweep under the rug. That won’t happen in my family and if it does we can’t talk about it. It is disease that is sweeping the nation silently, but luckily it is gaining a little more exposure and people are starting to realize it as more than the person’s fault they are the way they are.
Addiction, depression, bipolar disorder…suicide. My brother was an addict like me. His suicide note said he felt like a bad person. Most people think that addicts; people with depression or mental disorders, they are misunderstood or they are bad in some way. We are not like that at all. We are good people plagued with this “monster” inside us that screams to be fed, so we make bad decisions. That’s it. Some decisions are more permanent than others.
Not all my posts are going to be this serious, but in light of it being Mental Health Awareness Month and specifically Mental Health Awareness Week it is important that the message be carried that this is real, this does affect people and everyone around you.
My brother did not die in vain though. Since 2010, my family and I have connected with other individuals in our community that have similar stories. Just in the last 6 years the numbers are growing significantly. My father has spoke at the Out of the Darkness walk last year to let other know about his story to keep my brother alive. Without awareness there is no possibility for change. Do not sweep this under the rug and let’s bring this to light!
I am not sure this will have the effect that I am hoping for, but if I can reach one person with this and just let them know YOU’RE NOT ALONE. If you want help, it’s here. Just reach out.