I sent this out into the world yesterday, and wanted to cross-post here. It was my first time talking about this in a public way, and the response I’ve gotten since posting on Facebook and Twitter has been absolutely incredible. It’s been a very weepy time for me as friends and acquaintances old and new have donated and shared their own stories with me. I’m so incredibly touched. So grateful for all the wonderful people in my life. So grateful that they understand just how important this is.
What many of you might not know about me is that in 2014 I lost a member of my family to suicide. It’s a hard thing to talk about. It’s a thing I’m trying to talk about more.
It’s been a rocky time. It’s something I think about every single day. It’s seeped into my writing because I can’t tear it out of my head.
I grew up watching firsthand how depression can spread its darkness through a family like a liquid stain that refuses to dry. We saw the darkness. We knew it was there. And yet we were entirely unprepared for it to claim a life.
This year, I’ve decided I want to participate in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Overnight Walk in New York City.
I’m terrified to do it.
I’ve signed up to walk as an individual. As I’ve grown older I’ve changed from being an extrovert to an introvert. I’m nervous about the people I’m going to meet. I’m nervous about sharing my family’s story. I hate crying in front of strangers. I’m certain I’m going to cry. But that nervousness makes me believe this is something hugely important for me to do.
Within two hours of sharing this message, and thanks to a ton of amazing people, I was able to fund the minimum $1000 required in order to participate. I’m so grateful and overwhelmed by the support I’ve received. So many people have been messaging me to share that they too are suicide loss survivors. How is this so common? How is this something that we never talk about? Suicide is one of the leading causes of death. We need to talk about it more.
I’ve now bumped up my goal now to see if I can raise even more money for this hugely important cause. The proceeds go towards funding research, advocacy, survivor support, education, and awareness programs – to prevent suicide as well as to assist those affected by suicide. If you can spare any amount, I’d really appreciate it.
My page is here: http://theovernight.donordrive.com/participant/exrpan
And if you ever need someone to talk to about depression, anxiety, suicide, anything – please know that I’m here. I’ll listen.
Love and thanks,