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I've been down a little over the past few days with the tragic news of two very prominent figures committing suicide.

Kate Spade's and Anthony Bourdain's deaths are tragic.  If we go a little further back, there was also Chris Cornell, Robin Williams, the list goes on and on and it seems to be becoming more and more prominent.  This is an issue that isn't going away and most people avoid talking about it.

As someone who has struggled with depression my whole life this hits really close to home for me.  You may not know this, but when I was in sixth grade, I came within seconds of ending my life.  At that point in time, I was very overweight, I was picked on relentlessly, beat up and bullied, and I was certain no body would ever love me.  That's when I went home one day and decided it was time to end it.

What stopped me was thinking about my parents, and something my grandfather once told me....

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."  In that moment, I realized he was right, and that at the very least my family would miss me, so I decided not to go through it.  I thank God I didn't do it, and I had family to lean on.

Most people attach their happiness to an outcome.  The thought is, if I make x amount of money then I'll be happy, or if I accomplish this at work then I'll be happy, or if I meet the right person then I'll be happy, or if this person does x, y, and z, then I'll be happy in that relationship.  You get the picture.

In reality....

You will never make enough money.  There's no such thing.  The more money you make the more money you want.  The goal post changes.  You'll never be happy with your current position at work.  You'll never be happy with the people that you meet because you're looking for someone else.  You'll never be satisfied in a relationship if you're basing it on outcomes.

I'm not trying to be a debby downer here, I'm merely making the point that if you choose to base happiness on an outcome, you will never be happy. Period.

Happiness is an internal decision to be happy.  That's it.  It sounds flippant and I don't mean to be.  I'm just pointing out the fact that happiness is an inside job.  Just take money for example....

Did you know that even the poorest people in the United States are in the top 1% of earners in the world?  You can travel to many third world countries where the people literally have nothing.  They eat what they can find or kill.  They live in one room homes made of sticks and mud.  They walk 8 miles to get clean drinking water.  Yet, you can find some of the happiest people in the world.  They are happy despite their situation.

Millions of dollars does not make you happy.  Happiness is a decision.

Now we need to take a moment and talk about mental health.  Anyone who commits suicide is struggling with severe depression.  In the US especially as someone becomes more successful, it is considered weakness to seek counseling or help with depression.  We tend to judge people and think, "well that person has everything in the world why are they depressed?" The fact is, anyone can struggle with depression, and nobody knows what dark battles we are fighting.  We need to change how we view mental health.  There shouldn't be such stigma associated with someone talking to a counselor.  In fact, I think everyone in certain parts of their life should go to counseling.  It helps in so many ways to have someone talk through things with you.

Lastly, one of the best things in the world to do is make friends with people.  Be kind.  The other thing that saved my life was some kind words from a person who later became my best friend over the next two years.  Her name was Jackie.  Those kind words coupled with my grandpa's words stopped me from ending my life.  You never realize how far kindness, even to strangers, can take you.

I know I may have rambled a bit here, but I felt like I needed to put my thoughts down.  The death of anyone is tragic, but to me a suicide is heart breaking.  If you or someone you know is depressed please please please seek help.  If you need an ear, I'll listen. 

Here are some resources:  https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

National Suicide Life Line 24 hours a day 7 days a week call:  1-800-273-8255

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6-11-18

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