How Could Someone so Beautiful and Loved Want to End it All?

I used to have a very negative view on people that attempted or committed suicide. I thought it was dramatic, selfish, and cowardice. Although I still think it’s a little selfish, I have a new perspective on mental illness and suicide attempts.

For those of you that don’t know, I have an identical twin sister. She is 17 minutes older and absolutely beautiful. She is my world, my other half, and my sunshine. She is smart, gorgeous, and princess material – although she’ll never believe it. I truly believe that my sister is capable of anything she puts her mind too, she does not believe so.

How could someone so beautiful and loved want to end it all?

A few years ago my sister really struggled with a mental illness. For awhile her mental illness got the best of her. At the time, we were living together in a dorm room. We spent a lot of time together and I was blind to it all. I had no idea she was suffering. I knew she was falling into a bad path, but I had no idea the extent of her situation. Come to find out, she tried to kill herself. My world, my other half, my twin sister didn’t feel the need to continue life on this earth and I had no clue.

It has been a few years since her suicide attempt and I have barely talked about it. I have internally really struggled with the idea of my best friend and sister wanting to die. I never put all of the blame on myself, but I do feel angry with myself that I was blind to all of the signs. I feel angry with myself that she didn’t realize, at the time, the amount of love I have toward her or the fact that I would be lost in this world without her. I’m mad at myself because I don’t know how to talk to her or how to relate to her situation. I’m mad at myself because I’m still scared that I’m going to lose her.

My internal emotional rollercoaster.

Prior to learning about my sister’s suicide attempt, I was not very emotional. I mean, with the people I’m close to I was, but in situations where I should feel something I generally wasn’t really fazed. For instance, in really sad movies (Marley & Me, My Sisters Keeper) I never cried or felt sad. Now, I tear up and get all emotional at most shows and movies, I feel an emotional tie to whoever is struggling or in pain throughout fictional shows… It’s not real, yet all I can do is relive some of the pain and worry that I had once I found out about Jetta’s situation. Not only do I feel pain and worry for almost losing Jetta, I feel pain and worry for my sister.

Attempting to understand how alone and unwanted my sister felt has sent me on an emotional rollercoaster. I truly struggle with ways to relate to her, understand what the signs are for depression, and how to make her understand that regardless of her feelings or situation, I will always love and never judge her. Although none of this is Jetta’s fault, I have found myself struggling to have these tough conversations with other people. Even in some of my classes, when mental illness or suicide gets brought up I find myself shutting down and nervous.

It’s okay to be uncomfortable.

I wish mental illness or suicide was something that we could eliminate. My wish is that someday all of the people that struggle with these illnesses or situations will no longer struggle and will view themselves as valuable, wanted, and loved. In all honesty, I never spent much time focusing on mental illness or frankly caring about it until I was face to face with the reality of a love one suffering. Since then, I have made it a mission to always tell someone how wonderful they are, to always tell them how beautiful they are, and to always express my gratitude toward our friendship and relationship.

I think that it’s important to be able to get uncomfortable while talking to people. For me, I get uncomfortable talking to my sister about depression and her experiences. I get uncomfortable because I don’t ever want to insult her or upset her due to my lack of experience or knowledge. So why is it so important to be uncomfortable? When you allow yourself to be uncomfortable and openminded at the same time, you’re able to learn and grow. When it comes to some of these really tough conversations, like with mental illness, you’re almost always uncomfortable. But, if you’re able to get past that and keep talking and/or listening to what they have to say you might be one step closer to helping them fall back in love with themselves. Being able to accept those uncomfortable conversations has been a major help for me when it comes to working towards more stable emotions and more authentic conversations with Jetta.

Be uncomfortable. Take a chance at those tough conversations. Tell someone how valued and important they really are. Never hesitate from complimenting someone, even strangers. And never forget to love yourself, because you are totally awesome.

I may never understand why Jetta viewed herself the way that she did, but that’s okay. I don’t need to understand. All I need to do is show her that I love her more than anything, that life is a lot better with her in it, and that I will never judge her. For any of you that have been in a similar situation as me, stop telling yourself you have to understand why. You don’t need to understand the other person’s why, all you need to do is continue to accept, love, and cherish them.

#YouDoYou – The Bon

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