Anytime a celebrity or somebody in the spotlight takes his or her own life we tend to only talk about the issues facing that specific person. Maybe its because it enables us to put a face to a name or maybe its easier to talk of somebody everybody knows of. What a lot of people quickly tend to forget that for every celebrity that dies of suicide there are tens of thousands of others who have also died of suicide and there tens of thousands of families affected by this.
I must admit, I have been following the challenges of Mindy McCready very closely. Not because I found her downward spiral to be entertaining but because I felt like I could relate to some of the things she was experiencing. I didn't know McCready but a lot of the times I heard myself say "I went through that" or some of her challenges felt all too real that I saw myself potentially going through them.
I have experienced a lot of stuff in the first 23 years of my life, which has led me to becoming a mental health advocate. I am not ashamed of what I've experienced nor do I ever hold back when speaking publicly but everybody has their limits as to what they choose to share. But after the death of McCready I can no longer hold back something that has always worried me.
In my posting "Why I'm glad I didn't succeed at ending my life" I talked about why I was grateful I'm still living because, as I've learned, I have a lot to live for. I saw that first hand after my two suicide attempts.
After my first suicide attempt I said "I'm never going to do that again," but as we all know I tried a second time. I need to stress that I am not suicidal but I do wonder a lot of the time if something will push me so over the edge that I will try for a third time? Will I really want to die or will it be a desperate plea for help?
Mindy's ex-boyfriend Billy McKnight appeared on NBC's The Today Show on Monday and said "As sad as it is, it didn't come as a major shock because she's just been battling demons for so long,''
That hit home for me. Could there be a point in which my demons catch up to me? Many people don't realize that I am a consumer of the mental health system as much as I am an advocate fighting publicly for better services for those with mental illness. But I deal with stigma on a daily basis; even from those that say they care. I got to admit, its difficult for me to swallow my pride to get help. Why? Because I'm afraid I will be viewed as a failure by those who look to me to advise them on how to improve the mental health system.
I will always have highs and lows and I will always live with angels and demons inside of me. I have received help in the past and I know I will again in the future. And I pray on a daily basis that things that will never become so bad in which I feel like I have lost all control that could lead me to making a life changing decision that will be bad for me, but even worse for my family and friends
Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star and former U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/11/shirley-temple-dead-child-star-ambassador-dies_n_4765333.html?1392116282&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009" target="_blank">died on Feb. 10, 2014 in California</a>, The Associated Press reported. Her cause of death was not released. She was 85.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/02/philip-seymour-hoffman-dead-dies_n_4713623.html" target="_blank">Hoffman was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose</a> on Feb. 2, 2014 in New York City. He was 46 years old.
The American troubadour, folk singer and activist Seeger died Jan. 27, 2014, at age 94.
Avery died at the age of 68 from complications following open heart surgery in a Los Angeles suburb hospital on Dec. 31, 2013
Price died on Dec. 16, 2013 at his Texas home after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 87.
The legendary actor of the stage and screen died on Dec. 14, 2013 following a long illness. He was 81.
After suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection, Mandela died on Dec. 5, 2013 at the age of 95.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/30/paul-walker-dead_n_4366214.html?utm_hp_ref=celebrity" target="_blank">Walker died in a car crash on Nov. 30, 2013</a>, his rep confirmed. He was 40.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/27/lou-reed-dead_n_4167976.html" target="_blank">Reed died of a "liver-related ailment"</a> on Oct. 27, 2013 at the age of 71.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/26/maria-wallace-dead-simpsons_n_4166343.html" target="_blank">Wallace died of complications due to pneumonia</a> on Oct. 25, 2013 at the age of 70.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/ed-lauter-dead-dies_n_4111710.html" target="_blank">Veteran character actor Lauter died of mesothelioma</a>, a rare form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure, on Oct. 16, 2013. He was 74.
Choreographer and dance instructor Patsy Swayze, the mother of late actor Patrick Swayze, died Sept. 16, 2013. She was 86. No cause of death was given.
Jackie Lomax, a singer-songwriter who worked with The Beatles and enjoyed a long solo career, died Sept. 15, 2013 following a brief illness. He was 69.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/lee-thompson-young-dead_n_3780781.html?ref=topbar" target="_blank">"The Famous Jett Jackson" star was found dead</a> in his apartment by his landlord in Los Angeles on Aug. 19, 2013. Young's rep confirmed that he took his own life. He was 29.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/lisa-robin-kelly-dead_n_3763163.html" target="_blank">The former "That '70s Show" actress died</a> at the age of 43 on Aug. 14, 2013. According to TMZ, Kelly died in her sleep at a rehab facility in California.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/14/gia-allemand-dead_n_3756940.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular" target="_blank">"The Bachelor" star died from an apparent suicide</a> on Aug. 14, 2013. She was 29.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/michael-ansara-dead-dies_n_3697009.html" target="_blank">The "Star Trek" actor died</a> on July 31, 2013 at the age of 91.
Radio personality <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/28/kidd-kraddick-dead_n_3665417.html" target="_blank">David "Kidd" Kraddick died July 27, 2013</a> at age 53.
Cale, the singer-songwriter and producer known as the main architect of the Tulsa Sound, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/27/jj-cale-dead-dies_n_3664256.html" target="_blank">died on July 26, 2013</a>. His manager, Mike Kappus, said he died of a heart attack. He was 74.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/dennis-farina-dead_n_3635587.html" target="_blank">The "Law & Order" star died on July 22, 2013 at the age of 69</a> after suffering a blood clot in his lung.
Cory Allan Michael Monteith, a Canadian actor best known for playing Finn Hudson on the hit Fox TV show "Glee," was found dead on July 13, 2013 in a Vancouver hotel room. He was 31.
James Gandolfini, best known for his role on "The Sopranos," died in Italy on June 19, 2013 after suffering from a heart attack.
The high-pitched country singer who sold millions of records through ever-present TV ads in the 1980s and 1990s and whose song saved the world in the film comedy "Mars Attacks!," died June 19, 2013 at a Florida hospital. He was 90.
Jeanne Cooper, who played Katherine Chancellor on the daytime soap opera "The Young and the Restless," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/08/jeanne-cooper-dead-dies_n_3239218.html" target="_blank">died on May 8, 2013</a>. She was 84.
Hanneman, a founding member of Slayer, died May 1, 2013 of liver failure. He was 49.
Chris Kelly, one-half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, died May 1, 2013 of an apparent drug overdose. He was 34.
The country music legend died at 81 on April 26, 2013 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He was hospitalized April 18 with fever and irregular blood pressure.
The folk singer and guitarist, who was the first performer at Woodstock, died on April 22, 2013 at age 72. He died of a heart attack in New Jersey, his family said in a statement.
The raunchy lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls whose hit "I Touch Myself" brought her international fame in the early 1990s, died at her home in New York City on April 21, 2013. She was 53 years old. "Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity," her musician husband Charley Drayton said in a statement.
Character actor Richard LeParmentier, who as a young Death Star commander learned the hard way that Darth Vader brooks no disrespect, died April 16, 2013. He was 66.
The comedic film and TV actor died on April 11, 2013 at the age of 87. He passed away of natural causes, surrounded by friends and family.
Former child star Annette Funicello died on April 8, 2013 at the age of 70. The actress, who is best remembered for her time as a Mouseketeer on "The Mickey Mouse Club" from 1955 to 1957, died from complications related to multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with more than 20 years ago.
Legendary film critic Roger Ebert died April 4, 2013, at the age of 70. Two days prior, Ebert revealed on his blog that his cancer had returned and that he would be reducing his reviewing duties at the Chicago Sun-Times.
The 21-year-old "Buckwild" star was found dead in a truck in Sissonville, W. Va., along with two other bodies, on April 1, 2013. It was later said Gandee had died of carbon monoxide poisoning while “mudding," or off-roading through mud, in his 1984 Ford Bronco.
A masterful Grammy Award-winning engineer, arranger and producer whose platinum touch included recordings with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, Ramone died March 30, 2013 of complications stemming from heart surgery. He was 79.
One of the great British stage actors of his generation, also known for playing grumpy Uncle Vernon in the fantastical "Harry Potter" movies. Griffiths died March 28, 2013, from complications following heart surgery. He was 65.
Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr has died March 12, 2013. He was 56. Burr passed away in his sleep and had suffered poor heath for years after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
A country singer-songwriter and original member of the Louisiana Hayride, King was best known for the 1962 hit "Wolverton Mountain." He died on March 7, 2013, at 90 years of age.
Peter Banks, the original guitarist for the British band Yes, died on March 7, 2013, at the age of 65. A post on his official website stated that Banks died from heart failure and was found in his London home after he didn't show up to a recording session. <br> L-R: Peter Banks, Tony Kaye, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford, Jon Anderson - posed, group shot (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)
The British rock guitarist and founder of the band "Ten Years After," who burst to stardom with a memorable Woodstock performance, died March 6, 2013. He was 68. A statement posted on Lee's official website said he died unexpectedly from complications following a routine surgical procedure. Lee's manager, Ron Rainey, said the guitarist died in Spain.
Bonnie Franklin, the pert, redheaded actress who won fame as a divorced mom on the long-running sitcom "One Day at a Time," has died March 1, 2013 due to complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 69.
Australian producer Adrian Thomas, better known as DJ Ajax, died on the day of his 42nd birthday, Feb. 28, 2013. The Sydney Morning Herald reported DJ Ajax died after he ran out onto a Melbourne road and was hit by an oncoming truck.
Former Motown vocalist Richard Street (top R), a member of the Temptations for 25 years, died on Feb. 27, 2013 at a hospital in Las Vegas after a short illness. He was 70.
Dale Robertson, an Oklahoma native who became a star of television and movie Westerns during the genre's heyday, died Feb. 26, 2013 Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., following a brief illness. He was 89.
Former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dan Toler has died on Feb. 25, 2013, at the age of 65. He passed away in his sleep after a two-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Myers, the actor most known for playing Mr. Vernon Gaines on the NBC sitcom "A Different World," died on Feb. 19, 2013 at Charleston Medical Center in West Virginia after undergoing a heart-related emergency and falling into a coma. He was 76.
Harris (far right), a one-time member of legendary Motown group The Temptations, died on Feb. 18, 2013. According to the Baltimore Sun, Harris (born Otis Robert Harris, Jr.) lost his 14-year-long battle to prostate cancer after spending the last three months in the hospital. He was 62. Also in the photo: Richard Street, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams and Dennis Edwards in 1972.
The country singer was found dead in her Heber Springs, Ark., home on Feb. 17, 2013. The Cleburne County sheriff said in a statement that preliminary autopsy results from Arkansas' state crime lab show McCready's death was a suicide from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Bass player Rick Huxley, one of the founding members of the Dave Clark Five, died on Feb. 11, 2013, at the age of 72. Though the band broke up in 1970, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
John Kerr, the stage and film actor whose credits include the movie "South Pacific," the thriller "The Pit and the Pendulum" and a Tony Award-winning turn in "Tea and Sympathy," died on Feb. 9, 2013, at the age of 81. He passed away due to heart failure at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Calif.
Mark Balelo, an auction house owner featured on the A&E reality TV show "Storage Wars," was found dead on Feb. 11, 2013. He was 40. His death has been declared a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/mark-balelo-suicide_n_2674485.html">suicide</a>.
Follow Arthur Gallant on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ArthurGallant27