Trigger Warning (TW)/Content Warning (CW): mention of suicide, depression, and mental illness

The following article gets very serious, very quickly, but it’s important. Bare with me, please.

This week I lost a family member after they committed suicide. It is the second time within a couple of years that we have lost someone this way. The end of the year, combined with the holidays can be a hard time for people, so I wanted to take a moment and talk about it.

If you know someone who is struggling with a new job, a relationship, finances or whatever it may be, please talk to that person. If you are struggling with something in your life, please talk to someone. If you feel like you are alone and your problems cannot be solved, please believe me: problems can be solved – together!

Sometimes it can feel like you are stranded on an island surrounded by water without a lifeboats in sight. But if you let them in, your people will find you and hopefully help provide you with the support you need. Just take the first step.

I am not pretending that it is easy to ask for help and to reach out to others. I struggle every time I have to ask someone for help. But asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Asking for help is a strength – a strength of knowing your limits and knowing when you need support. Asking for help gives you a chance to grow and get better.

No matter who, what or where: ask your friends, family, partners, children, parents, cousins; get in touch with people or an organization via phone, e-mail or send a freaking fax; do it on Twitter or Facebook. It does not matter. But there really are decent human beings out there trying to bring people together and who want to help others.

Just, please, look and ask for help! You will find it!

However, as important as asking people for help is, there also needs to be someone who listens. Be that person. Ask the people in your life how they are – how they actually are. And listen to them. Don’t just sit or stand there and wait until it is your turn to talk about you and your newest iPhone.

We constantly read stories about our favorite superheroes doing unimaginable things and impossible things, but even they need help. To move forward, they need partners. In comics, Bruce has Alfred and his extended Bat-Family, Peter has Mary-Jane and Aunt May, Superman has his family. Susan, Esther, and Daisy from Giant Days have each other and their partners.

Even though the holidays aren’t happy for everyone, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Holidays still, and hope that you have the support you need in your life.

“You are not alone
I am here with you
Though we’re far apart
You’re always in my heart
You are not alone”
– Michael Jackson

If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness and may be at risking of harming themselves, here is a list of International Suicide Hotlines.

Christoph Staffl

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