Alumnus talks journey, past

By Belle Trevino/reporter

An alumnus shared her journey to find hope through all of the struggles presented to her during a National Suicide Prevention Month event Sept. 26 on NE Campus. 

BriAlice, who chose not to give her last name, said situations held her back but she managed to keep alive. She had lived with her boyfriend, with whom she had a baby boy, but the long-term relationship was toxic. 

“The only thing that was keeping me alive was the smallest glimmer of hope that one day everything would be OK,” she said. “Nothing else mattered to me. Not my friends. Not my son.”

Her parents didn’t want to help her. Her friends were never serious when they told her they’d help. She ended up giving her son to her parents to take care of and, to this day, is working on getting him comfortable enough to be back in her care. And when she was finally moving away from her boyfriend, she felt alone.

“I was just driving around because I had nowhere to go, and I just really wanted to drive off a bridge,” BriAlice said. “I had no one.” 

Even with these thoughts, she said she remained glued to her hope. She moved in with another friend and has been able to turn her life around this year. 

She received her associate degree, a new car, a new boyfriend and is working with her son, who’s going into kindergarten.

“Anyone can be affected, even those you least expect,” she said. “But I want people to know that there is hope, that life does get better and you just have to wait some time to see it.” 

The advising and counseling office is hoping to get the hashtag #BeThe1To trending on social media. It’s their way of saying to the world they care enough to be the one to help.

“Our heart is for us to have a conversation, so that we can support each other, so that TCC NE Campus can be a safe place for you, your friends, anyone that you know,” counselor Masika Smith said.

Student Gia Giovenco talked about her history with suicide and her daughter.

“She’s 16, and she left a son behind, and my son’s girlfriend, she committed suicide,” Giovenco said. 

Many of the students in attendance were connected to suicides in some way. Some students like Patricia Landregan had attended almost, if not all, of the speeches on suicide this month. Landregan said she dealt with depression before she was even a teenager. Her mother would talk to her openly about the situation she was in whenever the subject of suicide came up. 

“If something had happened in 2016,” NE counseling and advising director Condoa Parrent said to BriAlice, “and you had committed suicide, look at all these faces of people whose lives you touched by that not happening.”