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A Star is Born

It was suggested to me by several people not to watch “A Star Is Born” because of my past suicide losses and because a character in the movie ends their life, as well.

I’m planning to see this movie as soon as I have the opportunity this week.

I will never allow any movie, TV show, book or conversation about suicide stop me from living my life. I choose to confront suicide and not go around the topic. Something that has helped me move forward in my grief journey is desensitization and being as transparent with my story as possible so that I may help others.

On November 24, 2007, I received a call that nobody ever imagines getting. Ray took his life. Payton was 5 at the time.

Again, on January 9, 2016, I received a similar call. This time it was about my mother. She also took her life.

I blamed myself over the loss of my mother. She and I had a love/hate relationship throughout my life. We loved one another fiercely, but would sometimes treat one another so unkindly. The thing was, we could do this to one another, but nobody else was allowed to cross that line. Because my mother died with us on bad terms, I dealt with unnecessary blame from “some” family and “some” friends of my mother. For the next several months, I grieved in silence as I searched for answers and closure. One morning I woke up and decided that I would probably never receive closure from the loss of my mother. The lack of resources in my community was another issue in itself. All I could think about was everyone else who was dealing with their suicide losses, while grieving all alone in silence for too many nights, and without any guidance. I decided to change that.

I’m able to enjoy a glass of wine every once in a while because I’ve purchased the wine from the same liquor store my mother went to that same day she drank enough “liquid courage” to end her pain.

I’m able to not cry every time I see an advertisement for a certain store because I’ve spoken face to face with the manager inside that store — the same store my mother purchased the means to end her life.

I’m able to drive by my mothers apartment, the same apartment my mother took her last breath in.

I’m able to trust again because I allow myself to trust. I now understand that Mom’s suicide was not my fault, despite what any “family member or friend” says.

I’m able to hold my head up high because I have poured my heart and soul into bringing suicide awareness to my community.

And I am still able to live because I have forced myself to do things that are emotionally painful, but necessary for me to move forward mentally.

Yes, watching this movie will hurt to see as I recognize so many similarities and as I compare the warning signs, but it makes my voice stronger when I speak on awareness.

Your friends and family will want to “protect” you from the things they don’t understand. Their intentions are good, but you have to do what is right for yourself… whatever that may be.

I hope to see you all at Pensacola Survivors “Music for the Mind” Community Walk & Event this Saturday in Seville Square. Come out and help me raise awareness for suicide prevention in Pensacola.

Much love, Jamie ❤️

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