I really appreciate that World Suicide Awareness day is September 10th.

September 10, 2001 is the first and last day I almost didn’t make it.

I had been battling depressive and destructive thoughts since a young age. I saw my first therapist when I was 4. My mother knew it was genetic, so she didn’t wait to see it develop. She had already lost 3 cousins to suicide. When I was 13, one of my closest friends attempted suicide. It was the first time I’d experienced that firsthand. I promised I would never put another through that. When I was 14, one of the friends in my circle actually went through with it. I was crushed. The next year, another. I was devastated. That year, it was almost my turn.

On that day, I just felt like the world was wrong. Perhaps, even, that the world would end. That there was nothing I could do to prevent it, and that there was nothing of value I could add to this world.

Well, I was partially right. September 11th came in with a fiery blaze. I sat in horror as I watched the second plane make impact on live TV. I remember my mother scrambling to get me to call my grandmother for information on our cousins there, and the calls into the offices that I wasn’t going to make it to school, nor her to work.

I screamed when the building began to collapse, one after the other. Tears rolling down my cheeks as I asked if they got everyone out.

I was 16.

My first response was “What can I do to help?” It was about then that I realized my calling in life had little to do with me.

I’ve lost someone to suicide every year since. Acquaintances, friends, boyfriends, loves of my life. The one thing that strikes me most is just how badly it affects me and those around me.

So, yes, I battle with mental illness every day, too. You’re not alone.

Yes, there are things in this world that make me sad, too. They hurt. They hurt so hard that I don’t know how to deal with them, some times. Happy people hurt, too. However, I know the pain that it causes when one rips themselves out of existence. I could never do that to another. I ask that you think twice before thinking about it yourself.

If you ever have thoughts of harming yourself or others, please reach out and call someone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always open: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

If you are a youth who is feeling alone, confused or in crisis, please call The Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 for immediate help.

You can also write Dear Trevor with any non-time sensitive questions.

You can even find me on Google Chat under EmaCartoon. It goes directly to my phone.

Hang in there. Somebody cares. If the first person you call doesn’t seem to, then call another.