What About Your Friends?

Trigger Warning: Suicide

The passing of Cheslie Kryst inspired me to get back into writing so you may be seeing more from me in the future.

I followed Cheslie on social media since her crowning as Miss USA in 2019 and deeply connected to her spirit and the light she exuded. It was heartbreaking to hear that she was in so much pain. I have been there. If you don’t know my journey, 5 years ago I called my mom on a Monday morning in tears because I didn’t want to live anymore. I was sitting in the tub with the shower running with a pair of scissors in my hand, ready to harm myself. I felt like there was no other way to stop the pain I was feeling and quiet the negative thoughts playing on a constant loop in my brain. My mom dropped everything to come get me and take me to the hospital. I spent 3 days in a mental hospital and 6 weeks in intensive outpatient therapy learning how to combat depression and anxiety and get to a place where I wanted to live again. Since then, I have been in regular therapy building upon and maintaining my mental health and coping skills. Thinking about Cheslie Kryst affected me so deeply because that could have been me. I could have been the girl that people were posting about saying “she seemed so happy” or “she looked so full of life” and being surprised that I could have been struggling so bad behind the scenes. But God had a different plan for my life.

And he had a different plan for Cheslie too. As a result of her death, more conversations are being had about mental health and what mental illness “looks.” like. It doesn’t matter how pretty or famous or rich you are. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate.

So check on your friends. Your strong friends. Your loud friends. Your quiet friends. Your “booked and busy” friends. Your married friends. Your single friends. Friends don’t let friends suffer alone.

In the words of TLC- “What about your friends?”

Rest in love Cheslie. May your soul be at peace now and your impact live on.

Cheslie Kryst, Miss North Carolina USA 2019, is crowned Miss USA at the conclusion of the two-hour special programming event on FOX from Grand Sierra Resort and Casino’s (GSR) Grand Theatre on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

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