Jordan "Masks On Masks"

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Randy Bacon with 7 Billion Ones in partnership with National Alliance on Mental Illness Southwest Missouri (NAMI) are proud to announce a major, multifaceted portrait art exhibition, story and short film series:

It Knows No Face

Portraits of Suicide Survivors.

Learn more HERE

Jordan’s Story:

Photography by    Randy Bacon

Photography by Randy Bacon

After my grandpa passing, my dad leaving and a bad breakup, I fell into a deep depression that lead to me trying to kill myself. In my head I would tell myself “Everyone that said they loved you never did, and never will, because we are meant to be alone. I am meant to stay alone”. I still to this day believe that no one will ever love me for me, that I will always have to wear a mask. When I see myself in a mirror I see masks on masks to hide the anxiety; to hide this shadow called depression.

 My grandpa was my savior, my rock. Whenever I was feeling down I knew I could just go talk to him and in a matter of minutes I would be my happy self again. After he passed, it was like I had nothing that could hold me down or to keep me from not doing the things I was doing. I had started self harming. I’m really into weaponry and I had a butterfly knife, and sometimes I would mess up and cut myself on accident, but then sometimes it would be on purpose, and it looked like it was just an accident. I’m also into boxing, and I used to just punch a punching bag until my hands hurt, and when that wasn’t working, I took off the gloves and I would punch it until my hands started bleeding, and that’s how I thought I was coping with depression.

I have felt invisible. The funny thing is that I don’t really leave my house very much, because I have social anxiety. I always try to isolate myself into a room or I go on a walk because I get really stressed out when there are a lot of people around. I have felt like I didn’t want to be here and I have tried to commit suicide twice. I have two shotgun shells inside my shotgun case. In those two shells I have etched in the dates that I tried. Both times the safety was on, so there’s got to be something that protected me in that way. It’s like a reminder; you can stay strong. You can do what you can to stay happy, you can keep yourself from not wanting those thoughts.

I went through a really bad break up which put me deep into a depression that put me down into the point where I would go drive and the reason I was driving is I was thinking “Hey, maybe today’s the day I can drive off into the lake, maybe today’s the day that I’m just going to go full speed into a stone wall. I’m going to do this, maybe I should tie a vacuum tube to one of the windows, just keep myself in there and suffocate and watch myself die.”

What keeps me going on is family. I am the oldest of six, my mom met someone who has two kids, I’m the oldest by two months which I was pretty happy about. I thought of my little brother and my little sister, because if I left they wouldn’t have a role model or a person to look up to. Since my dad left, I kind of became the protector, the father figure in a way. So I am here to teach them and I just want to be there to help.

What I would say to someone that was in my shoes, is that sometimes stuff doesn’t get better, but there’s going to be ways that are going to help you through those hard times. Suicide is not the way. It’s not a second chance, it’s nothing of that sort. When you look at yourself in the mirror, don’t look at yourself as a fake person, like it’s time to put on the mask, it’s time to do this, time to do that, think of yourself as the most beautiful person on the planet. You are one of a kind. There is no one like you. You can do anything you put your heart to, anything you put your mind to, because life is a one time thing and it’s too short to keep yourself down. You may think of yourself as the lowest, but you may have someone thinking you are the most amazing person on the planet. Thinking, I want to be like them, they don’t look like they are depressed or suicidal or have anxiety or are an alcoholic or a drug addict; to you, you look like nothing, to them you look like everything.

You may think of yourself as a void of depression like a black hole taking in every negative way, but really you can be anything you want. Make yourself be happy. Even if you don’t want to be happy, just try. Think of something that made you happy. For me it’s thinking about the times I had with my grandfather. So think of that time, with your grandfather, with your dog, with your family, with a friend. Think of something that makes you happy, because you’re the only one that could make you happy. But if you’re like me and can’t let anyone in, let down a few barriers, unlock a few locks, cause you’ll find someone that makes you happy, like I have.

Brought to you in partnership with:

7Billion Ones, Annie Busch, NAMI Southwest Missouri, and Touchstone Counseling