Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – What It’s Like to Lose Someone to Suicide

Another crazy busy day at work means another video as today’s post (sorrrrrry!). I think this video is extremely powerful though, and I think it’s a great sequel to yesterday’s post.

Although I feel very strongly that suicide is NOT selfish act, I do believe that it definitely has a wide-spread impact. Suicide has a way of affecting so many people in so many different ways.

Sometimes, with regards to death in general, I have this theory that some people do not allow themselves to accept that they’re struggling/grieving as much as they deserve. Does that make any sense? I think that because death is scary, yet common, yet simultaneously difficult to understand, we don’t always know how it’s supposed to affect us.

In reality, loss impacts each of us differently, and no one way is right or wrong. Because of this, we should accept that we each cope differently too. I don’t think there should be any shame in this. I also don’t think that we should expect the pain to go away at any specific point. Grieving takes time. In many senses, I don’t believe grieving really ever ends.

If you have lost a loved one and you want to talk about your feelings and your grief, I highly encourage you to. It can (and will) be extremely therapeutic and cathartic. If you are not comfortable sharing that part of you yet, don’t! You need to wait until you’re ready.

My only advice regarding this is to share how you’re feeling at some point, when you feel ready, whenever that may be. Like I said yesterday, there are people that understand what you’re going through. There are people that care and there are people that want to listen. Please don’t ever convince yourself that the way you are coping is incorrect, shameful, or unworthy of vocalizing. Your feelings are so beyond valid.

Loss is confusing and heartbreaking. It brings with it a mixed bag of emotions. Loss due to suicide, in some ways, is even more complicated. Please cut yourself some slack and just allow yourself to feel what you feel.

Pride Month: Jocelyn

I’ve thought for a while about how to appropriately introduce this piece and I’m still at a loss for words, but I mean that in the best way. 

Today’s words are written by my good friend, Jocelyn. I’ve been lucky enough to have known her for a few years now, but I feel like it’s safe to say we’ve grown much closer recently. 

When I say I’m at a loss for words, I mean that I was blown away by how vulnerable, genuine, and honest Jocelyn was willing to be in this piece. These words speak volumes about the kind of person she has become, and it makes me so happy to see how she’ll continue to grow in the future.

I think that, regardless of your sexuality, or where you may be in the coming out process, her opinions and experiences will resonate with you. Not to completely overuse the word “pride” but, I just couldn’t be more proud to know Jocelyn after reading this.

Without further ado, here is a look inside the mind and feelings of Joce: 

Pride To Me:

The word pride can have many different meanings and definitions. For example, The word pride is defined in the dictionary as follows:

Definition of Pride:

  1. the quality or state of being proud: such as
    a:  inordinate self-esteem:  conceit
    b:  a reasonable or justifiable self-respect
    c:  delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship parental pride
  2. proud or disdainful behavior or treatment:  disdain
  3. a:  ostentatious display
  4. b:  highest pitch:  prime
  5. a source of pride:  the best in a group or class
  6. a company of lions
  7. a showy or impressive group a pride of dancers

Although my definition of pride may be a little different from others, I wanted to at least try and articulate the meaning in my own words. In light of this month, I’m going to swallow my pride (See what I did there?) and write a little post about what this all means to me:

I’ve always been, in some way, a closed book, and that’s because of a lot of reasons. I’m someone who has tried to steer away from attention and anything that involves the word pride all together. I’ve never been one to call myself a prideful person because I have spent a great deal of my life putting energy into covering up something that plays such a prominent role in who I am as a person. The world is scary, life is hard, and for so long I was not someone who was about to tell my world something so personal about myself…until recently…. and for that, I am proud.

Like many, I am terrified of being vulnerable and did not want anyone to think of me differently, or any less, after I told them about this part of me that was hidden for so long. When society tells you to be a certain way, it is tough to go against it. For so long, I was actually very stubborn and didn’t think it was anyone’s business to know about my personal life, or who I dated, etc. Granted, it isn’t anyone’s business anyway, but when you date someone of the same sex, it seems to suddenly turn into the topic of all conversation. I slowly, but surely, began to realize that this was not necessarily the case, and there is no shame in loving who you love, and being who you are. I can thank my supportive and amazing group of friends for always being there, and having my back throughout these times in my life.

Pride, to me, is not necessarily carrying a flag in a parade or shouting to everyone in the streets. (For the record, I’m not putting the gay pride parade down in any way because I will most likely be there – It’s just not what I want to make this all about.) To me, it’s not about being proud to be gay, or bi, or whatever your heart desires. For me, it is simply being proud of myself for taking those tiny steps to have the courage to come out to myself, and my friends and say, hey I like women as well. I love who I love, and that’s who I am.

I am not all the way out, so I’m proud of myself for even having the courage to write this post publicly. I still have a long way to go, but having the courage to even take those steps is what pride means to me. I was even reluctant to write this post at first, because who would actually care about what I had to say? But there I was again, caring more about what other people thought, rather than just saying – fuck it, who cares what people think.

Maybe this post will resonate with someone else who is in a similar position as I am. If it does, I’m thankful for that and would like to say to you, please don’t be afraid to take the first step….someone cares, someone is in the exact same position as you, and they are waiting to hear from you. You’re not alone.

Pride is to be free of what society labels you and to choose who you want to be every moment of your life. Don’t forget that there is beauty in being self-expressed, but it is also terrifying. So, take your time, and take pride in your love.

Thank you for reading!

MHAM Post #1: To Summarize – IDFK

I literally dread seeing my therapist every week. Is that weird???????????? IDFK, OK.

I have this really terrible problem of keeping everyone in my life at arm’s length, my therapist included. Clearly this is not a conscious choice of mine. I divulge my life and emotions on the internet for god’s sake. If I really wanted to keep people from knowing the true me, there is no way in hell this blog would exist.

The distance I keep is just a horrible habit and a defense technique stemming from my anxiety. I feel my safest when I’m pleasing others. I feel my happiest when people are proud of me. How could I possibly let my therapist, or anyone else for that matter, know me to my core?

It sounds crazy, I know. I talk all the time about how important mental health advocacy is. I preach nonstop about being strong enough to be your true self. I literally pay someone hundreds of dollars a week to get to know the deepest, darkest parts of me, yet I still find myself hiding behind a façade.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living a lie. How can I say I’m confident with myself and my life and my mental status if I still keep everyone a comfortable distance away? How can I yearn for that emotional intimacy yet feel genuinely sick to my stomach when I get even mildly close to experiencing it?

The amount of nights I’ve gone to bed alone, feeling broken. The amount of times I have wished someone would just fight for me to let them in.

I wish I knew all the answers. But if I did, clearly I wouldn’t still be wrestling with these problems.

I think it’s just important to remember no matter how happy and healthy someone may seem, they may still be fighting some inner demons.

That’s where I’m at right now. I’m constantly grappling with the inability to open myself up. I’m constantly wondering if I will ever be capable of love. I am constantly fearing whether or not I will ever be able to feel vulnerable.

Yet, I feel happy a great deal of the time too. Happiness isn’t black and white. Progress isn’t linear. But damn is it frustrating as hell sometimes to be stuck somewhere in the middle. Right now I’m somewhere in the grey. Aren’t we all though? Isn’t life just a mix of all the greys? And to go right back to where I started……….IDFK, OK.

(I really brought that one full circle, huh)

Quick Little PSA!!!

This blog is not a cry for help. This blog was not created because I need to vent my feelings and I don’t have anyone to go to. I don’t write these things because I’m insecure, or lonely, or in need of attention.

Quite the opposite actually!!

I created this blog out of confidence and out of pride. I created this blog because I felt strong and I realized that many people do not.

I created this blog because SO MANY PEOPLE struggle with the exact same things that I struggle with, but not enough people want to openly talk about it!

In all honesty, I don’t care if one or one million people read what I write on here, I still think sharing my thoughts and experiences is important.

Even though I’m only one person, I can be one less person hiding my struggles from the world.

I just think it is extremely important for more people to understand that sooooo many of us struggle with mental illnesses, but those illnesses are nothing to be ashamed of, nor do they define us.

In fact, I live a really flippin’ gr8 life even with my bad days! Just because I write about these dark feelings doesn’t mean I’m not happy a lot of the time too! I have a life that I’m honestly really proud of, filled with a lot of really amazing friends. I work a job with people I really like, in a city I love, and I fill my days with experiences am really thankful for!

I want people to understand that, if anything, being more open about my anxiety and depression has brought me more happiness. Not to mention the fact that I feel like my openness has allowed other people to feel comfortable being more open with their own struggles too.

There is still a MASSIVE stigma surrounding mental health and I know I can’t single-handedly change that, but I can at least try my best to help! 

Silence only perpetuates the problem, so I’m actively and purposefully breaking my own silence to share my own raw and honest feelings with anyone who happens to read them.

So no, I don’t want any sympathy. I am not here in search of support or compassion or a shoulder to cry on. I have plenty of that! I’m here because I want to be honest. And maybe my honesty will help break down the negative stigma a teeeeeny tiny bit! WHO KNOWS AMIRITE?? MAYBE IT WON’T HELP ANYTHING AT ALL LOL!! But regardless, at least I didn’t choose to stay silent!!!


—————– edit


Side note: I think part of my idea to start a public blog was inspired by few blogs that I have read and felt like I could really relate to. Gotta give credit where credit is due!! Check out the blogs below:

And check out this v great post written by a girl in my sorority!!!!:

#WorldMentalHealthDay is Cool!!!!!!!!

Although I’ll probably post this tomorrow (aka Tuesday when
you’re most likely reading it), today is World Mental Health Day. Coincidentally,
when I was falling asleep last night I was reflecting on the changes in my
mental health recently. So what better time to write about it than today!!

Let me start by saying, today I tweeted about how important
I think it is to try to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness. I said
something along the lines of “seeking treatment/medication literally changed my
life this year and it can change yours too”. First off, I’m going to elaborate on
this concept later in this post but, I want to touch on the fact that I don’t
really think therapy/medication is a cure-all. I also don’t think it is an
immediate fix, nor do I think it works for everyone. I also mildly exaggerated the
fact that it “changed my life” to emphasize the points I was making on Twitter.
I think every day is different and every person struggles/copes with mental
illness differently. For me, I have good days and I have bad days. But the major
point I wanted to make via Twitter was that if you are struggling or think you
might be struggling with anything related to your mental health, you should
speak up and seek help! I can say from experience that not saying anything is guaranteed
to make the problem worse in the long run. Two-thirds of people struggling don’t
do anything!! That is CRAZY to think about. But also, I was that person for so
long! So my tweets were more geared towards those people that are silently
trying to cope and have yet to ask for any help.

So I have been taking medication for my anxiety/depression
for a few months now. At first, like I said before, I was pretty hesitant to
try it. And in the beginning, it had little to no positive effects for me. But
last night, as I was falling asleep, I was thinking about the past couple
months since I started taking my medication. I have still cried, still felt
anxious, still felt alone, and still felt helpless, yes. But

How many times have a thought about killing
myself? Drastically less than before!

How many times have I felt so empty that I didn’t
think I needed to be here anymore? Not as many as pre-medication!

How often have I felt motived and genuinely excited
to see friends? So many more times than before!

How often have I felt more optimistic about my
life and future? Waaaay more than I had in the recent past!

I know I am still
early in the medication process, but I’m grateful to be in a better place now
than I used to be.  

I can’t really pinpoint the first few times I realized I was
struggling with anxiety or depression. In a lot of senses, it was just always
part of me. I was always a very anxious, worried, self-conscious kid. I think
my anxiety only really started to become an issue when my depression came into
the picture. I have always felt emotions very strongly, but I think my depression
started to creep in during college. In high school, yes I felt overwhelmingly
sad sometimes, but I could always draw a connection as to why I was feeling
that way. In college, it wasn’t that simple. Over the past 5 or so years, I
just began to feel progressively darker. I started feeling uncontrollably
helpless once a year, then once a month, then maybe every other week or so,
until recently, it became constant. I used to think about killing myself only
when I drank. By the time I started taking my medication, I was thinking about
it soberly all the time.

Don’t let that scare you. I wasn’t planning my suicide, I
just felt so useless and empty that I couldn’t understand how I’d ever feel any
differently again. Depression can become this black hole that just sucks you
in, making you believe that there can’t possibly be a future filled with
anything other than emptiness and loneliness. I didn’t want to speak up about
these dark feelings I was having, partially because I didn’t think people would
understand, and partially because I feared that they would overreact. How do
you tell your friend or your parent that you think about how you shouldn’t be
alive? How do you explain to them that you feel miserable but can’t even
articulate why? How do you let someone in during those low moments, without
completely terrifying them?

I don’t really think I’ve ever explained the depths of these
feelings to very many of my friends. I did however, finally open up to my mom
earlier this year. I am so thankful for gaining the strength/energy/courage to
talk to her, because with her help, I’ve found a therapist and physiatrist that
truly have my best interests at heart.

I may deal with these depressed feelings and anxious
thoughts for the rest of my life. I may feel empty and alone on and off until
the day I die. I don’t know! Even if that’s true, at least I am seeking help.
At least I am consciously trying to make things better. That’s really my point
in all this! Seeking help for a mental illness is never an immediate fix. It’s
not like a broken bone that just needs some time to heal. It is a long process,
but having people to talk to, and coping mechanisms to rely on, is always
better than trying to fight the problem alone.

A lot of brilliantly amazing and talented people struggle
with their mental health. One in four adults are struggling right now!! That’s a
quarter of us! That’s like 450 million Americans (I think? If the stat I read
is right? Aka uhhh don’t quote me on that .. ha)! But that is a crazy amount of
people! Reach out to other people like you. Share your feelings and your story.

And even if you’re not struggling, offer an ear to listen or
a shoulder to lean on. You may not be able to completely understand what
someone is going through, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still sympathize with
them. When I’m at my lowest, all I want is someone to physically be with me!
Try to figure out little ways like that to show someone who’s going through a
hard time that you’re still there.

To those people afraid to open up about how they’re feeling,
my best advice to you is that most people will surprise you. Before I could be
honest about my mental health to anyone, I assumed very few of my friends had
ever struggled with anything similar. You have no idea how many people feel
just like you until you find the guts to open up. And you may also find a lot of
friends who care enough to listen, even if they haven’t been through something
similar. Sometimes it just takes seeing someone struggling first hand to be
able to sympathize.

SOoOoOOooOoO the moral of MY World Mental Health Day issssss,
today was a good day! And recently I’ve had more good days than bad! Who’s to
say what tomorrow will be like, but for today, this is enough.


I’m going to try something new


I don’t have that many followers on my tumblr but I do know some people that I am friends with look at my tumblr fairly often so this is something I’ve always been extremely apprehensive about. 

But hi, my name is Alex and I am entirely unable to openly and honestly express my emotions. Partially because I’m afraid of rejection, partially out of habit, and partially because no one asked to hear about my emotions in the first place.

But I got a tumblr in December of 2010 because I wanted to be part of a community that helped me cope with things I was going through and helped me feel less alone. Yes, tumblr has given me that, but at a distance. I have yet to share really any part of myself with tumblr (let alone anyone else for that matter) and I’ve been using it for over 5 years! Really though, I have just consistently gone through my life like that, only being able to express a small part of my whole self out of completely fear. 

At this point that fear is subconscious. I never choose to separate my real feelings with those that I express. Now it’s just who I am in the presence of anyone. When I am alone is the only time I really feel myself, and even then its hard to really rationalize those feelings because I’m unable to share them with anyone else, and sharing feelings is a big part of coping and understanding.

I am truly terrified that I will never fall in love because I am incapable of sharing any vulnerable part of myself. And isn’t a large part of being in love just letting yourself be completely vulnerable and honest with another person? I don’t even know how to tell my own mother that I love her because I’m so beyond terrified to share that feeling. 

Hi my name is Alex, and this is the first time I am sharing a true and honest part of myself with anyone in the world that chooses to see it. I know it is poorly written and I know some of it may not make any sense but this is my first attempt at trying to open parts of myself up that I never have before. This is one tiny step towards change I hope to see in my future.

Hi my name is Alex and my dad was arrested a year ago. My mom dates men that are old enough to be my brother/boyfriend. My brother and I barely speak. I am consistently consumed with overwhelming jealously of my friends with “normal” families, yet I simultaneously understand that there’s no such thing as a “normal” family.

I have this consistent fear that I had an emotionally scarring childhood that I am repressing entirely and, because of that, I can’t even remember the moments that cause all of my anxieties/depression. 

I was bullied a lot as a kid, I spent all my time alone, and my parents fought all the time. My life is nothing crazy, but it was never anything that simple either. 

I spend so much of my time wishing I could vocalize even the littlest insecurities but I am just unable to even feel them in the presence of other people, let alone vocalize them in a way anyone will be able to understand.

I’m not writing this in hopes that someone will sympathize with me. I’m certainly not writing it in hopes that people I know will find it. I’m writing it because I need to start learning to share my honest self with other people. Even if at first those people are strangers that follow me on the internet. And even if those strangers don’t even care or like what I’m writing about.

Maybe some of you people feel this same way! Or maybe I did such a poor job at writing this that you have no understanding of how I feel at all.

But I just want to say that I have good and bad days. Some days I don’t even want to get out of bed. Some days I don’t think there is even a future ahead of me. Other days I couldn’t feel stronger and more proud of who I am. Sometimes I want to make excuses and I want pity and I want to just cry all day long. Other days I want to prove that anyone who has even doubted me is completely wrong. Some days I am filled with hope and other days I feel so painfully empty. 

Hopefully I start being more transparent with those highs and lows. Maybe it will help someone else out there, too. Who knows. 

If there actually are people out there that follow me and read things like this, if you ever want to ask me questions or write to me feel free. 

Thanks for listening, random internet world.