The Fight

SUICIDE.

That caught your attention.

Our biggest cultural struggle is people's ignorance and the barriers people put up with mental illnesses. Why do we shun and hide from this epidemic that is just growing more and more in people? I lost my younger brother to suicide. He was amazing in many ways. He had a smile that would light up anyone's day. He was the guy to go out of his way to help anyone in need. A true southern gentleman. He struggled with mental illness and what is sad is that in this society today to be a man means one doesn't have feelings and he should suck it up and fix "his problems silently." How MORE wrong is our society!  Young men especially need our support, young men especially need our love and compassion. We need to open the doors for them and let them know that we accept them for who they are in that moment and if in that moment they need help IT IS OKAY. They are worthy of help, worthy of Love and worthy of support.

My brothers passing was tragic and what could of helped was the stigma suicide holds. Suicide is a word not spoken about, shoved under the rug. In our society suicide is negative and holds a harsh stigma. What's negative and harsh is the world we live in that doesn't allow boys to be vulnerable and seek help, a world that focuses on what we aren't as people rather than all the challenges we face daily. We need to talk about it, people need educated, and most important people need love. I have always struggled with depression, anxiety and OCD. Since my brothers passing I've developed PTSD. I will fight. I will stand strong. I know that it's okay to be weak and have down days. Those are the days that bring me closer to the Lord and show me my true resilience I have because of the love and compassion he has for me. You are worthy. You are strong. You are loved! Your fight is worth something. Men, you are important and deserve to be heard! Women, you are beautiful and deserve respect. We are children of a loving God who holds us close. I gotta keep fighting for I have a brother who is depending on me to educate this world and break this stigma.

In my darkest days, I have to remember that this fight I'm fighting will one day all be worth it, for I'll be reunited with my brother, come face to face to my precious creator and hopefully leave a legacy that empowers people to simply show love and embrace these precious moments we have.

 - Elizabeth

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