Day 30: What does recovery mean to you?
Over the past year and two months since the incident involving me and my family I have worked hard to understand exactly what recovery means for us. Mental illness and suicide is a much bigger issue and subject than me, and so for this; the last day in this 30 day awareness challenge; I wanted to focus on something other than my personal story and the selfish reasons as to why I chose to take this up as a lifelong cause.
It doesn’t matter what I’ve written or said during this time right now. The statistics and charts don’t matter the reason is this; Lives continue to be lost every day to these illnesses. We lost one more yesterday.
As I reach out to the local community and the school district affected, I realize this is an issue we are well under-educated on. People don’t know how to react, how to respond, what to say to the family.
So today the meaning of recovery is (as defined in the dictionary) “the act of obtaining something useful from unusable sources” or, making something positive come from something terrible. Recovering from something such as this requires an entire community. This happens way too often and it needs to be addressed. It has to stop. These children and the young adults they will grow into need to know that these hopeless feelings can be lessened; the pain can get better. We have to become less afraid of saying the word ‘suicide’ and ‘counseling’. We have to stop feeling as if seeking help is a weakness. The shame of approaching our peers or a professional or anyone to speak up and ask for guidance should not be a hindrance. There is no shame in therapy. There is no embarrassment in taking medication for such illnesses. Just as we would not feel awkward in posting Facebook pages and fundraising sites or walking on behalf of a sick school mate or coworker who is bravely battling cancer; we should neither feel so in support of anyone who is fighting hopelessness and mental strain so vigorously that he takes his life, or if one was to attempt to.
Recovery for me, personally, means never having to lose one more life to a fatal depressive episode via suicide. I plan to be in recovery for the rest of my very long life.
*If you or someone you know is fighting the urge to harm themselves, please instead call 800-273-(TALK) 8255*