This is my mom holding me as a baby in 1982. She had lost 8 babies before me. I was born premature. She was struggling with post-partum depression, bipolar disorder, had manic episodes and survived several suicide attempts.
One happened, when I was 18 years old. All her life she was on and off medication, had therapy and was for extended periods in the psychiatric hospital.
For days she was not responsive or would only cry. She could not go to the supermarket, because there were too many people. She missed school activities, because it was all too much for her.
So my dad stepped in. He brought us to school. He did the laundry. He cleaned the house. He showed empathy, compassion and resilience every single minute of every single day.
I am grateful for learning from both of them. I learned that struggles are part of life. I learned to show compassion and empathy for those around me, who struggle maybe even more than me.
A little kindness goes a long way.
This is hard. My mom had a suicide attempt, when I was 18 years old. I will never forget that. The ambulance coming to our house or visiting her on the psychiatric ward.
On that day I lost my mom. She is still here, but she was never the same again.
At first I had no idea how to deal with it. But ultimately this made me the person I am now: empathic, resilient and kind.
I share this story for the first time, because I want to break the stigma of suicide. During my work for the blog people have approached me with their own suicidality. It is often impossible for them to speak about this, so I wanted to break the silence and show them my support.
Sadly, today suicide is still a stigma.
-by Anna Schueth