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***** Be free started off as a cathartic piece. I think that everyone who has dealt with suicide struggles to find a way to understanding. I personally went through almost a year of moving through the motions of life without truly living. The normalcy of life, eating breakfast, going to work, walking the dog, became things to do to pass the day. I was disinterested, frustrated, guilty, angry, tired and extremely lonely. I was going through a deep depression myself and really had no way of dealing except for making piece after piece about the subject of suicide. This last piece is about my own personal journey to understanding the choice my brother made to end his own life.
Unlike most illnesses, depression attacks the mind and it doesn't manifest in the outside physical form. Sadly, I believe this is why so many of us are unwilling to recognize depression and suicide as a disease and an epidemic. My own brother suffered through over a decade of mental anguish. Now that I've experienced my own bout of depression, I can't imagine living that kind of life without an end in sight.
The decision to share this piece with the public came out of the need to share these feelings and thoughts with those who may be experiencing something similar. Suicide claims the lives of over 30,000 people annually in the United States and is the eleventh leading cause of death. Yet it remains a subject many of us refuse to talk about. By sharing my own personal experience, I'm hoping to open up a dialogue for those who need help, or those experiencing the guilt, frustration and sadness that inadvertently accompany suicide.
If I could have my brother back again, I would hug him as tight as possible and tell him he wasn't alone. Hundreds of thousands suffer through depression every single day. It's up to us to be aware and hold each other accountable of really knowing what our loved ones are going through. Thousands of lives can be saved if we learn to be compassionate human beings who love, listen, and learn through the fullest extent of human expression.
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