“… hoping to be the first to find and keep perfect love alive.”
On May 28th, 2013 my big brother, Chris, was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Thirteen days later, he took his own life.
Just weeks earlier, he wrote these ever hopeful and poetic words and sent them to a select few. In context, they refer to humans and their reckless devotion to the ideal of being in love — but what if they could mean something more? What if this “perfect love” that Chris was referring to was the love that all people could have and show for each other, regardless of their innumerable differences?
I decided to become a Send Silence Packing road trip staffer and join Active Minds because I believe they are doing just that. People suffering from and affected by mental illness are forced into silence by an overwhelmingly negative societal stigma. By changing the conversation and climate around the topic of mental health within colleges, Active Minds has created an outlet for these underrepresented individuals at a critical time in their lives.
I’ll always carry the weight Chris’s death with me and honestly, I’ll probably never try to find any sort of “silver lining,” but at least I’ve relinquished my ignorance to the shame and silence that those suffering are forced into. Not only have I gained that perspective, but I also now feel absolutely compelled to do something meaningful that’s anchored in this and help those who are sufferring like Chris was.
Send Silence Packing is such an amazing opportunity for me to connect, educate, and inspire people on this cause and I’m so thankful and excited to be given the opportunity to do so.
Is it a fair trade off — his life for this job? No. But sometimes, life gives you crappy rotten lemons. And sometimes, you have to push those lemons off to the side, dig your feet into the dirt of something that’s right, and go on a roadtrip with a nonprofit!
Now, let’s see if we can spread a little bit of that “perfect love” along the way.