a shot from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention walk

Suicide loss survivors belong to an exclusive club with a costly membership fee. As the lyrics from the Eagles song “Hotel California” say, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave,” the same can be said about the house of grief where suicide loss survivors live.

Since my soulmate of 33 years, Steve, took his own life in March 2015, I have observed there are some common ties that bind suicide loss survivors. Yes, some of these ties are shared by anyone who grieves the loss of a loved one and I am by no means trivializing their pain. We all grieve differently and in different ways for different relationships. However, in the case of suicide loss survivors, I believe our grief is different due to the stigmas associated with suicide and society’s inability to comprehend how someone can take their own life.

In connecting with other suicide loss survivors, these are the common themes I have seen many of us share:

1. We have so many unanswered questions.

Why did they do this? What could I have done differently to prevent this tragedy? Why didn’t I see the signs? How could they do this if they loved me? These questions will never have answers and they will always haunt us. We want our loved one to be remembered as the good person they were. In the case of suicide, more often than not, the loved one’s cause of death is how they are remembered. In the case of death by other circumstances, people are likely to be remembered for their accomplishments and/or who they were as a person.

2. If we saw it, we will always remember the sadness in our loved one’s eyes, the fear on their face and our feelings of helplessness leading up to the suicide.

Sometimes, we knew something was not right, but we never in a million years would have thought our loved one would die by their own hand.

3. The cause of death of our loved one is something many (including family and friends) do not want to talk about.

When there is disagreement within the family as to whether or not to be public with the cause of death, the family can be torn apart. This is so sad since we need each other now more than ever to join hands and console each other on our journey of grief. When fellow suicide loss survivors turn against us, it further adds to everyone’s pain. This is so ironic because we all loved the one lost to suicide just as they loved all of us.

4. Sometimes we want there to be someone or something to “blame.”

It’s human nature, when trying to make sense of a tragedy, to place blame on someone or
something. As people take “sides,” family and friends are torn apart, further compounding the grief and pitting suicide loss survivor against suicide loss survivor.

5. We have a tendency to isolate ourselves.

This can be mainly self-imposed, however, many long-time friends and acquaintances seem to avoid us. No one knows what to say. We are so weary of heartless comments like: “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” We are so worn out by grief, we are too weary and drained to educate, especially since most people are not open to being educated about suicide and are steadfast in their opinions.

6. The intensity of the pain of loss will always be with us.

Whether it is 10 weeks, 10 months or 10 years since our loved one’s suicide, the passage of time does not lessen the pain we feel. The waves of grief will still come, sometimes like ripples on the ocean, sometimes like crushing tsunamis. I believe time will only lessen the frequency and duration of these waves, not reduce the depth of the pain.

7. We feel guilty for being angry at our loved one lost to suicide.

Our tears of sadness sometimes turn to tears of rage because our loved one died by suicide, leaving us to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. Yet, upon further reflection, we know in our hearts they were suffering intense mental anguish. To quote Sally Brampton, “…they were defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive.” Then, our tears of anger transform back into tears of sadness.

8. We take comfort in knowing we are not alone in our feelings.

This, in my mind, stands out as the most prevalent feeling shared by others like myself. We are already grieving a tragic loss and compounding that grief are some or all of the other experiences I have notated above. I am thankful for all the suicide loss survivors who have reached out to me and made me feel that I was not alone. They have all inspired me to continue writing about suicide awareness and the collateral damage that results from it.

Follow this journey on Slipped Away.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via contributor. 


“Hello,” I mumbled.

“Hey, are you sleeping?” my sister asked.


“I need you to pay attention, OK? Are you paying attention? I really need you to pay

“Yeah, I’m paying attention.”

“Brad took his life.”

And with those words about my brother, phantom trains rumbled. Writhing in some invisible pain, my body revolted with hyper-ventilation and nausea overtook me. Under a half moon in the pre-dawn hours of a tepid August morning, I ran outside and listened to the soft clanging of wind chimes. Frogs bellowed, crickets chirped and moths flittered about the light radiating from the bathroom window. All the world was peaceful except for the dismantling of my existence. The sounds of internal implosion.

There are moments in life that obliterate the landscape of all you knew. Visions that paint the past in grey and words that capture the future in bitterness. In a living room lit by small, decorative lamps, I watched my mother transform into an old woman that early morning. With only the retelling of those four words about her son, her once smooth complexion was overridden by wrinkles and crevices. A haggardness covered her and her irises drained of their color. I listened to her beg my sister to stop, to wait, to go back.

Throughout the hours that followed, my brain became stained with her moans of “Mama,” a desperate prayer to her mother that had passed 41 years prior. Clad only in his briefs, I watched my father begin his disintegration into a void of nothingness. Before my dazed, tear fogged eyes I witnessed his Parkinson’s disease shake him into a wheelchair and his dementia thrust him into a nursing home only months later.

Brad was my father’s favorite of us five kids. We all knew it, including Mom, but none of us seemed to mind. He always carried a special affection and pride for his third son and perhaps, in the back of our minds, we all knew why. Brad had the energy of a prince who was on the verge of taking over the world. He was, physically, the runt of the litter. No taller than his sisters and dwarfed when standing beside his brothers. But that only made him fight harder and he eclipsed all of us siblings in many ways. Where we stumbled, he rose. What we feared, he played with. What we dreamt of, he attained and what we thirsted for, he bathed in. How could a father not appreciate that? And how could any of us in the family blame him?

But The Golden Boy was gone. Motivated by a collapsed serotonin vein, he drove six hours north to the cabin in Vilas County and left us quickly. Dad’s mind burnt out, Mom’s mind convulsed and mine flickered. It went in and out of consciousness with a relentless flow of disbelief, confusion and vertigo inducing sorrow.

Like a star that explodes in a nebula, Brad’s shimmer could no longer be found. But the remnants of his power showered down, covering me in invisible soot. I rewound mental tapes of him on a constant loop. The twinkle his eyes would carry when he smiled, the way he would wrap his arm around my shoulder when we stood together in a picture. His honey complexion, his pompadour hair, even the vein that would protrude from his left forearm. They would waltz through my brain. His spirit was gone and yet unstoppable. Suddenly, simple memories that we had made of sand, turned to pearl…

It was just another night it seemed, to be filed away in the bottom drawer. It was another Friday evening at the bar with pitchers of Miller Lite collecting on a pub table. Brad gave me my jukebox lesson on one of those nights. He led me to that fluorescent lit record player in the corner and said, “OK, this is a science. It takes skill to play a jukebox just right. You have to look around at the crowd and sense the mood. If it’s low key, you play mellow songs. If it’s nutty, you play high energy songs. Here, I’ll show you.” And I stood there, with my big brother, and received my first tutorial in bar etiquette.

The cigarette run to the gas station? It held no more weight than any other stale routine of the day but somehow, looking back on it, it’s vibrant and spiritual. I can hear folk songs playing in the background and out of the corner of my eye, I can see Brad tapping his foot that rested near the wheel well. A concert was an excuse for a good time. We thought we would spend two hours in that hall wrapped like corn silk in the fingers of a melody. How quickly two hours can become an eternity. With one phone call, an evening that you hung a curfew on becomes an experience that you hang a happiness on.

In childhood, I admired his ability to build a sheet fort. I longed for his imagination and I envied his bravery as he would volunteer to sleep with me through the night because I was afraid of the dark. In adolescence, I admired his popularity and the fact that, by using only his words, he forced a bully to stop heckling me when I was a freshman. Adulthood brought on friendship and respect and I could sense, finally, that it was a mutual feeling. After 20-some years, I was no longer the annoying little sister, I was an equal. We used to look the other way when we passed in the hall, exchanging only mumbled, artificial comments to each other. But finally, after years of fighting and name calling had subsided, he threw his arm around me, breaking any blow he ever made. And I ate it up. My big brother finally didn’t just love me, he liked me, too. The charmed big brother saw something beautiful in his black sheep little sister.

The brain is an enigmatic organ. It is the most beautiful, the most rancid, the most powerful and the most mysterious creation. One day, in the midst of an admired marriage to his high school sweetheart, a highly respected job and three wondrous children, it caught him. Suddenly, with only the flick of an invisible switch, Brad became a little Pinocchio tethered to a string by a salivating, black-eyed Geppetto.

With a swoop of the devil’s arthritic hand, Brad went from being a doting father who held his daughter up to the basketball hoop to a man so despondent that he stood alone, far from the gathered crowd at his daughter’s tee-ball games. The man who loved his wife with a passion I had never seen before and may well never again became cold, distant and neglectful. And the brother that had finally let me into his brilliance disappeared into silence and shut the door behind him. Eventually, my desire to speak to him was overrun by his inability to be social. Conversation was impossible and seemed futile, so I simply stopped trying. A hug and a “love you” at Christmas was the most I could hope for. His yearly Valentine’s Day card to me stopped arriving in the mail and my birthday cards were no longer signed by him, but rather by his wife. He stopped smiling in pictures. Brad had left us years before he left this world, we were just too blind to see it.

But death brings everything to the forefront. You see with new eyes and you catch glimpses of the deceased everywhere. You see visions and you hear voices but instead of being frightened, you long for it to be a reality. You paw at it and try to hold it closer. I would spend broken moments of the day gazing out of the kitchen window, seeing flashes of my big brother. Nanoseconds of his frame in denim overalls and an orange tank- top. He would be riding his John Deere tractor through his garden, turning over the soil for next autumn’s crop of pumpkins. Maybe he would be kneeling beside Dad who was sitting in a lawn chair, looking at him in a way that only a boy can see his father. Or maybe he would be sitting with his wife and me around the fire-pit, smoking a cigar with a glass of whiskey sweating in the grass. I saw him, all around me and everywhere, in a way that I had never seen him before, with a power I never knew he had. Ghosts, they are epic creatures.

Grief is an excruciatingly awkward place to live. It’s like being surrounded on all sides, within an inch of your flesh, by razor sharp iron spikes. It is anvil heavy and has an overwhelming way of convincing you that it is insurmountable. Of all the emotional hollows I have found myself in, grief is the most disturbing. Perhaps mourning is so eerie because you are thrust there by something you cannot control — death. And you are held hostage by something you cherish — love.

My existence was swallowed by Brad’s absence. In every breath I searched for his spirit beside me. As I sat in my car in some random parking lot smoking cigarettes, I would find him in sad songs. Gazing out of my window at a passing world that held no more vibrancy, I shuddered at the fact that my brother had become a muse for heartache. I tasted him in the burn of alcohol as I scorched my liver night after night, fumbling with emotions that were too large to grasp but had been left in my lap nonetheless.

I would go out to the cemetery several times a week. I wouldn’t talk, I would just stand there silent with my hands in my pockets. But if I was there, next to his grave, his presence was still with me. If I couldn’t hear his laugh or the inflection in his voice, I would listen to the stillness of his heart. Maybe if I invited him to haunt my existence, I would never have to say “goodbye.” It was an easy decision for me – I would break beneath his weight just to feel him one last time.

The blackness did not die with Brad, it only spread to everyone who loved him. He made the pain a wildfire, a riot. The bruised clouds that he left above us made me some kind of wreck. I became vulnerable to fear and exposed to wrath. Life jolted to grossly intimidating. Suddenly, I was a soft heap of flesh so petrified of what my next breath would bring, I was tentative to take one.

The aftermath of death is not only wrapped in the emotions of sorrow and fear. It is not only felt in the rippled sleep one experiences, a sleep that is a breed apart from her blissful sister because she oozes with emotional mucus. And it is not only heard in the tearful whimpers of a mother as she lies sleeping, with her deceased son’s shirt tucked beneath her pillow. It is also seen through the flicker of DNA that you see in your loved one’s eyes. When I would look at Brad’s children, I would see two little girls without the shelter of a father. When a little boy at school took to teasing one of them, who would reassure her, with all authority, that he only does so because he likes her? Should a boy reach for her hand at the movie theater on her first date, does she place her hand in his or awkwardly reach for her soda? What would Daddy think if she accepted it? I would look into the innocent eyes of his 2-year-old son and I saw a boy who had no one to teach him the correct release point for a fastball. No, he would have to learn that the hard way after giving up a grand slam to the opposing team. And the grace that one needs to employ when casting their fishing line into a tranquil river? I saw a boy who would have to fumble his way through it.

Suicide leaves a stain that no other agent of death can claim. It heckles you. From inside of your head where you can’t reach to pull it out, suicide mocks you with “what if’s” and “I should have’s.” Death is always accompanied by regrets, but with suicide they become more than mere regrets. That one phone call you put off, that last beer you just didn’t have time for, the smile that so easily could have been an embrace. They become, in a survivor’s mind, the bullet, the blade, the noose. I convinced myself I had been capable of saving Brad’s life with only my touch, only my words.

Adjusting to death is backbreaking, callous inducing work. You have to move the dead in your mind from right here beside you to somewhere out there. From a friendly conversation to a prayer, from something you can touch to something you will never come close to ever again. Shock bled into confusion, confusion bled into denial which transformed into agony and anger. Eventually and invisibly, through some wonder of time’s ferocity, I arrived at compassion and understanding. It’s not an easy place to get to. Some never do arrive. It’s a long, Herculean journey, but through time I began to link suicide to disease and love to, not being some kind of savior in life, but being forgiving in death.
Love holds no one captive, we hold love captive. We hold onto it with all of our strength, till our knuckles turn white because we believe that in order to truly have something you have to own it. That is not the case with love. It is much like a butterfly trapped in a jar. We capture the butterfly because we adore it, but seem to forget the reason we adore it is because it’s free.

There were moments, while set adrift on some turbulent sea, when all I could think about was how easy it would be for me to join Brad. He was just a bad mood and a bottle of pills away. Maybe I could find him in that new atmosphere. Maybe he would meet me where this life and the unknown intersect.

He would be standing at a jukebox with his back turned to me wearing his orange tank-top and overalls, with his corn-cob pipe tucked into the chest pocket. He’d press a button, wait a second and then, as the record drops and the needle softly scrapes the surface, he would slowly turn around. With his boot heels clicking on the wooden floor he would approach me, spread his arms wide and tilt his head with a Cheshire Cat grin. He would call me “Stephers,” just like he always used to do and I could touch him. I could smell his cologne, admire the wave in his hair and feel the callous on the pad of his hand.

Oh, the fun we would have, up there in some big blue sky, bouncing our legs up and down to the “boom-chicka-boom” rhythm of Johnny Cash who would be standing atop a white marble stage. So young, innocent and pure that he still dressed in cream suits. His skin would be smooth and his frame thin. He would strum his Martin guitar high up on the neck while singing “Big River” as Brad and I stood leaning up against an oak-railed bar. Bobbing our heads to keep tempo, the alcohol would swirl around ice cubes made of holy water. The smoke would be thick around us.

But even as romantic and alluring as those visions seemed to me, I knew, despite the plan that my mind had erected, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t grab that bottle of pills that sat on my dresser. I couldn’t untwist the cap on that bottle of water. I couldn’t, with good conscience, grab my car keys and drive far out of town where only a stranger would find me. Something wouldn’t let me. Was it 30 years of programming? Thirty years of taking breath after breath, no matter how labored that pushed me to seek another sequence? Was it guilt? The shudder of reality that suicide had brought to my door? Or was it Brad, with his chin resting on my shoulder and whispering in my ear that, no, this was not the road. This was not the time – this was not me.

And he knew me as only a brother could. The arc that bows my hair, just above my ear; Brad knew it well. The acne that scarred my face when I was 16; he never focused his gaze upon it. No, he always looked me in the eye. I was never one to fit in but I think, maybe, he admired my courage. I could be awkward and insecure but I think, maybe, he admired my honesty. And I could be exhaustively temperamental but I think, maybe he admired my passion. He kept me alive, with his inaudible whisper in my ear. And that was reason enough to carry on – the belief that Brad wanted me to.

Acceptance is elusive, like trying to capture fog in your hands. You see it before you. You watch your hand grasp at it and then, when you open your fingers to admire and cherish its wonder, you find it has disappeared. Or perhaps acceptance is so difficult to attain not just because of its stealthy elusiveness but because of its scope. Death encompasses everything. It swallows our lives, our memories, our plans and our hopes. There is more to digest than a funeral, more to say goodbye to than a person. You have to forfeit the future, too.

Suddenly, there is one less bouquet of flowers on Mother’s Day, one less confidant to seek for advice and reassurance. There’s nobody to go to concerts with anymore, so you regretfully let your favorite band pass through town. The past becomes painted in a different light, with colors your eyes have never seen. The future just stops moving forward and in between is a memory you’d rather not keep.

I had told myself early on that I would let Brad’s death take me under, but it does no honor to the dead to die along with them. Honor shows itself through gratitude that my big brother would sit with me on the bus as I started kindergarten, just to make me feel safe. Through a smile when I remember him reaching for my hand at his wedding and asking me to dance. His life remains through the sweet scent of cigars and his eyes, they still twinkle through mine because I spent 30 years absorbing his light.

Redemption. It’s all one can retrieve from tragedy. There’s no silver lining to suicide. Nothing can make up for that breed of grief. It cuts too deep and its scars are ugly. But if you can traverse that juggernaut and navigate that open water back to dry land, you have triumphed. Following Brad’s death, the only demand I put upon myself was to breathe.

Breathing bought me time, time granted me acceptance and acceptance redeemed me. Am I what I once was? No. I’m more frightened of life than I used to be, as if pieces of my exoskeleton have been torn away. And yes, my heart does have a perpetual ache. But I am still here. With my brother’s hand soft upon my back, I am still here. The comfort learns to appreciate the splinter. The koi fish learns to swim against the reel. And hurt is the only place where healing can begin.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

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The first time I felt depressed I was 13 years old. I didn’t know how to make sense of it or explain my feelings. I just assumed it was puberty and would eventually fade away. I suppressed those emotions and prayed they would never see the light of day. I wish I’d known that would only cause more harm.

The first time I thought about hurting myself I was 15. There was a girl at my school with scarred arms, and everyone whispered about her. I didn’t want to become the subject of their gossip as well. I didn’t want people talking about me like I couldn’t hear them. I didn’t want people to be afraid of me and treat me like shattered glass. So I pushed those thoughts down along with all the unpleasant ones I had ever felt. I wish I’d known the dangers of repressing my emotions because the more they built up, the more I felt ready to explode at any moment.

The first time I considered suicide, I was 19. I walked to a park behind my house and tried to catch my breath. I can’t remember much about that day, but I remember the leaves. It was October, and fall used to be one of my favorite seasons. I loved the way the leaves would change color, from bright green to vibrant orange and yellow.

Yet, as I was walking to that park and the leaves were crunching under my boots, all I could see was that they were dead. They had lost their color and were void of any life, just like me. I wish I had known fall would become my favorite season again.

“It gets better,” was always a cliché that did nothing except infuriate me when someone said it to me. It had been nine years, and nothing seemed to ever get better, only worse. I always felt lied to, like nobody knew how to help me so they would just resort to saying, “it gets better.” It took me a long time to understand what that meant and to actually believe it.

Today, I’m 22 and things are better. They aren’t perfect, but they are better. Bad days still happen. It wouldn’t be life without them. There are still nights when I’m staring at the walls at 3:00 a.m. questioning my purpose. Sometimes, I feel so low I don’t know how I could ever overcome my battles. I completely lose faith in myself. Sometimes, it just takes one person to believe in you to start believing in yourself.

Five months ago, I had one of those bad days. It was the first time in almost two years I had felt like I couldn’t make it through the night. Someone I had always felt comfortable reaching out to was Dani Cimorelli, from the band Cimorelli. For as long as I’ve known her, she’s been there for me in ways I’ll never be able to properly thank her for and that night was no exception.

I had messaged her because I truly felt like I had nowhere else to turn. I felt so alone, and I was terrified.

“I can’t breathe.”

“I just want to be OK.”

I remember pacing back and forth in my room, and I felt like the walls were closing in on me. It was one of the worst nights of my life. I sent Dani like 15 messages and threw my phone on the ground in embarrassment. Letting people in wasn’t easy for me. I remember lying on the floor, pounding my fist into the carpet and tears burning my eyes. I still couldn’t breathe. I was afraid to look at my phone to see if she had said anything, but, of course, she had. She never stopped believing in me.

The messages she sent that got me through that night resulted in a song. I don’t know what I expected when she said, “I wrote a song for you,” but it’s what ended up being, “One More Night” from their latest album, “Alive.” The first verse, pre-chorus and chorus are essentially everything she told me that night. They are the same words that helped me make it through one more night. When I first heard the song, I couldn’t believe it was inspired by my story. I couldn’t believe how many people it was going to reach. I knew if her words helped me, they would help others.

If you feel alone, broken and hopeless, then I highly encourage you to listen to “One More Night” by Cimorelli. They wrote this song to encourage healing and strength among individuals. Close your eyes and listen to the words.

The message of this song truly saved me that night, and I know if you’re struggling, then it can help you too. Life is a gift and is filled with beauty. There is so much worth fighting for, I promise. “One More Night” will remind you that everything will be OK.

“Everything will be OK/ Everything will be all right/ Say a prayer/ Close your eyes/ Please, just give it one more night.”

Get exclusive Cimorelli updates, meet & greet opportunities, merch and Cimorelli’s album, “Alive,” through PledgeMusic.com.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

I’ve experienced a psychotic breakdown eight times before. Last week was my ninth. I mostly have hallucinations of my mother during an episode. So that’s what happened. Then, I tried to kill myself.

What happened next I do not know. I only know bits and pieces from my husband and my brother. I feel extremely guilty because maybe I should have warned them that a psychotic break was on the horizon, maybe the hospital stay and police investigation could’ve been avoided. I blame myself for it all.

Like I said, I don’t remember anything at all. My brother found me having a seizure at around 10:30 p.m. I was unconscious for two whole days. They tied my hands and feet because of the continued seizure-like movements. On the third day I was mildly conscious, but I was blabbering nonsense.

I didn’t remember anything and I wasn’t making any sense. But I was alive and guilty. Anyone who has been in my shoes knows the kind of guilt that comes with surviving a suicide attempt. It was no different for me.

But what I really want to talk about is when I gained full-consciousness and started listening to the various undesirable advice from the doctors and the nurses in the hospital.

When the doctor finally asked me why I overdosed, I told him what happened. I told him I was having hallucinations and I had a breakdown. The response from the doctor angered me. 

He said, and I quote, “All of this is nonsense. You did it all intentionally, there’s no mental illness or anything.”

In his defense, he wasn’t a mental health specialist. He’s a doctor of medicine, and I was admitted under his care at 1 a.m. the night of. So maybe I shouldn’t hold it against him. But I cannot get those words out of my head. How can a doctor, in this day and age, be so ignorant of the fact that mental illness is real?

While I stayed quiet and just listened, dazed, to the doctor, I didn’t think there was more to come. But alas, there was. Because next came the nurses whose sole beliefs was I wouldn’t have taken such a drastic step if I had a baby. The nurses actually told me that the solution to all my mental problems is to have a baby. 

I didn’t know what to say to this. Of course I tried my best to reason with them, but I got very, very tired by the end of it. My body has already been through enough and my brain refused to work anymore to reason with people who won’t understand. I gave up for the time being.

I don’t know about other parts of the world, but in India every problem a girl faces can be resolved by marriage or bearing a child if you’re already married. Even the various  mental illnesses. Because firstly, some people still do not believe mental illnesses are real. And then even if someone is struggling, all you have to do is pray to some God or find a witch doctor who’ll rid you of your afflictions. 

I have been lucky enough to find a life partner who understands mental illness, and a brother who stands by me through the tough times. But it is not enough, I don’t think.

I want society to open its eyes, to see clearly where the problem lies. To understand the reality of mental illness. But in the last week I failed miserably. I was told to get pregnant, have a child, by at least 10 people. Like that’s the solution to all my problems. 

I have had the privilege to speak about it with some other Mighty contributors about this and they put it exactly right. Deciding to have a baby is a big choice, especially when you have bipolar disorder, major depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and they supported my choice to refrain from having a baby right now. 

Before I spoke to some of these astonishing women, I literally thought I was wrong. Things like this can shake the very foundation of your beliefs. But thanks to them, I can at least be at peace knowing I haven’t done anything wrong by not having a baby yet. 

All the people who spoke to me about this — you women are amazing for understanding and supporting me when I was so confused and needed the boost. So, I just want to thank you.

Of course I want a baby, but on my own time. Not because I’m struggling and having mental breakdowns every other day. It’s a choice, not a necessity. People need to realize how important it is to understand mental illness.

I have a cause to eradicate the stigma attached to mental illness in our society, specially in India where there is a lot of ignorance. Hope Is Good is my cause. But I can’t do it all alone. If you feel like it, please join the cause and make it stronger. The stronger it is the more difficult it will be to ignore.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock. 

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