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How I'm Healing After Losing My Daughter to Suicide

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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.

Two years ago, we sadly lost our daughter after a two year battle with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and failure of mental health services. She was only 22. It is impossible to describe the devastating effect it left on her family and friends. Two years on and I’m still unable to work and am highly suicidal, going through the fight with mental health system all over again.

Being an artist, I recorded my emotions in ceramic sculptures and launched an exhibition, called “Exhibition” in hopes that it would help people going through similar emotions. Exhibition is dedicated to my daughter Evie and all other young people who have lost their lives as a result of this largely misunderstood illness.

Exhibition is a physical display of a mother’s journey of acceptance after the loss of her daughter. Words cannot describe the emotions that come with such a tragic loss, but the emotional context within the sculptures translates to a more powerful representation of the evolution of the personal emotional state.

People can view each piece and experience their own emotions that each sculpture brings. They may not see or experience the same state as the artist, but will take a sense of insight into the artist’s state of mind.

The purpose of the Exhibition is to draw attention to mental health issues in young people. Self-harm and personality disorders are merely the tip of the iceberg, but it’s through personal experience of these areas that we can bring awareness of much wider ranging issues and the devastating effects and repercussions that impact not just the person struggling, but those who love, support and fight alongside them throughout this period in their lives.

Tragically, there is not always a happy ending, as in our case. There is no preparation, guidelines or instruction book on how to process and deal with such a tragedy and we must each find our own path of acceptance and deal with it in our own way. It’s easy to go on the path to self destruction, lose hope and simply give up, but to fight and confront the unfair and unjust will eventually lead to the understanding we crave.

How we do this is down to each of us as individuals. Through art I can see shape, structure, emotion and myself portrayed in a functional form. To me its relatable, a moment captured in time, a measurement of where I was to where I am now.

I still spend days craving to end the turmoil, bury myself as best as I can in a bottle of wine to take the edge off and constantly fight the overwhelming anxiety that sweeps over my like an unwanted visitor, but I fight on, focus on my art as and when my mind allows me, I fight towards the understanding of both the loss of my daughter and my own sense of worth.

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.

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Getty Images photo via natalie_board

Originally published: February 9, 2018
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