I’m sitting in the library on a Sunday, procrastinating homework and reflecting. It’s a part of my end-of-weekend routine. I always just let myself wake up slowly on Sundays, pause, and ease into the hectic ways of the week ahead (after coffee, of course).
But this week is different. This day is different. Today, September 10th, is National Suicide Prevention Day. This week is National Suicide Prevention week. Today, and this week, is a matter of saving lives, cherishing lives, re-birthing lives. I’ve never really done anything for it, which in my mind is sorta wild because I’ve always been a huge mental health advocate. So this is me doing my small part. If this is your first time reading my blog, or you don’t know me or my story, I’m about to get vulnerable, real. No fluff or bullshit because — who has time for that when it is a matter of life or death? Today and this week, and this life, is all about being vulnerable and not apologizing for it, accepting that it is fully acceptable to not be 100% fine at all times. The human race is dynamic and externally/internally diverse. But we are all intrinsically human: with the same end goal to live a life of meaning.
To sum up a giant part of who I am in a blog post would be absolutely impossible, but if you would like to read more about what urges me to be so passionate about this cause, I would love for you read my memoir: (written in 10th and 11th grade): https://averybeer.com/?s=an+important+part+of+me
I lost my light, my shining lantern guiding me through this wild life. I lost my creator, my giver, my sunshine, my soft hand to hold, my dancing partner, the woman who gave me life and then decided to take her own. I was 7 years old, almost 8, not even in double digits. This was in 2005, before we were as honest and raw as we are now about mental illness and the severity of it. While we have come so far, we still have so much more to do. I’m not going to act like I don’t have problems of my own when it comes to mental illness. I think at points in our life, whether it is situational or biological, we all come to terms with the demons that cast a shadow on our sunshine. I have struggled with anxiety for a long time, and I expect to struggle with it in the future as well. But my anxiety has also led the path to me discovering one of my most precious gifts: the ability to write and share my emotions and stories with the world around me. I will never take this for granted. I have always been an empath: defined as a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual. Ask anyone who knows me well, they can tell you that one of the most prevalent traits of mine is that I feel what others are feeling. To those who don’t really understand this, I always give this example of passing a car crash on the highway. I was driving home from the shore one weekend by myself, and I passed a car accident just moments after it had happened and I could not stop crying on the way home, I felt PHYSICALLY hurt and so unbelievably sad even for a few days after. Even though I was not physically affected, I did not know these people, and everyone seemed to be okay — just minor cuts, I felt like I had just experienced the same trauma. Similarly, I can’t be in a hospital without feeling physically off… you catch my drift. “It is a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply” – David Jones.
Anyways, the point here is that I care about human lives. And I know that I am not the only one… in fact I am joined by an army of other people who feel the same way about people they don’t even know. While I have had many revelations even years after my mom’s passing, it is that there is absolutely no replacing any individual. Each person on this earth has a purpose. Think about each individual part of our being: each strand of our DNA, each organ working each millisecond to keep us movin’ and grovin’ …
So if you are fighting for your life in your brain for a moment, just know that there are so many other parts of your body that fight for your life every. damn. second. And there are so many people on this earth, whether you believe it or not, that would be absolutely crushed if you took yourself out of it. You are worth so much more than the demons that swarm your mind and soul (that wording doesn’t even do it justice, I know). There are resources, there are people, who will want to help you, who will hug you tight, who will not take your demons, but help you to silence them. There are people who will just listen. There are people who will care. There is always sunshine beyond the clouds.
Lastly, I feel as though I can’t write this blog without talking about the incident that absolutely broke my heart around this time last year, the passing of Connor Mullen: a student at my university that took his own life. I didn’t know him, but I saw firsthand the impact that his death had on my community at school, and I feel as though I got to know his soul through the words and stories of his friends. To all of his loved ones: he is at peace, and his spirit will live on forever through those that he loved most. Take comfort in the fact that as young people, he would want us all to remember him the way that I have seen all over social media and in talking with his friends and his brothers. In his honor, continue to fight for the lives of those who are struggling right now. If you have any interest, here is the blog I wrote about it last year when I found out, and all I could do was write that day: https://averybeer.com/2016/09/26/life-is-too-precious/
Thank you to the incredibly talented individuals (slam poets, singers, dancers, motivational speakers, etc.) who have done acts big and small and used their platforms to fight for and raise awareness about mental illness (if you haven’t seen the Logic/Alessia Cara/ Khalid performance, I highly suggest checking it out). Thank you to the people who have dedicated their lives and energy to allow people who are struggling with any type of mental illness to see their true value and worth. To those who have lost someone in their lives due to suicide, I send you my utmost love and peace. And to those struggling, slow down and breathe for a minute: repeat to yourself that you are stronger than you think and that each moment is fleeting. There is hope. I’m going to end this blog with something I say often, and something I believe to be so absolutely true. Life is too damn precious. Whoever is reading this, I’m happy you’re here & alive. ❤
Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Text: TALK to 741-741