From a young lady, 26, a suicide survivor who attended my recent presentation at Coalition Theater Talk20 in Richmond, Virginia on the #griefheart project.
She came home and posted this on her Facebook page. Made me cry. So very brave. And I can’t help but cry again as I post it. This is the generation that will inspire change in mental illness, addiction and suicide. I hope it touches you as much as it did me.
“Just left a very powerful #Talk20 at the Coalition Theater. I was most inspired by Anne Moss’ bravery to share her very personal story of her son’s addiction and his ultimate suicide last year.
As someone who is a two-time suicide attempt survivor, this hits home and brought me to tears. It is very important that we bring attention to mental health in order to rid the shame and stigma that surrounds depression and suicide.
I remember my freshman year at [this high school], I was literally out of school more days than I was in school because I was crippled mentally by the bullying from 8th grade.
The days I did make it to school, I remember the sound of crickets mixed with hushed words as I entered any classroom. I cut my hair, wore strange clothes and virtually lost all my friends because no one wanted to discuss what was wrong with me. I couldn’t walk down the hallway without hearing the words “slut” mumbled or laughing as I refused to make eye contact with anyone.
I ended up switching schools and still my past and emotions would haunt me. But it got better- because it always does.
I’m not opening up to make you feel sorry for me, but for the purpose of shedding light on the fact that depression and mental illness can affect anyone, anywhere.
I tell my story to encourage others who have feelings of suicide to hold hope. I never ever in my wildest dreams thought I would live to be 21. But here I am today, 26, alive. Still struggle with depression but I am so so so much stronger than I was 10 years ago. I’m so happy I’m here and thank you to everyone who has spoken out on behalf of myself or others struggling.
Love to you all. /end rant
PS- I encourage you all to check out Anne Moss’ website in dedication of her son, Charles”