Becoming a Bobcat: Think before you speak

Have you ever lost or almost lost someone you love to depression and suicide? If you have, you know how it pulls on your heart at the mere mention of the word, “suicide”. If you haven’t, then you probably won’t think anything of it to joke about killing yourself.

I can’t explain the anger I feel towards people who joke about such a serious situation. Have you no heart? No sensitivity inside you? It amazes me how many people think it is okay and acceptable to just say that this; or that makes them want to kill themselves by “putting a bullet through their head,” and then proceed to laugh about it.

I have lost too many people to suicide, and let me tell you, it has changed me forever. The first was freshman year of high school and the second was not even a month later. Every one was terrified at school, thinking this might be a chain reaction– which suicide often is. We had mandatory counseling meetings for all students, and parent-teacher conferences for all that wanted them. “I couldn’t handle losing any one else—it would be too much,” I told my mom.

Come freshman year of college, I find out that my big sister has been struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and has contemplated killing herself multiple times over the past two years. Hearing that tore me apart. I couldn’t concentrate on my schoolwork because I was constantly worrying and checking in with her and her friends to see how she was doing.

The scariest day of my life was October 1st of last year. I got a text from my sisters’ best friend saying she called the police to take my sister to the ER. She found her with her arm covered in blood sitting next to the bathtub. For the next week, my sister was at a rehab facility trying to conquer this. We thought, maybe this would fix everything and she would be happy and love herself again. We were wrong.

Not even a week after she returned to school she was back in the hospital for cutting and having suicidal thoughts again. Looking at her, lying on the hospital bed, I asked her, “Why?” I will never forget what she said: “I don’t want to be here anymore, Missy. I don’t want to be alive.”

Those words will forever haunt me. She is doing much better now and she hasn’t relapsed in 3 months. However, knowing that it could start again keeps a hold on my heart that will never loosen.

My experiences with this have had a great effect on my life and it’s frustrating for me to hear people talk about it in a joking matter. Everyone is fighting their own battles. Just be conscious of what you say.



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