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The importance of suicide awareness. We are all more alike than we think

by Tammy Ozolins

I recently watched the movie Dear Evan Hansen and I want to share how I related so much to this movie with my mental health journey.

One of the movie’s characters named Connor does die by suicide and I felt like he suffered in silence. When I was in high school, I had a good friend Brian Rini with whom I was very close. I absolutely loved him, and he was such a great guy. During our college years, he took his own life and it rocked my world.

I was devastated and always wondered why. I met with his mother, and she explained how he was struggling, and she was getting him help, but he simply didn’t make it.

There is not a day I do not think about and miss him. Even though I have experienced that loss, I was going down the same path and when I was in my mid-twenties, I attempted suicide. One of the characters in the movie named Evan Hansen said he lied so many times, that he was broken. That was truly how I felt. You see, I truly lost who I was. I would wear many masks throughout my life, such as the athlete, the funny one, and the smart one. My world just kept getting darker and the hope was gone, I just wanted to end the pain.

Feeling worthless

In this movie, the character Evan Hansen deals with social anxiety and his therapist suggests he write himself a letter. Evan does and one part in his letter I could relate to “would anyone even notice if I disappeared tomorrow?” When I was at my lowest, I felt this way. My thought process was if I left enough money for my family for my burial it would help them, and I really thought they would just forget about me after a few months anyway.

In this movie, there was a character who was smart and was part of a lot of school committees. After the death of Connor, she wanted to start a memorial foundation and invite the parents to come and hear about it. She also wanted to bring mental health awareness to the school.

She asked Connor to speak and when they were taking a walk one evening, she asked him, “What do you take?” Then she goes on to name the mental health prescriptions she takes and he is shocked. Some people do suffer silently or like me wear masks, so they will look okay.

Hiding my pain

I would fight through the day then I would go home and close my door and fall apart. I would cry, scream, and just pray for the pain to go away. I would self-harm and then open the door and act like everything was okay. Now keep in mind not every day was a bad day, some days were very enjoyable.  I was just scared because this all started when I was a Senior in high school, and I was not yet diagnosed and did not think anyone could relate.

Now, there is one song in the movie that brought tears to my eyes, during the tough times these lyrics really help me. The song is called “You will be found”. Here are the lyrics that resonate with me:

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found

I believe many people can relate to this movie

We need not be afraid to talk about how we feel. Unless we listen to each other and talk to one another you may be surprised how much in common you have with one another. People should not suffer in silence. Mental health and suicide should be talked about, and people should not be afraid to do so. Like the song says: You will be found.  

Dear Evan Hansen movie trailer.

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