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I Thought He Was Faking It

Updated on November 20, 2015
My daily reminder to keep going
My daily reminder to keep going

I volunteer at a rescue situated inside a pet care store. After my friend Justin committed suicide, I wore his hat around until I got his memorial tattoo on my arm. Some people complimented me on it and I told them about what the hat meant to me. It made me feel better both to wear it and to be an advocate for suicide prevention. One of the men working at the store asked me about my hat. After I told him Justin's story, he said to me "Wow, I would think someone with that many fans would want to live." I was mortified. I wanted to cry. I excused myself and hid in the bathroom until I could stop crying, clutching Justin's hat and asking him to be with me. The employee might not have understood, but what is so hard to understand about it? It is like a cancer that hurts so bad you cannot wait for it to finally take you.

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Mental illness is a fact. It exists. There is no denying its presence. It is a part of life for many people, including me and many of my friends and family. Yet it is so rarely taken seriously even by the medical community. More than one psychiatrist I have seen has told me that it is all in my head, I am making it up, I am faking it, I am a spoiled brat, or I am just fat and trying to get out of everyday life. Many of those close to me thought the same. I had one lady working the checkout at the grocery store tell me ADD was all made up. It is an excuse for people who are lazy. These are the people that cloud my mind when I think of those who have committed suicide, those who have attempted, and myself, a survivor of the suicidal thoughts. Still, we've been denied the same benefits as those with physical issues and it is near impossible to get our medications. Someone with diabetes or cancer would not be treated with such disrespect. It frustrates me to no end.

We miss you, Justin. We always will.
We miss you, Justin. We always will.

More people in the public eye seem to have committed suicide in the past year. People are finally understanding that mental health is a real thing. At least they are coming out of the woodwork for attention disguised as support. "We really should take mental illness more seriously" says everyone after a celebrity has spilled their guts out within their mansion in the Hollywood hills, but a homeless man mumbling to himself on the streets is just a drug-addicted lazy bum who needs to get a job. I decided a long time ago that no matter how much it hurts that I would keep going, but the world fighting against me does not help.

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    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Well said. There are many of us with mental illness who suffer daily with these issues and need moral and spiritual support. I know people personally who have tried to get help for their mental illness and have been told similar things. I also know people who have committed suicide. Life is difficult when you are fighting dragons daily!