We all have a story, and mine hasn’t always been the easiest to tell.
Struggling with the right words to use, or wondering the type of reaction I will receive. But now I think if just one life can be saved because someone knew my story, that is one more life to walk on this earth, to live their life, to experience so many great things this world has to offer.
15 years ago,
my mother committed suicide.
I come from a smaller split family, parents divorced young, a single mother raising her only child. She was so kind to everyone, a mother who gave her daughter everything she needed, who was my best friend, who taught me right from wrong, who truly showed me what love is. I think I watched her go through a lot over the years but it wasn’t until the end that I really saw her struggle, I saw her fighting a battle, a battle I sometimes blame on her life experiences, but really the battle was within herself, questioning her self worth. An illness I started to see a lot of, but at such a young age I didn’t know how to fully interpret, or how to help.
And then she was gone.
Just like that, I was alone. After she was gone, I felt lost, broken, and at fault. I think many people felt like they missed the signs. Like they could have done something to change the outcome. Sometimes I sit back and just think to myself, the signs were clear, you saw it every time you saw her. But how was anyone supposed to know that’s what would happen.
My life drastically changed, moving to a different state to live with my dad in a smaller town where no one really knew my mom or me but kind of knew my story. A story I didn’t really want to talk about. Even though I had family around me who tried to help and tried to relate. No one I knew had ever really experienced this type of loss. When your own mother takes her life, you wonder how could someone so Christian and kind and whom I thought was perfect just up and leave it all behind, leave her own child behind. The girl whose mother killed herself. Not only feeling lost but worrying what other people were going to think of me, or think I could ever do the same to myself, because maybe it runs in the family. Yes silly thoughts, but as a teenager the worry of what everyone thinks is on your mind, a lot. Not feeling like I could talk to anyone or relate to anyone was hard. Even though now I know that it was not entirely true.
My life, has since grown. I am now a wife, a mother to three beautiful children and my life could not be any brighter. I still have a hard time knowing that she is not here physically to share this beautiful family I have been given. Or trying to figure out how I will some day soon tell my own children her story and hope that I can help them understand her struggle. Just like so many other parents, I try and teach them to love themselves, to be proud of who they are. Somehow I think God is trying to bring me peace and maybe help me understand why things happen the way they do. Trying to make sense of it all is the biggest struggle and I’m trying really hard to trust that there is a bigger reason.
Suicide is almost like this thing that is never talked about it. Hushed and brushed under the rug and I followed suit. So many feelings raced through me for years. Leaving me with a lot of questions, a lot of sadness, anger, guilt, and regret. It took me several years before I could really talk about it with anyone and I think I still struggle with it. It’s not something that ever goes away, some days are better, some aren’t. Just like losing any loved one the best thing you can do is Remember.
Remember who they were. Telling THEIR story might help someone struggling.
To know someone is there, who is thinking about you, or who is willing to listen to you if you just ever need it, a family member or a friend, and sometimes even a stranger. To know you are important in this world, and there are so many people who need you, for you.
Suicide is not just taking the easy way out. A real illness, a cancer of the mind I’ve always thought. Maybe they feel like they are no longer burdening others, like them leaving will not even be noticed, that their pain will finally go away.
“Suicide doesn’t take away the pain, it gives it to someone else”
I tell you a little bit of my story and ask you to help me raise awareness, to help support those who have lost loved ones to suicide, or to someone who may be battling something more than we can fully understand. It’s easy to turn your head and let someone deal with it on their own. There are so many people out there who don’t understand and aren’t sure they know what to do. I don’t think it’s always about finding the right therapist to talk to or medication to take to help you through your day, but I also think support from someone close to you can do so much. Maybe let someone know you are there, it could be a family member, a friend or even a stranger. Let them know they are important in this world, and there are so many people who need them.
Depression is real, bipolar is real, anxiety is real, Mental Illness is real and the more we talk about it the more we can learn to help others who may be dealing with it on their own.
It is time to be a voice, to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. To be a friend and reach out to someone that may be going through a rough time. Tell someone today they are beautiful, they are special, tell them how they make your day better. We all deserve it, we need it. It is not always black and white, not everyone wants to talk about their feelings, but just letting them know you are there, to listen whenever the time comes, to let them know you care and they matter,
maybe thats all it takes.
Please come and help me raise awareness for Suicide Prevention
Walk Out of The Darkness
This Saturday, September 26th in Parkersburg, WV at the Parkersburg City Park
or again in
Marietta, OH at the Indian Acres Boat Ramp on November 21st!
For more information click the link below
For a mother, a daughter, and a sister who will never be forgotten.
Annette Marie Farley