AARON: I used to just have thoughts of suicide, or thoughts that I wasn’t good enough to be around people.
AARON: Growing up, culturally, for us in the African American community and being male, you’re taught to just kinda suck it up.
AARON: I was the youngest of six. We were a very tight-knit group, and my Pops did a very nice job with raising all of us. My stepmother had passed. It was very, very hard on all of us, and after that my brothers graduated from high school, so what was once six, seven people in the house became just two, and that was me and my dad.
AARON: At that point is when things kind of start, uh, mentally for me just kind of going downhill a little bit. I was able to create a caricature of myself. I mean, I became Mr. Funny Guy, and it hid a lot of my pain and my fears, up until the point where I wasn’t able to kinda hide it anymore.
AARON: When I got to college, my hygiene started to go. I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to do anything anymore, and I found myself on the window ledge of my dorm room. That dark moment was very, very scary, very lonely, and um, if it wasn’t for my, one of my best friends and my dad, I’m not sure I could even be here talking.
AARON: I just end up saying, you know what? I know I’m battling something, and I need to find out what that something is. And so for me to experience that and to let my guard down and allow people to help, and then meet the physicians that I end up meeting, it helped save my life.