Today is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. I am sending virtual hugs to all those who have lossed loved ones to suicide. My heart has been very heavy the past few months, which is why it was hard for me to particiate in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) walks this year. This was my first year participating in the NAMI walk; it was extremely informative. Two co-workers were supposed to walk with me, but they canceled two days before, which turned out to be for the best because I needed that time for a little self-reflection.
The walks this year were hard for me. I miss my uncle more than ever. This summer I could have really used one of his hugs and his words of wisdom. As I walked to the registration booth for each walk I had flashbacks of all my loved ones who have struggled with mental illness. My heart can not take the loss of another loved one dying by suicide.
To be honest, I didn’t want to participate in the walks, but I made myself do it because the walks aren’t about me. With each walk I held back my tears. The walks brought back memories of hurt and pain. Just this summer I had two very close people to me cut me out of their lives because of their personal struggles. It was hard.
The death of my uncle to suicide changed me forever. Yes, I am hypersensitive when it comes to the association of mental illness with suicide. I understand not everyone who has a mental illness will die by suicide and I want to do anything I can to ensure that is the case. The past few months I have been reflecting on my role in educating people about suicide prevention. For now, it’s not clear to me, my role and purpose in the cause. I can’t let my uncles death be in vain. As I try to figure out my role and purpose I will keep processing, keep blogging and keep walking. It’s all in memory of my uncle and my attempt to to decrease the stigma associated with mental illness. Please know it’s ok to seek help and lean on loved ones. Again, On this day I am sending extra love hugs to all those who have lossed family or friends to suicide.