The Full Story
How did your brother’s suicide impact you and your own mental health?
My brother's suicide has shown me what grief is. I had never experienced this kind of sadness. I've had periods throughout the days where I just watch videos of him to hear his voice, see his smile, and watch him dance. I've been more worried about my own adult children as mental health struggles are a real thing. I found myself just wanting to hear about their day, so I can offer them anything they need. After this loss, I know what it is to have deep regret and the longing for one last chance to hug somebody longer.
What do you want to tell other people who are suffering with mental health conditions?
I want people who are suffering with other mental health conditions to know that they are loved despite the worst thing they have ever done. As I speak to others, I want them to know that they are not alone. I believe we all struggle to keep mentally healthy. I heard a poem recently that said "This is not to say you are not special. This is to say thank God you're not special". At any moment that you are feeling your lowest, you can be reassured in the fact that someone out there is likely feeling very similar to you. Suicide is preventable. I want to focus on developing a thought pattern in which people expect things to turn out better for them.
I started the nonprofit 'No Matter What' to create change and to create conversation in my community to combat the fear of suicide. We all have inner wisdom and resilience. I wanted to coach people in how to stop the boat from tipping into rough seas. I had a vision and that vision was No Matter What. Sean used to say "I love you no matter what" and I want others to know that they are loved like that too.