I was 13 when I first thought of committing suicide. A 13 year old girl who had no idea what the future held for her but, one that knew she already wanted to forget her past.

Fast forward a couple of years. I had already become a mother who, because I had not dealt with my own mental illness, was unknowingly about to pass them on to another generation.

Years would go by and I would often deal with suicidal thoughts, and sometimes actions like, taking an entire bottle of pills and cutting my wrists, or attempting to drive off of cliffs. Told that I was just “crazy” or that I wanted attention, my issues of mental health were constantly swept under the rug and never dealt with in the ways they should have been before I reached adulthood.

September is recognized as “Suicide Prevention Month” and I can’t help but wonder how many of us have been faced with obstacles that, at the time, we can only see one way out- Suicide.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/causes/one-person-dies-every-40-seconds-from-suicide-who-says/ar-AAH21N4.

As someone who has faced innumerous battles (some I placed on myself), I speak because I’m here to tell a story. A story of pain, struggle and redemption that can only be told because I have survived it all.

This battle with my own mental health is one that I have too many times fought alone and with self pity. Most recently, I tried to revisit some of my pain in order to attempt to move forward. I was told that, because my son was ok, I should be also. It’s because of that attitude that so many times we don’t deal with our hurt because either no one listens or no one cares.

I have come to realize that I shouldn’t expect someone else to understand my pain, especially when they haven’t even dealt with their own. We shouldn’t expect others to sympathize with us when they don’t even have the strength to hear us. Being silent keeps others comfortable, even when they are the source of much of your pain.

I’m here today because I decided I had a story to tell and I was the only one strong enough who could tell it. The pills weren’t strong enough. The cuts weren’t deep enough. That day my son grabbed the steering wheel, to protect us from me, told me we hadn’t had enough.

On this World Suicide Prevention Day, I beg each one of you dealing with something to seek help. To understand that you have so much more life to live, even if you have to live it alone. You have a purpose and a voice that can only be heard if you are around to share it. Even if no one in your family will listen to you, there’s someone out there willing to listen and help you pull through.

And, there is always a hotline available to hear your cries. Trust me, I’ve used them.

*If you, or someone you know, are in need of suicide crisis intervention, please call:  1-800-273-8255, http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org