A noun, meaning an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress.

That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday night.

It was a tragedy what happened to Ethan.

I have been graduated from Boiling Springs since 2015, but that doesn’t mean that I stopped caring about what happens in our community.

When I got on Twitter last night, this wasn’t what I was expecting to read about. Scrolling and scrolling all I kept seeing was tweets about American Horror Story or people complaining about their schoolwork. What I never imagined to see was post after post about how important mental health was. How people who are struggling should reach out to prevent events like this from happening again.

What did they mean “events like this”…there’s no way that could’ve happened to someone in Boiling Springs.

I was bewildered, I couldn’t believe what was happening. It was like all of my worst fears came jumping out at me. Someone took their own life.

I had no idea how to react.

I was sitting with my sisters in our living room and I just blurt out, “I think someone from my high school killed himself”.

My friends didn’t know what to say, shit I didn’t even know what to say after that.

There was just one thought going through my head, I was laughing tonight and someone was bringing their life to an end.

Nothing could’ve been done, no one could stop it.

I remember in my senior year I was struggling with the thoughts in my head. They were suffocating and I felt a very heavy pressure on my chest. I thought that it was okay, I thought that I could get over it and I could go back to normal.

I never went back to normal, in fact it got worse. I started to separate myself from everyone and I cried every night before I went to bed because I couldn’t calm down these thoughts in my head that told me that I couldn’t get through the day.

It’s hard to imagine going through life not having people notice the shift in my mood, my mom was the first to really point it out. I had no idea that it was happening, I had to have her point it out for it to be addressed as a problem.

Depression, anxiety they are all like a big thick blanket. You don’t have a choice but to get wrapped up in it, at first it’s okay, it’s manageable. But then you start to get hot and you want to just throw it off of you but it gets so heavy, and you get so tired and it just won’t come off. You kick and you scream and you cry but nothing happens. So you stop. You stop caring, you stop looking for ways out. It becomes normal.

Then you don’t even notice it anymore.

At a young age it’s hard to understand that something like this could be happening. That at 10th grade someone couldn’t picture a future anymore.

There was a time in my life that I really felt like I wouldn’t accomplish anything of importance in this life. But, what is “important” in life varies from person to person. It’s not the same for everyone.

Today, for me and most of the community in Boiling Springs, is a wake up call. Stop thinking it’s okay for people to make jokes about suicide. Stop standing by and watching people pick others apart because they don’t think it will effect the person.

Stop being a bystander to mental illness, because it will eat people alive.

This is a PSA to everyone to recognize that mental health is real. If you see someone struggling go up to them, talk to them like they’re a normal human being.

If you are reading this I need you to know a few things. One, there are other people struggling too. Two, seek out help if you even feel slightly off. Three, know that I am here for you if you need help.

I have had to push past a lot of struggle on my own. But, I recognized that I can’t do it alone. I needed my therapist, I needed 100mg of Zoloft to feel even semi functional.

These aren’t things that I ever wanted for myself.

But, I don’t have a choice.

Help is out there, and there are people willing to give it to you.

1-800-273-8255, the number for the suicide hotline.

Use it, share it, it could potentially help save someones life, or maybe even yours one day.


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