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Living Sincerely

Typically, when I do a character spotlight, I choose one pivotal character from the story and explain why they were so relatable and/or critical. However, in Sincerely, Me by Charae Lewis, I simply could not choose which character to write about. Both characters were pivotal, and more importantly, both characters came with lessons that anyone can learn from.

Solana was the abused and troubled addict who really didn’t have anyone. Her mother died when she was young, and because she was the result of an affair, her father resented her. Shockingly, her abuser was her stepmother, who successfully got her sisters to turn their backs on her. Everyone in her life seemed to hate her, even her closest friend ended up betraying her in the end. There was only one person, Sevyn, also known as Mr. Perfection, who seemed to help her forget about all of her troubles. But there was only one problem...

Sevyn despised addicts because his father was one. He had absolutely no patience for it. And although he tried his best to help her by admitting her into rehab, she crossed the line by inadvertently involving Sevyn’s son and nephew in her addiction. For him, that was enough to prove that her behaviors were too risky, and he wasn’t willing to work their relationship out.

Because Sevyn was really the only person she had, this sent her over the edge and she ultimately ended her life. The question here is, did Sevyn owe her more? Should he have made sure suicide wasn’t an option for her? Was it his responsibility?

I’m sure there are differing opinions on this, but one thing is for sure. Suicide can be prevented, and there are warning signs. In order to attempt suicide prevention, we must to know what the warning signs are:

· Talking about wanting to die

· Looking for a way to kill oneself

· Talking about feelings of hopelessness or having no purpose

· Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain

· Increasing the use of alcohol/drugs

· Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless

As you can see, Solana displayed many of these characteristics. Had Sevyn known, he may have been able to change her life’s trajectory. He did not have to stay in a relationship with her, but had he known the signs of suicide, he could have gotten her immediate mental health care. Was it his responsibility to wife her and make sure she stayed clean? No, I don’t think so. But I think we, as people, are responsible for doing what we can to ensure those around us, at the very least, have an opportunity to LIVE. If you know someone who you feel may be suicidal, please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. There are people to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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