As you guys might have heard, Actress Regina King lost her son Ian Alexander Jr. over the weekend to suicide. He just celebrated his 26th birthday and I would imagine, he received plenty of calls and text from people expressing their love and wishing him a happy birthday and many more.
It seems like him and his mother had the best relationship. Every opportunity Regina received in front of the camera whether she was receiving an award, or during a promo tour, she will talk about the love she had for Ian and you would see him in pictures.
That’s why it comes as a shock to us all that his death is a result of suicide. You would think a person who almost has everything, whose mother loved him like know other would take his own life.
Behind every smile is a story we will never understand
One thing this pandemic has done was open our eyes on the importance of Mental Health. We see and speak to people every day thinking their life is great and they have it all together because they have a nice house, car, or more money. We say to ourselves if we had what they had, we would be grateful and take advantage of all the opportunities. Not knowing that a person might look good on the outside but struggling within. Struggling with self-love, identity, depression, past trauma, and mental health.
I can’t imagine how Regina feels but I know she is doing what most of us do and that is blame ourselves. We start to think about the things we could have done, if we would have only taken them with us, called them on the phone, picked up when they called, they would still be here.
When my sisters husband took his life some years ago, I felt like I could have done something to stop it. I was home from college for the summer and staying with them. He dropped me off in Brooklyn at a friend house and after 2 hours I started getting this feeling that I should call him to come pick me up. I picked up the phone and then put it down and told myself I would take the train because I didn’t want to bother him.
It took an hour and 10 minutes to get back to their house and when I did, I came in the house there was a note on the computer to call my sister’s husband mothers house. I call and they told me he had passed. He was in law enforcement, so I immediately thought he died in the line of fire. As we went to go identify the body, I later discover that he took his own life. All the air went out of chest. I couldn’t understand why when he had such a great life.
Mental Health is real. For some communities it’s so normalized people don’t think they have a problem. Some feel that in time they will be okay and others if they just can forget about it, then they can move on. It’s time for us to understand that we can no longer stay silent. The old ways of dealing with issues, past traumas, and mental health DO NOT WORK! We need get back to that sense of community where we checked in with our family members and friends. We picked up the phone and said an encouraging word to someone. We check on those who seem to have it all today. We make taking care our Mental Health cool. You never know, it might save a life.