Amazonian Musings : September Suicide Awareness

As we’re approaching the two year anniversary of my blog (I know, crazy, right?) I’ve resolved to get back into the habit of actually maintaining this thing. I do, after all, pay for the website, and I feel like it could be used way more often. And one thing I’m resolving to do on here is to get a bit more personal. [Potential Trigger Warnings]

If you’re active on any social media site, you’ve probably seen a post or two about September being Suicide Awareness month. I felt like I should do something for it, and what better to do than to share a personal experience? I’m kind of nervous to write this out, I’m shaking a bit as I type. I get a ton of messages every day from people saying things about how I’ve inspired them in one way or another…through cosplay, through promoting positive body image…but this is a topic I haven’t touched on yet, or even spoken about publicly. I do keep a private journal, because in this age of hustle and bustle and social media, it’s rare that many of us new-age writers have anything personal to call our own. We post online where we receive comments and instant feedback on everything we publish. Having something like a private journal is nice because you don’t need to stress about post reach or feedback. It’s, well, private. But in the interest of helping others, I’ve decided to share this with you guys, whoever you may be. Not for comments, or likes, but because if I help ONE person by sharing this experience, I feel my job has been done.

I never really talk about it openly, but this year I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression. It didn’t come as a shock to me, since I’ve been struggling with it for nearly my entire life up to this point — alone, and without therapy or medication. I can’t pinpoint where it all began, but I can tell you it’s been a source of many other problems in my life. Depression/Anxiety is something like my ongoing antagonist. It’s destroyed friendships, my GPA, some job opportunities — the list can go on and on. I always thought it was just me. I was lazy, un-motivated and a failure. Years later, I can now understand that it wasn’t me. It was this stupid final boss I needed to conquer. And this year, I finally took steps to help myself get better.

Did I finally slay the final boss? I’d be lying if I said I did. That the mean old monster was vanquished, I cleared the last level and the final credits rolled. I’m a long way off from that. But hey– I’m not doing so bad thus far. I have a pretty awesome track record for surviving — I’ll be leveling up to 24 in a day or so.

It sounds cheesy, but it DOES get better. Whenever I see a story on the news about a teenager or child being bullied to death, I feel personally affected. That’s just my way. I’m sensitive and empathetic, sue me. I was bullied A LOT growing up for one reason or another. It’s so crazy to think that I get messages of support daily, have nearly 5,000 followers on my Facebook page alone who see me as some sort of body positive pioneer. If you’d told me back in elementary school that people would literally stop me in the mall or at conventions for photos and thank me profusely for helping them through a hard time, I’d probably blink at you all confused-like and walk away. I really can’t wrap my head around it, even today. But it’s not about that. You don’t need 5,000 people to tell you you’re awesome. If you’re reading this, you’re awesome. YOU ARE AWESOME. Unless you’ve committed serial murders or bludgeoned a baby or something…in which case you should probably stop reading my blog and go turn yourself in?

We may not be able to defeat the final boss alone, but we can do it together. Your party is always stronger when you’ve got different weapons equipped and different skill levels. Reach out to a friend in real life or a friend on the Internet. Reach out to ME, if you need to. You’re never alone.

I’d like to close with some inspirational words from one of my favorite Disney attractions, ‘The Carousel of Progress’. I hope they resound with you the way they do for me.

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day. There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow is just a dream away!.

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