Warning: this post deals with suicide.
Truthfully, I never watch the news. But yesterday, I received a notification from a news outlet. It popped up at the top of my phone, and the headline caught my attention.
It said, “Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst has died, police say.”
I’ve never watched a Miss America pageant, so I didn’t know who she was. I curiously clicked on the article and was saddened to read that she had jumped from a building in Manhattan.
At only 30 years of age, she had won Miss USA, practiced civil litigation as a practicing attorney, and worked for an entertainment news company. Beyond her career, she enjoyed beauty, fashion, and a healthy lifestyle.
As I looked at her Instagram, I noticed that she was always smiling and staying busy traveling to red carpet events. You wouldn’t look at her smiling face and bubbly personality and immediately think she was struggling.
Many of her family members and loved ones noted that she always loved and served those around her. They were devastated at the news as well as blind-sighted.
So what happened? What caused her to jump off of a large building in New York City? To abandon everything she had ever worked for, loved, and wanted to do in life.
Had she been silently fighting a deep depression that turned into suicidal thoughts? Was she struggling to cope with her mental load and all of the pressure she was undoubtedly under? Did she feel so deep in the hole of depression that she couldn’t get the help she needed? Had she reached out for help only for her feelings to be downplayed by someone close to her? We can speculate all day, but one thing is sure.
Depression and suicide do not discriminate. Your life can be everything you wanted it to be and more. A thriving career, money in the bank, family to love, and a good life doesn’t protect you, or someone you love, from depression or suicide.
Even Christians, women and men full of faith in Jesus, can succumb to depression and suicide. It shocks us when we hear these stories, but why?
Depression can sneak up like a thick vine weaving its way around our neck. When we least expect it, it starts squeezing us until we can’t breathe. When you look at someone, you don’t always see their depression.
They can appear happy and normal on the surface, but inside they are struggling. Many of us have become experts at hiding our inner turmoil, making the situation more dangerous.
That’s why it is crucial to check on your loved ones. Look them in the eyes, ask the right questions, and let them know you are there to listen and help when they need you.
Extend kindness to everyone you meet, even those with tough outer shells. So many people project their anger onto others, but what they are doing is shouting that they are lonely, sad, and hurting. And lastly, pay attention to your mental health. Mental health is crucial to your overall well-being. Do what it takes to keep yourself mentally well. Exercise, see a therapist, take medicine/vitamins, reach out to your loved ones, or do whatever you know helps your mental health.
The National Suicide Prevention hotline is 800-273-8255. My thoughts and prayers go out to not only Cheslie’s family but the millions of people who’re dealing with depression and those who’ve lost loved ones to suicide.