I got a Snapchat at 10:40 am on March 30th. That was the last time I saw my friend Dana Kingsly’s face. In that same week, I lost three other friends. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through.
Personally, I have dealt with anxiety since the 5th grade. It’s something I struggle with on a day-to-day basis. I’d never had the courage to share this before; that is, until I read the truly inspiring Forum article anonymously submitted about an eating disorder. With all that was going on in my life, it seemed only fitting to finally stand up and share.
Last year I went through the darkest moment of my life. Suicide had gone through my mind so many times, and I was ashamed. I hid all of my emotions. One night, everything seemed to fall apart, and I attempted to end my life. I am so grateful that I am here today, and am able to express my emotions about this topic. It’s normal to feel sad, that’s just life. But for some people that normality turns into a daily burden. Some say killing yourself is cowardly, like you’re “giving up.” But people who have had those kinds of thoughts believe that there is nothing else to live for. For them, I am here to say that there is always something to live for. There is always someone in the world that loves you. At our age, that’s something which is extremely hard to understand; to us, our life is high school. We don’t see the world beyond it, or if we do, just to college. Because of that mindset, it took me a long time to understand that everything gets better. To learn that one night could be awful, but that the next day the sun will rise.
My three friends who died were happy. They had potential, they had great lives ahead of them. They just couldn’t see it themselves. As I scrolled down my Facebook page the night Dana killed herself, I saw hundreds of statuses about being a community, and about being loving. Although the actions of these kids are extreme, they are serious learning experiences.
We need to learn how to care for one another. One word, one joke, one sentence can change someone’s life forever. Those mean rumors that people spread, and hateful comments said in hopes of a laugh, or to impress a group of people are why Dana died and why so many people unfortunately end their lives. I know this subject is dark, and not pleasant to discuss, but it’s something that needs to be addressed. Suicide is way too prevalent in our society nowadays. So I’m here to say, for Dana, that it always gets better. There is always someone to talk to. Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose. You’re alive for a reason. Don’t ever give up.