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Reach Out

The suicide of Robin Williams has had me do a lot of thinking. What if I had actually gone through with my thoughts of suicide in the past?

I've seen a lot on social media regarding people's confusion about his death. For one, I don't know that death is something we necessarily understand. People have a wide range of beliefs as far as what happens after a person dies because death is something with which we aren't necessarily familiar. The main point of confusion over Robin Williams's death, however, is the fact that he seemed so happy.

We've all suffered. I had a breaking point where I could no longer take the suffering alone; however, I found that there was no need to do so anymore because there are people to help. There are people in the world who are concerned for my health and well being. I didn't see that until I was seventeen. For most of my life, I suffered alone. I told a teacher in middle school that my dad had abused me, only for him to tell me that it wasn't true. After that, what was the point of reaching out?

I led a relatively normal life to the outside world. My dad has a successful career. He sent me to the same private school for eleven years. I participated in activities outside of school. I went to a public high school in the wealthy area of town. I went to boarding school. I pursue higher education. I've had a lot in my life, but I suffered in silence much like Robin Williams did.

I can see why he pursued humor and comedy. Humor and comedy are good coping mechanisms for depression and anxiety. As I suffered, I had to put on a good face for the world to make it seem like everything was alright (even though it wasn't).

I learned that it takes a lot of things to move on. I've had people leave my life for no reason. I found that these people cannot come with me because of where I'm supposed to go in the world. I'd still like to pursue a law education; however, to say that I failed the LSAT miserably is an understatement, so I'm a little discouraged.

The point is that we all suffer. We fight battles about which others knows nothing. Just remember that there's no need to suffer in silence.

Although others don't know about our battles or our suffering, there's no need to suffer in silence. Share your feelings. There are people that will listen.

Depression is treatable, but suicide is not. The United States has hotlines, but they're also available elsewhere. Check out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or 1-800-273-TALK). They're also on Facebook.

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We all need to be reminded that there are moments when we just do not feel strong and there are people to help support us.

I will never forget the line: I hope you never hurt your whole self when parts of you are hurting.

That single line has granted me more strength and sanity than anyone will ever truly know. 

You're one of those people, Stacey. You're there to support all of us just as we are here to support you.

It took me a long time to find support. Even though I didn't find it until I was seventeen, I found where not to look for it. I learned that there are certain people that cannot be a part of my life if I want to move forward. If they aren't going to support me, then they'll only be a hindrance. They create more hurting parts instead of healing ones.

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.