‘I’ve been there… I am so happy you are still with us’

Maybe you were on campus when it happened. Or perhaps you heard through the grapevine or even read about it in the last issue of The VN.

Recently, a UDM student climbed atop the power house and contemplated jumping.

She was talked down, thankfully.

I walked by while it was going on and headed straight to class.

That could have been me.

Hell, it still might one day.

I have lived with depression and a severe anxiety disorder since I was 14. I am a recovering cutter.

I have been seconds from killing myself a few times, so trust me when I say to that person, “I’ve been there” – and that I am so happy you are still with us. This column is for you, and it is for everyone. 

It’s OK to have been where you were.

It’s OK to feel too much. College is stressful, life is stressful.

I know what it’s like to feel hopeless – to feel there is nothing you can do to make anything better.

Without my mom, my team of doctors and my amazing friends, I would be gone by now.

There is nothing wrong with not being able to handle stress and emotions. That is part of life.

To anyone who feels suicidal, know that the pressure and sadness – the feeling of being totally overwhelmed – will pass. No grade or amount of money or relationship is worth your life.

I am not a religious man. As far as I know, we get only one life. So love it.

If you ever feel like you can’t handle it anymore, please seek help and realize if you do kill yourself it will be the ones you leave behind who will hurt most.

Take it from someone who has been to the brink and back more than once: In time, you will feel better.

Reach out to a friend. Tell her or him you’re not OK.

If you feel like you can’t go on, get help.

We are blessed to be at a great psychology school with tons of resources. The people at the wellness center will help.

The main reason I am putting all this out there is to do my part to try to end the stigma that accompanies depression, the stigma that says feeling overwhelmed is bad and that we can’t talk about it.

We can.

As Student Government Association president, I am going to do more in my last semester to help end the stigma on campus.

If we can make our campus a place where we never have someone in a bad place, as happened Nov. 11, UDM can be a better community than it already is.

I want to leave you with this. When I am down, I remember this line from the song “Local Man Ruins Everything” by the band The Wonder Years: “It’s not about forcing happiness, it’s about not letting sadness win.”

Don’t let the sadness win.