How many lives can you save?

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Lauren wanted her favorite flower in the post. This one is from the camera of Gene Nimocks, my brother, owner of Genescaping

When you read this, how can you not share it? Lauren is in her early 20s. So few her age talk openly about depression or suicide.  Talking and speaking out does work.

After Lauren sent it to me and then her parents, she asked me to post it here so you could see it and share it so that it would help others. That takes guts and I’m so proud of  her. 

I came across your post “The Final 48 Hours” today (5/17/16) on Facebook that was shared by mutual friends. I have never come across a story that has related to me more in my life.
On May 10th at 2:09pm I thought about taking my life.

Why? I have no reason to be sad about, right? One simple mental break down for a person with mental illness can cause an outburst of emotions.

The only thing going through my head; Why can’t my doctor just fix me? Why have I been on 15+ different depressant/anxiety medications the past four years? When will this sad/gloomy feeling stop? Will I ever be “normal”? Why me?

I think I don’t need a counselor; I’m fine except when I’m alone in my own head. I’ve had thoughts of suicide, but think it will pass, until the next time I’m sad again.

I talk to friends about when I’m gloomy and it’s a constant “I think you should see someone, I love you.” The love and support could heal a wounded mind for the time being, but I know I am not “cured”.

Photo credit Gene Nimocks, Genescaping, Asheville NC
Photo credit Gene Nimocks, Genescaping, Asheville NC

I cry often, but I don’t know why. I’m always sick, but I think it’s a phase that will pass. I don’t talk about it, because I don’t want to be “judged” by my peers, family members or wanting to seem like it’s only for attention.

On May 10th I know my mother was worried sick about me, I could hear it in her voice over the phone as I cried. It was the most calming; soft spoken I’ve heard in her expression in my life.

My mother was my angel that day. Then the anxiety hits me, what if something happens to my mom? My dad? My best friend? What happens then?

I moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from Chesterfield, Virginia to start a new life in 2014, praying everything would heal on it’s own. The depression/anxiety followed me. More and more doctor visits, but nothing seems to help.

I leave work early, because my anxiety decides to take over me. I sit in my bed at night and cry, but I don’t understand why. I have a panic attack and curl up in a ball until it ends and close my eyes into a deep sleep.

I wake up at 6:30am for work and wait for the vicious cycle to begin again. Constantly praying that there is a cure for me or the right “martini” (mix of medication as the doctor calls it) will start to take affect.

Your article changed my perspective on life. I have never in my life written any letter/story/journal etc. about my own depression/anxiety and this took everything I had to be honest with you and myself. I just read other stories and feel like I can relate, but not my personal experience.

When I’m having a bad/sad/depressed day, I’m thinking about the easiest approach away from it all. I do not think about life after me and what I’d leave behind. I don’t worry about what emotions I’ll will leave for my loved ones.

Reading an article from a mother who has felt such devastating pain, you helped change my perception on life. You’re article gave me the strength to share with my own mother/father what I’ve been meaning to say to them for four years.

Until then I am going to try and better myself everyday, and keep trying the perfect “Martini” until I find the right one for me. I know I’ll never be perfect like I anticipate to be, but you’ve made an impact on my life.

Please continue to spread the awareness of mental health and impacting people’s lives. I will try and do the same and take one day at a time and with God and my family on my side anything is possible. Thank you for giving me the courage and strength to type this letter.

I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time in your life.
-God Bless, Lauren

Other letters

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Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.

5 thoughts on “How many lives can you save?”

  1. Wow!! Anne Moss this is why you are sharing your story! You are helping so many through your grief. I’m not sure how you are doing it – but so glad you are. Lauren- I’m so glad you read one of Anne Moss’s articles and you were strong enough to write this. You are two amazing women!!

  2. Lauren, thank you for posting such an honest heartfelt letter which explains so well the devastating feelings which overcome so many with mental illness. Reading it has helped me to better understand the feelings which my son experiences so often. I wish I had read it prior to my husband’s suicide. I tried, but I never really understood what he was going through. I wish you much success in finding the right meds. You are so brave and express your feelings so well. Your letter will help many others to get a clearer picture of the turmoil that anxiety and depression can cause in those who suffer from them.

  3. It was hard to breathe reading this beautiful, inspiring letter. Lauren , you are not alone, you are so strong , so worthy of all the splendor and happiness this world can and will offer. Hope is a mantra worth fighting for. You deserve it. Your letter gives hope to me, a Mom who watches her 15 year old son experience the very same things you are talking about. Thank you for sharing your struggles . I can’t wait to share this with my own child as I hope and pray he too will continue to fight in search of his “martini” . Your message is so important , young people like yourself are the core of what will invoke change in our community abound children like my don. Keep sharing, keep talking, keep hoping and know that there is about non army of Mom’s and Dad’s and friends and family standing with you and every other person experiencing the struggle of mental illness. Together we can and will make a difference . Thank you!

  4. AnneMoss, this is why what you are doing is so important. Not only are you hopefully helping yourself but others!
    Thank you Lauren for sharing and reaching out! It’s the beginning of your healing!

  5. Thank you, Lauren, for being so brave and sharing your story. I pray your transparency will touch and encourage others, just as Anne Moss’s has resonated with you. Such beauty and hope in the midst of darkness…

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