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Nearly 10 million Americans consider suicide every year, and … well, I’ve been there.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S and 2nd among people ages 10-34.
44,965 Americans die by suicide every year, and this has climbed nearly 30% in the past 19 years.
For every suicide, 25 attempt.
Men commit suicide 4x more than women (because many think they should “man up” and not show their true emotions and struggles).
Mental health is a real problem, and (anti)social media is definitely a big contributor to it … because we (myself included) post about how AMAZING our lives are even though we are depressed.
We post only the best of the best of our pictures (and not one of us crying alone in bed), only our biggest accomplishments (and not our failures), only our best friends (and not our enemies). This is no fault of our own … it’s natural.
I’m not saying we should post our worst stuff. What I’m saying is that we shouldn’t be so afraid to talk about it.
In the past, when people would ask me, “how are you?” I would always give my default, “I am well/great/fantastic!” even if it wasn’t true.
But recently, I’ve been opening up. If I feel lonely, I say it. If I feel sad, I say it. And more often than not, people have reciprocated, confiding in me, saying that they feel similarly. What would have been a 5-second conversation becomes an enriching 20-minute conversation. And the relationships that have developed and strengthened from these vulnerable and honest conversations have been profound.
Friends, we need each other. Open up. Be honest.
It’s ok to feel like this, just don’t make it part of your identity. There is no such thing as darkness, only the light inside us. The “darkness” we speak of is only an absence our light. A darkness is not an object. A light, though, is an object. Let’s turn the light on.