This week, not far from the city where I live, a teenager jumped from a bridge thus ending her own life. Her social media account revealed multiple cries for help. Her last tweet was absolutely heartbreaking. It read “When you go to your mom about your stress and mental issues and you are told to get over it”. Not only was this baby told to get over it by the one person who she thought could help her, but the comments after that were absolutely gut wrenching. One comment read “Your mom is right, you do complain a lot and you need to get over it”. Now, before you think I am judging this young woman’s mother and those who commented…STOP. This blog is a judge-free, safe space; however, if you have been a regular reader, you know I will give it to you straight with no chaser in love. This baby suffered, cried out for help and everyone missed it. Everyone! Unfortunately, her story is not unique at all.
A few days after this young woman took her life, Kanye West was hospitalized. There are different reports stating why he was hospitalized but the majority point towards a mental health issue. Just like the young woman I mentioned above, Kanye has suffered for years. I truly believe he is still grieving for his mother and did like myself and most people have done, he threw himself into work instead of dealing with it. Now, I am not in Kanye’s circle and like most in the world, I am on the outside looking in. As someone who has suffered great loses, been told to get over it, and put on a brave face; Kanye was bound to break. I hate to see someone go through the breakdown, but I hope something good comes out of this. I pray Kanye gets the help that he needs and brings awareness to mental health.
There is a common thread I saw in the death of the young woman I mentioned above and Kanye. Humans have made some horrible comments. Listen, if you have never experienced the death of a loved one or suffered from depression…HUSH YA FACE! Losing a parent is one of the most devastating things next to losing a child. How can I make this assumption? I can because I have experienced both. My mother passed away eighteen years ago after a long illness and my daughter passed away ten years ago suddenly. If you have lost a loved one, keep in mind everyone grieves differently and grief manifests in many different ways. There is no blueprint or timeline on grief. Like I stated before, my mother passed away eighteen years ago but this year when her birthday came I cried as if she had just died. The holiday season makes me miss my mom and daughter like crazy and looking at my timeline, I see I am not the only one who feels a heavy heart due to the loss of a loved one.
Depression is REAL and I am a survivor. To those of you who are dealing with depression, I want you to know that you are NOT weak, you are NOT alone, and there is HOPE for you. You do not have to suffer in silence. You do not have to get it over it. What you do have to do is get R.E.A.L. with what you are facing.
R-Recognize your triggers and seek out professional help. Going to a counselor is not a bad thing and if someone has a problem with you seeking help, they have an issue NOT YOU.
E-Expect tough moments but know that you will get over it. When I say get over it, it is not meant as a brush off. It is meant as a victory chant. Getting over it means you have overcome the hurdle.
A-Accept the fact that you will have highs and lows. Your grief process is yours and no one else’s. No two journeys are the same. Find the tools that help you through the process.
L-Love yourself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. He loves you. Every single part of you.
Finally, please do me a favor and do not suffer in silence. Do not isolate yourself. If you are having suicidal thoughts and/or the holiday season is too much to bare, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. This line is available 24 hours everyday.
I love you and need you around to emPOWER the world. Praying for you daily.
EmPOWERed Action: Reach out to those in your life who have lost loved ones. Be present and help them to heal. Let them know that they are not alone.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday