When I was about 9 years old, my half sister had just moved in with us after being kicked out of her mom’s house. We got along really well, so this was such an exciting moment for me. She had been living with us for almost a month, when one night I was woken up by a pounding on our front door, I looked at the clock and it was 2:00am. I listened. I heard the door open, and then I heard people frantically talking but I couldn’t tell what was being said. I opened my bedroom door to get a better look and I see my sister being taken out by paramedics.,. This was the first time I had ever heard of Suicide. Luckily she had a friend that had called 911 after something she said had raised concern. I am incredibly thankful for them.
Fast forward three years, I was sitting in class and my best friend Jessie wasn’t there… that wasn’t an uncommon occurrence since she had been going through a lot, but this time felt different. I instantly got an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I couldn’t explain why… After school, I got into my carpool, which was made up of all the kids that lived on our street, everyone but Jessie was there. As we were driving, the lady driving said “We have a bunch of ambulances and cops on our street, I’m not sure what’s going on, but they look like they are in front of Jessie’s house.” Instantly, that uneasy feeling grew bigger and bigger. That 5 minute drive felt like an eternity. Once I got home, all the paramedics and cops were still but I didn’t know what was going on. I had to run in and get ready for my soccer game, but that feeling just grew and grew. As we were leaving, I saw someone in a stretcher with a cloth over them. I was young, but I knew that wasn’t a good sign.
Come to find out.. Jessie felt as if she was alone in everything she was going through and she took her own life.
I felt that I should have been better, and I internalized every single emotion I felt about it for years and years. Throughout my life, I knew that I wanted to do something to help others, I didn’t know what approach I would take and If I wanted to create my own company or do charity work, but I always knew that I wanted to do good. So I went to college for visual arts (graphic design, photography, and web development) and I began thinking that maybe I wanted to create a company that let’s people know that they are not alone, and that suicide is never ever the answer. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I did all the work to get my business license.
One day, in between midterms and I get this text from my dad that said “Call me when you get a chance”. He does that occasionally, but this time felt different. This time came with a heaviness. I call my dad and you can tell he’s shaken up and had been crying. So many things are going through my head, who is hurt? Who is in trouble? What do I need to do? Come to find out, my brother in law had taken his own life. I remember my dad saying this and I just froze. It was like I was reliving my biggest nightmare. This happened on February 26th. I received my business license and legal documents on February 27th. As much as I wanted to give up, I took this as a sign and I started Endure Life.
Endure Life is all about turning negative experiences into something positive. We want to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. But we have never wanted to focus on the problem, we have wanted to focus on the solution. We want to show those that have attempted, lost someone or in any sort of recovery that there are positives out there. We want them to find their positive outlets, and what’s a more positive outlet than nature?!
We want to inspire everyone to get out and explore, to experience all of the beauty and and positivity that Mother Nature has to offer.
Story submitted by Chelsea