Fresh tasty homemade burger

Choices and Cheeseburgers: How We Grieve My Husband's Suicide

I had to make a lot of choices during the first year following my husband John’s suicide — choices I was ill-equipped to make considering the fact that in those early days, my shock-saturated brain kept making me leave the house with two completely different types of sandals on my feet. Decisions such as, sell the house or keep it? Roll John’s retirement fund into my Roth IRA or cash it out to pay off his debt? And the routine middle-of-the-night panic attack I affectionately named the, “How will I afford medical insurance?” freak-out.

Because life had the audacity to just keep going on, these vital financial decisions had to be pondered simultaneously with the truly significant questions in my new life like, should I stay in bed for the third day in a row or should I attempt to shower and pretend to be a human today? Should I chug the liter of Vodka that’s in my freezer or should I just put the vodka in an IV bag and let it drip into my veins until bed time? And most pressing of all, what do I do with my dead husband’s dirty underwear?

As the one-year anniversary of John’s death approached, I faced yet another decision. How do I commemorate such a thing? Do I commemorate such a thing? Do I take flowers to his grave? Would my all-consuming rage even allow me to put flowers on his grave, or would I succumb to my hatred and light the cemetery on fire instead? Should I make some sort of baked good? How many carbohydrates would be in said baked good? Should I post a sappy poem on Facebook? What will the kids want to do on this day?

As the weeks drew near I felt an increasing sense of anxiety. Utopian photos and stories about John had already begun surfacing on social media, and everyone would be expecting to see something similar from me. Only I had nothing like that to share. The man all these people were memorializing was not the man I had come to know during our 10-year relationship. He was so much more complex than the rose-colored photos of him smiling in front of his race car. I guess no one looked past his smile.

Maybe I should fake it and spend the day in a black veil on his grave after posting pictures of our wedding day to my Facebook wall. Being disingenuous would surely make everyone else feel comfortable.

Thankfully though, in the last year I’d developed the ability to stop caring about the comfort levels of others in reference to my grieving process. The only thoughts and opinions I cared about were those of my 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. So I decided I would do whatever they wanted to do on the anniversary of their father’s death. I would be gentle and sensitive to whatever they decided would ease their suffering on this day. If they wanted me in a black veil I would drape myself in miles of black tulle. If they wanted to lay flowers on his grave I would buy them 10,000 roses. If they wanted to run a way and hide, I would take them to Jupiter.

Turns out, they wanted cheeseburgers.

Yes, cheeseburgers. It was that simple. When presenting them with the traditional options of a gravesite visit to lay roses or a balloon release on the beach, they were both quiet for several seconds before my son asked if we could eat cheeseburgers that day instead, since the other options sounded “boring.”

My daughter took some convincing, although not much since she loves cheeseburgers almost as much as I love anything drenched in cream cheese frosting. Her main concern was this: cheeseburgers made her happy. Was it OK to be happy on such a day? I eventually convinced her (and myself), that yes it was. Feeling however you wanted to feel on whichever day of the year you feel it was always OK.

On the morning of the anniversary, I was surprised to find that I felt nothing. Not like the numb-I’m-so-depressed-I-can’t-even-taste-ice-cream nothingness I’d become accustomed to — no, this was not a nothingness per se; it was a normal-ness. I took the kids to school, ran errands, and made lunch.

In the afternoon I checked my social media to find exactly what I had expected: photos and stories of a man everyone felt they knew. People still expressing shock over the way he had died and countless, sappy, overused poems with floral arrangements and beach sunsets in the background. Poems with rhyming words. Poems that made the general population feel comfortable with the way in which they were expressing their grief.

I am not the general population. As a matter of fact, since John’s death, I had done nothing the general population had approved of. I drank, I online dated, and I documented every bit of it on social media.

I became enraged the more I scrolled. How dare they? I thought. How dare they bombard my eyes with pictures of him smiling when he hadn’t smiled at me in three years! He was not a happy person!

At least he wasn’t to me anymore.

He had become disconnected and unpredictable. He didn’t sleep or eat well. He lived in the garage filled with dust and grease from the dozens of car projects he had started but never finished. He lived in the garage with other women. He lived in the garage with the survival gear he’d accumulated when he had become convinced the end of the world was eminent. Where were the stories and pictures of that?

They were inside of me and the kids — the only ones who had seen fully this side of him, the side of him I chose to leave six weeks before he took his life. The sides people were sharing on social media felt fake. They showed the masks he’d put on to convince people he was healthy, and these people did think he was healthy.

My rage subsided at this realization because these people were grieving a healthy version of John — a version I was slowly forced to grieve over the years as I watched him change. I remember this pain. My rage quickly turned to empathy, and my empathy turned into an understanding of why these people had to grieve in this way; remembering him fondly felt natural to them, like cheeseburgers seemed natural to my children. How could I judge these people for grieving in such a way when part of me still feared being judged by them for eating cheeseburgers?

What if no one judged another for how they chose to grieve? What kind of world would that be?

That evening, when we all reached the milkshake course of our meal at Ruby’s Diner, the mood had gone from normal to downright happy. Silly, even. The three of us were laughing about the chocolate dripping form my son’s chin and the noise my daughter’s thigh made each time she peeled it from the pleather cushion of our booth.

Not once did we speak of John. Not intentionally, he just simply never came up. I never asked myself, “What was I doing a year ago right now?” I was too busy enjoying the presence of my children and the elation of freeing myself from my low-carb lifestyle for the day. The mood-boosting ability of complex carbohydrates cannot be overstated.

So many other times in the past 365 days had been devoted to the act of mourning. And it is, like love, an action. Random Wednesdays when the smell of a stranger’s Swisher Sweet cigars sent me into crying convulsions, John’s birthday when we reminisced about how much he loved German chocolate cake, Fourth of July when we each pointed out which firework we think Daddy would’ve liked best, Saturday at 3 a.m. when my nightmares were so vivid they induced an asthma attack.

Yes, so many days and weeks and moments in that first year had been devoted to thoughts and actions about him — missing him, crying for him, regretting not having done enough for him, celebrating him. But on that day, one year after he took his life we chose to celebrate us — our resilience, our mutual love of greasy cheeseburgers, our ability to still laugh about the arbitrary things that make up life like milkshakes on chins and thighs on pleather.

We had made it through the first year intact, and we will make it through so many more. Together. Inseparable. Adhered to one another through our tragedy and triumph like cheese adheres to meat patties.

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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

Thinkstock photo by annamoskvina


tweet 13 reasons why

The '13 Reasons Why' Meme That Left Me in Tears

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

On Easter Sunday, I was perusing Facebook and I saw a meme referencing “13 Reasons Why.” In this meme, the person jokes about dying by suicide because their mother wasn’t going to give them an Easter basket. When I saw this meme, I was in tears.

This may seem like an overreaction on my part. But as someone who lives with depression and was suicidal in the past, this is triggering for me.

I guess I can’t blame this person. If you’ve never been suicidal, you would probably never understand how difficult and heart wrenching it is. You might not understand what it’s like to constantly have suicidal thoughts. Thoughts that get worse over time and that won’t go away no matter how much I try. Thoughts varying from, “I want to die,” to any of the various ways that I could. A person who has never experienced suicidal ideation may never understand what it’s like to ask God to let me die so I won’t have to face a new day. They might not understand what it’s like to have depression tell me my loved ones would be “better off” if I was gone. That I’m a burden. That I’m unloveable. That I’m worthless.

They might never understand what it’s like to actually be suicidal. What a dark and scary place it is. The scariest place I have ever known. A hole so deep I believed I would have succumbed to my depression.

My depression was so bad, I sincerely believed that 2016 was going to be my last year on Earth. Well, I’m still here. With the help of therapy and antidepressants, I have gotten better. So much better than I was last year. And I want to continue becoming the best version of myself I can be.

As someone who has been there, it does get better. And there are so many people who care about you and love you. Remember, you are not alone.

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.

Photo via Twitter.

A woman sitting on a bag, looking at the ocean

The Moment of Clarity That Came After My Suicide Attempt

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Tubes, connecting to nearby machines, snaked around my chest, tracing the failing parts of my body: Heart. Liver. Kidneys. Medicine, pumping at extremely fast rates, pulsated through my veins flowing towards the sickest parts of my body in an attempt to regain functionality. Professionals, using their 50 years of combined medical knowledge together, hovered over my decrepit situation. I could see the stethoscopes dangling.

“She might not make it, John.”

“Lola, can you hear us?”

“Her breathing is shallowed, call RT.”

“Prep an ICU bed.”

I could only faintly hear their slurs of hushed doctor talk. Breathe. Lola, focus on making it through the next breath. That’s your only task right now.

That was then.

This is now. I am a student leader, advocate, author, blogger, volunteer and obsessive coffee drinker. I am a dreamer, an enthusiast, a lover-of-all-things-life. And although it was a long, windy road to recovery with no shortage of hospitalizations, medication changes, psychiatrists and psychologists, there was a vivid moment of clarity that remains etched in my mind even today. After watching so many professionals fight with all their might for my life, they showed me this: I deserve life. The grave does not deserve me yet. The grave does not deserve the mounds of unfinished dreams, hopes, goals, aspirations and desires I possess.

The world needs me. The world needs you.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during that scary hospitalization and I remember what the doctor said to me with eyes of genuine compassion: “Lola, there will be days of pain ahead, but there will also be days of joy and getting rid of the pain means getting rid of the joy. Let’s get you on the mend.”  

Depression is a beast; it will fight hard to make you succumb to its ways. But in those days following my attempt, I learned that I am more than my harmful thoughts. Depression doesn’t have the last breath and my thoughts have only the power I give them. Depression is strong, but with the right tool kit and resources, we can be stronger.

As far as I’ve come in my recovery process, I also know I will wrestle with my mental health for years to come. I am not the epitome of healthy, yet. I’m still a work in progress with many cracks and crevices in my soul and I need learn to thrive despite them. I am a masterpiece, not yet finished. Instead of waiting for the day for it to be beautiful, I am finding beauty in the unfinished work and anytime I get into a rut, I remind myself: The grave does not deserve me yet. I deserve life to it’s fullest.

And so do you.

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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

Thinkstock photo via fcscafeine

A teenage boy holding a tape

Parents: Read This Before Talking With Your Kids About '13 Reasons Why'

Editor’s note: The following piece contains spoilers about “13 Reasons Why.”

The buzz about the new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” is as loud as it is diverse — and if you’re a parent, it can be difficult to know what to make of it. Based on the book by Jay Asher, the series follows the aftermath of high school student Hannah Baker’s suicide. Hannah leaves 13 tapes explaining 13 reasons “why” she ended her life.

That, right there, is why many suicide prevention activists find the plot flawed and unhelpful (I’ll explain this below). But this criticism hasn’t translated to most general audiences, who have found the series inspiring for its depiction of hard-to-discuss issues like bullying, sexual assault and yes — suicide.

So how do we talk about it? For parents, and for anyone who feels a bit uncomfortable about “13 Reasons Why,” it can be intimidating to orchestrate a productive conversation about the topics and themes depicted in the show.

To find out what parents should think about when their child is watching “13 Reasons Why,” I spoke to three suicide prevention activists — Dese’Rae L. Stage, founder of Live Through This; Shannon Crossbear, a suicide loss survivor; and Martin Rafferty, Executive Director of Youth MOVE Oregon — and asked them what advice they would give parents who want to talk to their children about the show.

Here’s what they told me.

Ask, “What do you think is ‘Hollywood’ about this show?”

Although viewers of the show will know it’s fiction, Rafferty said it’s important to weed through exactly what makes the show unrealistic, besides the fact that its characters aren’t real.

Here are some good places to start:

Address the show’s representation of suicide as a way to send a message: Most people who die by suicide don’t get to leave a clear, definitive message after their death. To show suicide as an effective communication strategy (“everyone will see how wrong they are/learn a lesson about how their behavior affects others”) is misleading and perpetuates a “suicide as revenge” narrative — that people only kill themselves to teach others a lesson. While the series doesn’t undermine the real pain Hannah was in, it’s important to understand the plot itself is unrealistic. Those who are suicidal shouldn’t overestimate the clarity of the message they’ll be able to send after they die. “She made a huge splash, but most suicides are whispers,” Rafferty said.

Often, suicides are not orchestrated: Anywhere from 33 percent to 80 percent of all suicide attempts are impulsive. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, 24 percent took less than five minutes between the decision to kill themselves and the actual attempt, and 70 percent took less than one hour. “Parents should know the premise itself is unrealistic, no one, especially teenagers, a suicidal teenager, is going to take the time to make a long suicide manifesto and then remain in crisis,” Stage said. “Kids are usually going to act pretty quickly.”

Update April 18: To clarify, Stage added, “Most people act quickly in the window after they make the decision. That’s not to say that the move is necessarily impulsive. Many people think about it and plan (actively, or even as passively as, ‘If I were going to kill myself, I would take pills,’ or maybe they’d think about whether they would leave a note) over time. It doesn’t just arrive as a single thought out of mid-air for the first time and end in an attempt or a death.”

A suicide doesn’t leave behind a list of people/things to “blame”: When someone dies by suicide, there often isn’t a neatly, bullet-pointed list of “reasons why,” as the title of the show implies. Crossbear suggested asking your children, “Do you think when someone dies by suicide, there needs to be blamed assigned?”

“While we want people to be aware of how their actions impact other people, we also don’t want to put them in the position of feeling when someone dies by suicide, that it’s their fault,” Crossbear said.

Next, challenge the “bullycide” narrative. 

While we never want to underestimate the mental health effects bullying has on young people and the very real depression, anxiety and trauma it can spark, there’s often more going on when a bullied child takes their own life. “The bullycide narrative is problematic because it simplifies suicide too much,” Stage said. Instead, talk to your kids about the whole range of reasons why someone dies by suicide, including mental health, isolation and lack of support.

Talk honestly about the “kind of people” who die by suicide. (Hint: The stereotype is wrong.)

The part that bothered Stage, a suicide attempt survivor herself, was that the show perpetuated the myth that people who kill themselves are manipulative and vengeful. “It’s not fair,” she said. “Parents should know that the premise itself is unrealistic.” While you could argue people who die by suicide share a common pain, they’re diverse in what actually drives them and shouldn’t be simplified to a stereotype. 

Talk about the resources available for someone who’s feeling suicidal.

Another criticism about the show was that it didn’t show successful help-seeking. Use this as an opportunity to educate your child about what resources are available for someone who needs help. Here are some essentials:

Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741 to text with a free trained crisis counselor, 24/7.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you prefer to talk to someone over the phone, you can call 1-800-273-8255.

Teen LineIf your child would rather talk to a peer, they can text “TEEN” to 839863 between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. PST.

You can create a safe space for talking about suicide.

If the show sparked the first conversation you had with your family about suicide, don’t let it be your last. Make sure your children feel comfortable talking about suicidal thoughts in a shame-free environment. Tell your teen there’s nothing shameful about having suicidal thoughts and that they can talk to you and get support if they’re ever feeling hopeless.

Know the that last episode is graphic — and make sure your child knows how to get support if they need it.

It’s important for viewers to know the last episode shows Hannah dying by suicide — and that if they struggle with suicidal ideation (or not), it might be hard to watch. “I don’t know how one could properly prepare for that,” Stage said. “Not only was the suicide scene really graphic, you can get a sense in that last episode that you were watching a thriller.” Stage suggests to get support if you need it, or, if you’re not ready, skip the episode entirely. 

Lastly, know the “issue” with “13 Reasons Why” is not that it talks about suicide. We should be talking about suicide. But as arguably the most popular modern narrative that focuses on a suicide, this show has a lot of power to shape how young people think about those who die by suicide and why people die by suicide — and it’s unfortunately not enough. Especially if your child is being bullied, struggles with depression or has even survived a suicide attempt — they need to know there’s more information about suicide out there and that they’re not alone. Because while the fictional Hannah Backer left behind tapes, many, many more suicide attempt survivors and suicide loss survivors have stories to tell — and they also deserve our ears and hearts.

To connect with other suicide attempt survivors: Live Through This

To connect with other suicide loss survivors: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

To read the guidelines for reporting on/discussing suicide: Reporting on Suicide

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

Lead image via 13 Reasons Why Facebook page

Amy Bleuel

Remembering Amy Bleuel; Her Story Is Not Over

It is with profound sadness that I write about my friend who died by suicide recently. She was a passionate, creative soul who strived to live on daily. She was an artist with an astounding view for the world around her. Now more than ever, I can see how she beautifully captured it in her own unique way. Her perseverance, dedication and the persistence she carried helped her to face each day. Her compassion and love for others will forever strike a chord in those who knew her. Her name is Amy Bleuel.

As difficult as this is to write, I wanted to reassure everyone that Amy’s memory lives on; her story is not over.

After her death, I watched the community come together. It was beautiful to see her family, her friends and supporters join together to celebrate Amy’s life. As I sat back and listened to her friends and family share their stories of Amy, I could not help but think about how greatly Amy served others. In fact, it was the pain she endured that in turn allowed her to open up to love and help so many others.

Losing a loved one can indeed bring misery, hardship, strain, heartache and a great amount of hurt. What I have learned, though, is that we can begin to heal by sharing our loved one’s story with others.

Rocks with butterflied painted on them that say "Rise Together"
The rocks were a gift that we received form Amy.

It has been said that hope can be found right between faith and love. I believe this to be true. It is there that we can continue on, sharing time with those we care about, remembering those we have lost and raise the good memories that are so dear to us. We can remember the times we laughed, the times we got excited, the times we got angry, the times we dreamed, and even the times we cried. It is in those moments that we experience life together.

You see, Amy and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye and there was a period of time that our friendship completely fell apart. During that time, I could have never imagined I’d be sitting here writing about her death, as we always want to believe we have more time. As heart wrenching as this is, it does bring me great joy that we were recently able to set aside our differences, let go of our resentments and begin to make amends. About a week before her passing, Amy and I were text messaging.

A crowd

Scrolling back on these final messages pains my heart greatly but also brings me joy. She was loving, caring and excited about life. I remember inviting Amy to speak on stage with me that day. We were in a casino of all places, speaking to over 1,000 youth from various tribal communities here in Wisconsin. It was great to see everyone working together to make a difference. We stood up and spoke out that day with strong compassionate voices. For Amy, I am sure it helped to inspire her to speak out even louder than she ever had before. I smile now, as I remember her even standing in the back and on the side of the stage taking photos. She was such a talented photographer. Man… what blast we had that day.

The last time I saw Amy was a few weeks before she passed. We met at Seth’s Coffee in Little Chute. We shared stories and conversed about life over cups of coffee. We talked about normal things, really. It was great to see a smile on her face. It was great to be sitting there just talking as two friends. We didn’t talk much about business, which was rare for us, but more about the good things we were experiencing. As always, she asked how my children were doing. She even brought a few jars of pickles for my son because she knew he loved them. That’s something I realized over the past few days. She always was giving her friends little gifts. It was her own little way to show appreciation.

As much as she will be missed, she will never be forgotten. I believe that we all can find some comfort in this. Whether you knew Amy personally or you recently have lost a loved one of your own, you can still help bring a voice to the voiceless. You can share these types of memories with the people and the world around you. In doing so, we can all find a way to smile even during the most difficult times.

“Everyone who knew Amy saw her passion and dedication to helping others cope with their struggles in life. She always wore her heart on her sleeve, which is never easy,” said Jeff Strommen, Executive Director of the Brown County Suicide Prevention Coalition. “Her passing is truly a loss felt in our community and across the world. If Amy were here right now, she would want me to tell you that your story isn’t over. Stay strong; love endlessly.”

My hope here is to help you understand who Amy was as a person, even outside of the project. We all know that we can’t change the past but what we can do is learn from it, grow from it and cherish it. I want you to continue walking with me in her memory and sharing her story with those around you; especially with those struggling. We must not give up. We must push forward and carry the power of love with us.

It is in these times that we can search for a greater understanding of mental illness and addiction. It is in these times that we can search for stronger preventative measures. It is in these times we can find allies, supporters, peers, friends and family to join us in these efforts to eliminate the stigma around mental health and addiction. It is in these times we can band arms together, support one another, unite and rise together to save lives.

I cannot fully understand what Amy’s family must be going through at this time, but what I do know is that we can call out to them with our support, our prayers and our condolences. Amy was more than her mission. She was a beautiful soul that will live on in our memories forever.

For everyone out there, keep the stories going. Share your own. Find your purpose like Amy found hers. Serve others in your own unique way. By doing so, I promise you this world will be a greater place to live than we may have ever seen before.

Much love always,
Anthony Alvarado
President of Rise Together

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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

Lead image via Project Semicolon

13 reasons why

Why People With Mental Illness Need to Be Careful When Watching '13 Reasons Why'

Many of you have probably heard about the new Netflix TV Series, “13 Reasons Why.” If you haven’t, I’ll give you a quick description of the plot.

A girl named Hannah Baker kills herself and leaves behind a set of 13 cassette tapes that describe 13 reasons why she killed herself. Each tape belongs to someone who hurt her and made her want to kill herself. The tapes get passed along to each person who ever hurt her. Meanwhile, her parents are struggling to cope with her death and decide to create a lawsuit against the school in their frustration with the administrative board for not helping her when she needed it most.

The series follows Clay Jensen, a friend of Hannah’s. He receives the tapes on his doorstep one night and starts listening. As he gets deeper and deeper into the tapes, he loses his control of emotions and goes to each of the people on the tapes before him to get them to confess to what they did so he can find justice for Hannah.

This series really gives a powerful and important message on bullying, mental illness, rape, self harm and suicide, but if you’re not in a good place, it can be dangerous to watch.

I was told by a couple friends I probably shouldn’t watch the show because there are so many ways I could get triggered. But I wanted to see the show for myself to see if the message of the show was true to my understanding of mental illness, self harm and suicide.

The show is dark and despairing. There is so much hurting, and for someone who is already in a bad place, the show has the potential to send someone off into a much darker abyss than before.

There are many scenes when your heart is wrenched in emotion and sympathy for what Hannah experienced, and scenes when you see the issues are so real. Much realer than you would imagine from a Netflix TV series.

The scene at the end of the series when you actually see Hannah die is the most dangerous scene to see as someone struggling with mental illness. It’s blunt and honest, and there’s nothing left out. You see everything. Before getting angry over this triggering scene, you need to understand this detail is actually pretty relevant to the show in order for your eyes to be opened to suicide. However, this “detail” can easily send a recovering self-harmer into a relapse, so there is a positive and negative.

I do honestly believe this show was very real and for the most part quite accurate to what mental illness is like. Obviously they can’t get everything right, but they truly got close. I think this show is good for people who don’t understand suicide or the warning signs to watch for. More than being a form of entertainment, it can be a form of education.

This is not me saying you need to watch this show. In fact, if you are struggling, I suggest you wait. I think you will understand when you are ready, because I knew when I was. I was told by friends to be careful about watching it, but I was ready for what was to come and I felt I was at a good enough place where I could watch the show without getting triggered. And that’s a decision you have to be able to make. Only you can decide what you can and can’t handle. Keep yourself safe.

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.

Photo via “13 Reasons Why” Facebook page.

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