September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. September is also the month my precious son T.J. was born. Today would have been T.J.’s 21st birthday. And anyone who knew T.J. knows it would have been a celebration of tremendous proportions. T.J. was funny, sensitive, kind, out-going and a truly bright light to many.
Tragically, T.J. died by suicide on December 1, 2010 so there will be no 21st birthday celebration today. His battle with depression overtook him and he couldn’t see the other options available to him. In honor of my T.J., the gift I will give to him for his birthday today is to raise awareness of the importance of taking care of your mental health. Suicide should NEVER be an option. There is help available and so many people who truly care. To anyone struggling, please reach out for help.
One in eight teens will battle a depressive episode before they reach adulthood. 1 in 5 adults will suffer some type of mental health issue at some point in their lives. We have to do more to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness so people will not hesitate to get the help they need before it is too late, before suicide looks like an option.
And always remember, “No act of kindness however small is ever wasted”—in fact, it could save a life. You never know what the people you encounter in the store, on the street or in school are going through. So many thought T.J. was the happiest kid around. He suffered in silence. Let’s make it easier for those struggling to ask for help.
Happy Birthday T.J. Sefcik. Beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend. You are not forgotten. You are loved and in your memory I promise to live with love and kindness as my guide.
Posted with much love, friendship and T.J. hugs