This week I was listening to Pandora and an ad came on that caught my interest. Normally I ignore ads, but this one was different. It was an advertisement for a suicide awareness walk. They talked about walking out of the darkness, literally, and metaphorically. It struck me because of my relationship with mental illness and suicide. It made me reflect on my sister, and last year when she herself made an attempt to take her life. She is a suicide survivor.
From there, I looked up the walk, because I had never heard of it. I looked up the organization running it, and then I messaged my sister to see if she wanted to create a team and walk together. She did, and here we are.
So, what is this walk I’m talking about?
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has a mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. The Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk participants from all over the country join together to walk 16-18 miles over the course of one night. Net proceeds will help those affected by suicide and mental health conditions by supporting research, advocacy, survivor resources, education, and awareness programs.
AFSP has set a bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by the year 2025, and I’m now proud to be part of that mission.
We created a team named, I Promise Tomorrow. Why “I Promise Tomorrow“? This is a mantra my sister repeated to get her through the bad days. It was a promise to herself, that she would see tomorrow. We are so grateful to have her here in our lives, because we know that isn’t the same fate of so many others.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US
- In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide (129 per day)
- In 2017, there were an estimated 1,400,000 suicide attempts
I’d like to share something my sister wrote:
Suicidal thoughts and actions have plagued me my entire life. It wasn’t until I was properly diagnosed, and given medical treatment that the fog cleared. For a very.. very long time I felt suicide was the only viable option out of feeling the way I did and had I succeeded I never would have seen my sisters get married.. met the man I love.. adopt a seriously perfect cat.. got an amazing job that sent me to Egypt.. So many amazing experiences that I never would’ve had.. My mantra I gave myself on days where I laid in my bed thinking I cant take it anymore was “I promise myself I’ll make it to tomorrow.” I got it from a short story on a blog via TWLOHA. It stuck with me and saved me many MANY helpless nights.
I’m doing this walk, not just for my sister. I’m doing this walk because we need to do better to address mental illness, and have open honest discussions around this epidemic. Maybe with more awareness we can save even just 1 life (and hopefully more).
Each walker needs to raise $1,000, so if you’re able, please donate. I put the link at the top and bottom of this post. I also did the math on Instagram, just to show how every dollar counts. I’ll share here as well. I currently have 458 Followers (divide that by $1,000) and that’s $2.19. So if every person gave $3, I’d surpass my goal! But I know times are tight for many, so if you can’t donate > share. Share my story, share my link, and even if I don’t get the donations, the stories themselves matter. Our shared experiences might make someone out there feel not alone.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Click here to Donate: Alicia’s Fundraising Page
Click here to Join our Team/Walk with us: I Promise Tomorrow
**I also want to say how touching it’s been to hear from all of you. Sharing your personal struggles, and your personal stories about how you’ve been affected by suicide. Thank you for confiding in me. It has truly touched me.
If you liked this blog, check out: