“We put the FUN in DYSFUNCTIONAL!” That’s a sign in my parent’s kitchen that I always laugh at because in my family tree, it’s very true. And sadly like most families, mine is no stranger to mental health. From Depression, PTSD, Substance Abuse and more – we have experienced a lot and sadly my Aunt Tami and Uncle John on my mom’s side, completed suicide 7 years apart from one another. What stands out about both is that they had similar struggles but different paths and experiences. My Aunt was divorced twice, on her 3rd marriage and had 3 great kids from her first husband. My uncle was single and had made a career with Dodge/Chrysler as a car salesman without a license for almost 20 years because of DUI’s and whatnot. They both struggled heavily with drugs and alcohol but the thing that they struggled the most with was asking for help. But it isn’t their fault. My grandfather was the same way. He drank heavily instead of talking about his feelings and asking for help. After losing both my aunt and uncle to suicide, it changed how we talked about things in our family because thats all we can do from our losses in life, is learn from them and try to be better the next day and the next day after that. It wasn’t easy at first and shit, it’s still hard on some days but the reality is that we have people who care about us at our best and at our worst.  But those people will never know you need help if you don’t ask for it. So do yourself a favor, start the conversation with you and your family to learn about the past and create a safe space for your family to keep talking about mental health as the years go on. Miss you Aunt Tami and Uncle John. Cheers.

– Jonny

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