I am a huge sports fan. I can watch anything and cheer on my favorite player or team. As a usual morning ritual, I turn on ESPN to watch SportsCenter. Nothing gets the day started better than hopefully seeing the highlights of a Kansas City Royals win. If that does exist. The morning headlines more or less were about last nights game between the 49ers and Saints and Braylon Edwards dwi charge. Well, as I started to check my Book of Face, when I heard Hannah Storm start talking about Kenny McKinley. McKinley was a wide receiver for Denver Broncos, a 5th round draft pick. He went to college at South Carolina and was one of the top receivers in school history. Monday, he was found dead in his house from an apparent suicide. The players said he always had a smile on his face. Denver coach Josh McDaniels had this to say:
“Kenny had a promising future on the football field, but more importantly, he was a great teammate whose smile and personality could light up the room. This is a tragic loss for our football team, and his family is in all of our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
I hope I am not the only who felt shivers when hearing this story. In 2007, about 600,000 had been to the emergency room. The number of deaths were around 35,000 Americans. Suicide is the 11th major cause of death. The risk is higher in teens and Young adults. Many of us struggle with depression and how we cope with our problems. I, along with many of Americans battle this problem everyday.
I want to get awareness out there. I want to make my voice heard. As some of you know, and some new readers are about to find out. I have tried to take my own life. In my mind, I didn’t think there was a way to cope with the problems I had been going through. However, you wouldn’t know how bad I was feeling because I wouldn’t show it. I was good at masking feelings. There are still days, I don’t care to wake up.. The fight emotionally still is going on inside. It took me awhile to just open up to someone again. The pain was still there but it felt good to get things off my chest. I know now what I would have been missing out on.
If you are having thoughts of suicide or know someone with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It is available 24/7 and completely confidential. If you don’t feel comfortable talk to a friend or family member. They will listen and help you get through it. Trust me on that. My friends were closer to me than family.
I want to say this to all the friends and family that are there for us. That stand right beside someone who is depressed, Thick and Thin. I, Thank You from the bottom of my heart. Without you, We wouldn’t be here. I know I wouldn’t.
My thoughts and prayers are with Kenny’s friends and family, and anyone else struggling with depression and suicide.