16 years ago today I lost my dad, and I always take this day to speak up on an issue that is very important to me: suicide.

Today is the day I get up on my soapbox and preach about how suicide is not the answer. Although I lost my dad when I was only 8 years old, I remember the day like it was yesterday. It's hard to not wonder what my life would be like if I got to grow up with him around. If his alcoholism and depression hadn't led to his death. But that's what happened, and that's just how it is.

My dad was a police officer. He was a black belt. He was a movie-lover (just like me). He was a loving husband. He was a father of two. And now he is gone.

I just want to say that there are options. There are ways to deal and cope with addiction and anxiety and depression. It's tough and it's a long road and it sucks, but there are always people willing to help. Even when it feels like there's nothing to live for, believe me, there is.

I apologize for posting something so sad, but I feel like I owe it to my dad to speak out on the topic of suicide, in case I can offer even one smidgen of hope to somebody else. Don't get caught up in your own head. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You have no idea how much your decision will affect the people around you that love you. You have no idea what's in store for your life and how wonderful it could be.

RIP, dad.