Lately there have been teen suicides all over the news in Oklahoma.
The two football players, one who died in a car accident and the other friend who was so broken up about it he killed himself.
The most recent one being from my college town, where an eighth grader shot and killed himself in a crowded hallway ten minutes before the final bell rang to start the day. Students in the hallway turned around to see him sink to the ground with blood everywhere.
I work in a psychiatric hospital, where I deal with this all the time. I hear of past patients that have succeeded in killing themselves and deal with suicidal ideation on a daily basis.
As much as you would think I would be numb about hearing these things, I was still sickened to hear about it. It is absolutely tragic.
Maybe part of the reason it hits so hard is that I have lived it.
It was the summer before my senior year. I was excited for my mostly easy electives like soccer manager and yearbook editor with two of my close friends.
To prepare us for our leadership role, we were able to attend an awesome leadership camp for free, the same one all of the student councils from all over the state were to attend.
Angie, Kristin and I were having a blast. Meeting people and learning so much. Kristin suddenly had to leave early because her uncle was sick. She reassured Angie and I that we should stay, she would be fine. She gave us big hugs and promised to talk soon, smacking her favorite gum as we parted ways.
That was the last time I saw her.
About two weeks later, Angie calls me upset and crying. She had caught me in a dead sleep so it took a minute for me to register what she was trying to say.
She was gone.
I remember the emotions as they came. Surprise. Shock. Denial. I remember it took me quite a while to grasp. I kicked myself for not calling and checking on her after leaving leadership camp. I learned she was Bipolar and that was something I hadn't known before. (I think that realization is what got me interested in my field, and that why I work with mental health now.)
It was a tough year, many people missed her. My whole year in yearbook class was a constant reminder of who was missing. A reminder of who should have been there with us. I still have my Doc Martens that were popular my junior year. The ones that she wrote on the bottom of them with red pen, "KK loves you" during a yearbook class. She got buried with a picture of her and I, smiling big into the camera.
I want people to know lots of things. Suicide isn't the answer. It may seem like the answer. It may solve your problems permanently, but you will permanently effect those around you, for the worse. Don't let Satan steal your future! Don't let depression or bullying take over and win, followed by a suicide. Talk to someone. Get help. Because killing yourself leaves a wake of disaster for far more people than you can fathom. Also, just when you think you aren't loved, or you are no good? Jesus disagrees. He loves you and cares for you and is waiting for you to turn to his loving arms for comfort. And his arms are always open.
Don't do it. It's not worth it. Consider asking for help.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255.
And don't bully people either. Be kind to one another!