Being a Suicide Loss Survivor During this Pandemic | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Being a Suicide Loss Survivor During this Pandemic

By Tenille Bull Bear

COVID-19 has impacted my mental illness. Though, there have been many other situations that affected my mental illness as well, not just the virus.
I am a senior in high school who was supposed to be graduating on the 21st of May. I lost my brother to suicide last year. I completely lost myself for months. I felt so guilty, that I wasn’t a good sister. I can’t seem to forgive myself.
If there was something good in life to help me reassure myself — it was graduation. I looked forward to it. Because when my brother was here, he believed in me. He motivated me. He promised me that he would be at my graduation. He told me he was happy for me.
I wanted to walk across that stage and look to the sky once I received my diploma. To tell him that I did it. Not only for me, but for him. My brother had a rough childhood. He dropped out of high school. But I was going to receive that diploma for him, since he didn’t get to receive his own.
COVID-19 left a huge impact on me. When I found out school was being closed for the last two months, I cried. I felt so bad, for some reason I felt like bad luck. School always kept me busy and not overthinking things.
Now during quarantine, it’s like all I have is time. Time to reflect on that day my brother took his life. But I know I’m not alone. I know others have been affected too. And I personally just want to say condolences and prayers to any of those who lost family members during this pandemic. I hope you all stay strong, as I will too. Thank you.

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