Jessika had a secret.
Ever since losing two close friends to suicide, she has worked tirelessly in suicide prevention. But she hid the fact that she, too, tried to kill herself when she was 17.
Even with everything I’d learned about mental illness, I still felt like I had to be silent.
Jessika had buried her intense teenage struggle with an eating disorder, self-injury, and depression deep inside. Several years later, after the birth of her third child, those feelings came rushing back.
I was suddenly in a mental health crisis.
Jessika sought therapy, and later hospitalization. She has decided to tell her story to help others. For inspiration, she tattooed three birds on her wrist, with her children’s and husband’s initials worked into the design.
It’s a reminder of what I’ve overcome and why I must keep pushing forward.