Photo description: Bailey and Thomas
Photo credit: Bailey Mooney
My best friend Thomas Bosmeniel passed away from suicide on Nov. 5, 2018, during his freshman year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Thomas was described by everyone who knew him as a light. He was extremely quick-witted, softhearted, as well as insightful. Even now that he is gone, I can still feel the love he had for people around me.
Navigating the space that I embody without him has been a journey filled with self-discovery, anger, discomfort and despair among other emotions. Losing a loved one to suicide leaves a feeling that is impossible to articulate.
During this season especially, I try to encourage patience for myself and acknowledge each milestone I achieve. I also do everything I can to celebrate Thomas and encourage the discussion of mental health in his honor.
It is easy to feel that something drastic has to happen to take a step back from looming responsibilities. But what if we just took a break because we deserve it? We deserve rest and patience regardless of our productivity. We deserve more than just resting, we deserve a celebration of ourselves too. What if we remind each other of this when we have the opportunity and practice it the best we can?
I have celebrated my loved ones more than I have celebrated myself. People who know me well know that I am always celebrating those I love. My loved ones know me to be their cheerleader and are persistently there for me in the same way.
But maybe this could be the season I am there to celebrate me too and to encourage those around me to celebrate themselves. Maybe this is a change we could all take steps to embark on?
Regardless of why this season of your life could be difficult for you, or the severity of hardship you are experiencing, I encourage you to take this time to practice patience, forgiveness, rest and celebration for yourself. We all experience stress in some form: school responsibilities, indecision, financial hardship, relationship stress or even just the pressure of being one year older. But that shouldn’t deter us from being loyal to ourselves in a positive way.
I know you may have a busy schedule and a million important aspects of life demanding attention. But nobody should be disappointed if you take the time you need to take care of your mental well-being.
Take care of yourself. Schedule that counseling appointment you have been putting off. Schedule that dinner date with people you love. Sit and chat with your mentor. Take that nap you know you need. Take more of what you know you need; there is nothing wrong with that. Regardless of the role you play on this campus, we need you to take time for yourself too.
Also, don’t be hard on yourself when you find it difficult to do things that seem to come naturally to other people. Focus on doing each thing you can, big or small, and celebrate that. Celebrate that! Celebrate you!
Suicide Prevention is taking care of yourself, so you are ready to provide an accessible space to people who need you. People will need you throughout your life; they will need your light in a variety of ways. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your neighbor as yourself.