We are joining the community of nearly 250k people walking in hundreds of cities across the country in support of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.
On 10/26/17 our lives changed forever. At 10:40am, I received the worst call a parent could receive and learned that my beautiful, intelligent, 17 year old daughter had taken her own life, after years of being tortured by her brilliant mind. Carrie was what is known as twice exceptional. By definition, she had a genius level IQ and her ways of just knowing things amazed and baffled me. She could figure things out in seconds and she never forgot a single thing. She also struggled with mental illness her whole life, but more profoundly during her last 6 years. She fought ADHD, depression and anxiety (and there were indicators of something bigger going on in her mind but not fully diagnosed yet) with therapy, many different prescription medications, and an inpatient stay at a psychiatric facility. She worked with numerous therapists, psychiatrists, ER doctors, and hospitalists. She also self-medicated with substance abuse and cutting. She was tormented by her brilliant mind her whole life. But you would never know that. She would never show any weakness or vulnerability and was very charming and outgoing. She knew how to look “fine” and worked hard to appear so. She loved, and she felt loved. She had many plans for the future, including graduating college at 19 and returning to Kenya to help free teen girls from being sold into marriage. In Carrie’s letter to us she used the phrase, “sleepy baby needs to sleep forever.” When we googled that (with quotes) right after her death we got 1 result - the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I believe this was her way of asking us to help others, even if she, herself, had lost Hope. #CarryingOnForCarrie #forevermychild #8002738255 #text741741
Sadly, on 3/24/19, we also lost our son, James #forever21 The short version of James' story: Grief over the loss of his sister --> alcohol abuse --> anxiety and depression --> prescription meds (Oct 2018) --> 6 more meds (prescribed in Feb and March 2019) to combat the side effects of the original medication (even when I asked the doctor to wean him off of the original medication and treat him without medication. BTW we only learned of the additional medications after his death.) --> gaslighting by the psychiatrist --> complete personality change --> agitation and panic --> erratic, impulsive, out-of-character behavior --> suicide. Absolutely makes NO sense to ANYone who knew James. James was a confident, smart, easy-going, personable young man who LOVED life (until he started taking medication). He was a leader in many different aspects of his life and was loved by everyone. We always said his greatest gift to our family was his ability to always make the best of any situation. Last spring when talking about Carrie's decision, his response to my statement that suicide is never an option was, "come on, mom. I think way too highly of myself to ever do that."
Please COME WALK WITH US!
You can help us reach our fundraising goal by donating to a team member. To donate online, please select "Roster" and then choose one of the team members listed. Once you're on their page, click "Donate Now." Donations can only be made to individuals, but the total each participant raises goes toward our team goal.
All donations are 100% tax deductible and will help bring AFSP one step closer to achieving their bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025.
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