May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and I wanted to repost a very personal story. If someone you know needs mental health support, more now than ever please reach out to the many resources available. If you would like to find some resources you can look at the top of my home page and follow my Twitter feed.
Twenty-eight years ago my father killed himself, I was twenty-eight years old. It’s strange that my father has been dead as long as he was alive in my life.
I’ve written about his suicide many times over the years but this year feels different. It’s hard to put into words but I’ll share what words come to mind.
I knew you were going to kill yourself, you brought me to my knees with grief when you started yelling about dying. You said you needed money, I paid your bills for a year, that didn’t change anything. You were no longer the person I knew, you were delusional, you were hallowed.
I arrived at my grandparent’s house last, I walked in and said I knew daddy was going to kill himself. I don’t know if anyone felt anger towards me for knowing and not saying anything.
I felt guilty for a couple of years that I couldn’t stop his suicide but the fact is you can’t change anyone’s mind. Only the person in pain can decide to reach out and get help.
If you are trying to help someone who is saying they are going to kill themselves, don’t think you can help them by yourself. Be there for them but the only way for a positive outcome is to get professional help.
If the person is like my father and refuses to see how sick they are, do everything you can to make sense but know you can’t change a person’s mind.