Today’s #SameHere Hero: Elli Gentile from “I Love Me Knot” (This particular topic is such a tough one for many reasons. Suicide rates are at a 30yr high, yet bc of how serious & sensitive of a topic it is, it’s so hard to discuss w/o fear of saying the wrong thing. That’s why I appreciate Elli’s simple candor below. It’s also why I think the only proper approach when discussing the topic is to be transparent – get it all out there, so we can discuss what’s still misunderstood, learn even more & reverse these trends.
Being transparent myself, while I fought away any intense impulses that came over me during the 2.5yrs of hell w/o attempts, I do know the horror of feeling suicidal ideations. To feel like you are losing control to the power of these flawed thoughts is surreal and almost impossible to understand without having gone through it yourself. These feelings are error messages resulting from compounded trauma throwing your system off. When you suffer w them, you DON’T WANT to have them. It’s as if you have the “back” of your rational brain asking the impulse center of your brain – why are you making me think about these things?…That’s not the outcome I want no matter how bad I feel in the moment!
Suicide is rarely situational – based on one occurrence, like “being sad bc xyz happened a week ago.” This is why it’s so misunderstood by the masses & why it’s equally sad & frustrating to hear ppl ask: “what could have been so bad to take that action?” Thank you Elli for turning the tragic loss of your friend into a beautiful & positive expression of love.)
“My friend’s suicide brought guilt, confusion, anxiety & more than anything, so much sadness. I felt broken. I was so sad that my friend, & many others out there, have felt so low, so depressed that they’ve had those thoughts come over them. I knew MH complications were nothing to take lightly, but didn’t understand why no one was talking about it?
Nothing about the situation made sense to me. I’ve always been such a happy person & free spirit & now I was questioning my own mental state & the mental state of everyone around me. I’d ask myself: If we can all talk about these feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, sadness openly – can we help save lives? Life is hard & it should be okay to talk about it.
After obsessing over these questions/conflicts, my mom and I took matters into our own hands. We channeled our pain & paired it with our positivity to try & mend our own hearts & save lives. We started writing – which was when a poem we wrote, that means so much to us, was born. We think it is so important that each & every single person realizes that there will only ever be one of them in the whole world & we should celebrate how rare we truly are.
After we had the poem we taught ourselves how to make jewelry & vowed that every “I Love Me Knot” we made would be one-of-a-kind, just like humans, & a portion of every one sold would help in aiding suicide prevention & fighting the stigma surrounding mental health complications. When you wear your knot, you are making a vow to yourself to:
1) celebrate life & be your own best friend
2) support suicide prevention and awareness
3) help fight stigmas around mental health disorders
My life needs to be purpose driven & I’m so passionate about what I now do. I strive to spread love & smiles & to celebrate my uniqueness along with everyone else’s! My #SameHere is my jewelry, made to celebrate your uniqueness. Eric put my profile in this post, so please reach out to me about an “I Love Me Not.”