Cassidy P What happened has happened. That doesn’t define who you are.
When my son was just starting high school, the high school was doing a presentation on suicide because his school district was one where we lost seven kids. And I saw this presentation from this lady, her name is Kathy, and she was talking about her son, who was 17 years old and how she had lost him and how it impacted his friends. And I looked over at my son and I mean, he’s way taller than me, and he was instantly smaller.
“I thought to myself I can’t go through that.”
And the reason why I thought that was I myself struggled with that when I was growing up and when I was a teen, I struggled with and I still do have suicide ideation. It’s more passive, it’s not active ideation. And I need to make sure that I can be here for my kids.
I took a chance and I searched suicide prevention and out of luck, AFSP pops up and I saw there was chances to get certified in things where I can start to help others because I believed if I can help others maybe it’ll help myself.
And it worked. I started taking most of my certification through NAMI, which is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and I’m a first responder for mental health first aid.
“The biggest thing that really helped me feel comfortable about talking about this is that I truly understand that I myself cannot save anyone
They are the ones that would save their lives. I can inspire hope. I can inspire action.
More people are realizing or feeling the same way, but don’t know how to talk about it. It’s something we need to fix and we need to make it normal to be able to talk about the struggles we’re having.
I was a total tomboy growing up. I didn’t do the girl stuff. I have a twin sister who is the opposite of me — 100% girl. And I honestly would have to say this mental health thing is what really brought us together because she’s got shame and guilt that she deals with. And I’ve gone through that also. And that was the one thing that brought us together and brought both of our friend groups together. Being able to talk about the fact that there’s no shame, there’s no judgment, there’s no guilt.
“What happened has happened. That doesn’t define who you are.”
And you just feel like you can wake up, be grateful for what the day is going to bring. Not thinking about what’s happened in the past.