When I was 10, there was a family at my church that reminded me a bit of the Brady Bunch. The parents each had kids from previous relationships before they got married and they had a massive van that they drove everywhere in. Two of the girls were close to my age, so they were involved in all of the same activities and I saw them every week. The first girl was just a year younger than me and was very quiet. The second was two years younger and was very outgoing. I feel like I knew the younger one a bit better just because she talked to everyone.
One day, I came downstairs to a very serious set of parents. They sat me down at the kitchen table and started to tell me something that I will never forget. That week, the older of the two girls had died. A nine-year-old little girl had hung herself, and her younger sister had been the one to find her. At 10, I didn't really understand why somebody her age did what she did. In fact, I still don't.
Since this week is National Suicide Prevention Week, I'm sharing this story for a few reasons, but the main point I want to make is this: you never know what someone might be dealing with, even someone that you are around on a regular basis. Depression, bipolar, obsessive behaviors, and debilitating fears can all be hidden from people who are feel ashamed. I wanted to remind you to be there for the people in your life. Just checking in on how they're feeling every now and then can make a huge impact.
If you're somebody that has been dealing with issues in life, but you aren't sure how to handle it or feel ashamed for feeling out of control, find somebody to talk to. I've written about this once before, but I've been struggling with depression for a while now. I'm not sure how many years it's been going on, but I do know that it's been dragging me down. It had gotten worse in the middle of college, which may be a result of some of the decisions I made during that time (part 1, part 2). I started to have complete breakdowns and even experienced a few panic attacks where I couldn't breathe, my entire body would shake, and I would just feel completely trapped. I've been in therapy for about five months now and some medicine for four. While it hasn't fixed all of my problems, I do feel like it has helped me find a better outlook and ways to process what I experience in my day-to-day life.
Want to know the best thing that's been keeping me afloat? The support of my loved ones. I've shared most of the darkest moments with a couple close friends, my parents, and a few family members. Just talking about everything has helped, but the love and support I've felt from them is what keeps lifting me up. So if you are somebody that is feeling crushed by the weight of your mind, reach out to somebody. The people that really care about you will want to do anything to help you. If you feel like you don't have somebody you can trust, I'm always open for a chat.