An Open Letter to a Very Brave Supernatural Fan

Jared - web

You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life. – Zig Ziglar

Dear Brave SPN Fan,

On October 27th, 2013 you and I were at the Westin Hotel in Rosemont, IL to see Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles at Creation Entertainment’s Salute to Supernatural convention (ChiCon).  You were in line on the left side of the stage to ask a question.  In fact, you asked the LAST question of Jared and Jensen’s panel that day.  You asked if Jared and Jensen thought Sam and Dean would ever give up on life.  Would they ever feel so overwhelmed to consider suicide?

My heart broke when I heard your question and tears immediately started to roll down my cheeks as I reached for my husband’s hand.  I worried for a moment how the boys would handle your question.  Jensen was very somber and remained silent as he deferred to Jared.  Jared’s answer was beautiful.  He told you, “Getting rid of yourself is never the answer.  Keep on fighting the fight.”  Jared went on to talk about how when he’s struggling, he’s learned to take the focus off himself and his problems, and look for ways he can help someone else.  By doing this, you help yourself by helping others.

I tried to find you after the panel but I was on the other side of the room and there were simply too many people between us.  On that day, I wanted to find you, give you a hug, and encourage you any way I could through my tears.  Today, I still want to find you and hug you, but I also want to thank you and praise you for your courage because YOU and that moment at ChiCon have forever changed my life!

I lost my nephew to suicide and his death ripped a hole through my heart and knocked me off my feet with such force that I have really struggled with how to move forward.  My homework assignment from my counselor is to look for opportunities to talk about my nephew and to talk about suicide.  I thanked Jared in the autograph line for his genuine, heart-felt answer to your question.  I also found the courage over the next several months to reach out to others who were at ChiCon and talk about your suicide question and my suicide loss.

In the process of reaching out to others, I discovered there were people all around me who were suffering in silence, and that they too, just needed a little help on how to move forward.  I realized I needed to take my loss, my journey, and pay it forward to help others within the SPN Family.  And so . . . I created SPN Survivors.

I want you to know I think about you A LOT and I will never forget you!  I wonder what impact Jared’s answer has had on you over the last year.  I want to know you are OK.

You are Awesome!  You are Brave!  And you inspired me to take the necessary steps I needed to move forward in my journey, and to help others along the way.  I would be honored if you would contact me.

With Much Love!

~ Karla

Email: info@spnsurvivors.org
Twitter: @SPNsurvivors

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27 responses to “An Open Letter to a Very Brave Supernatural Fan”

  1. Robin says:

    I suffered from my own demons in the past but know there is a light at the end of that road. You have to find joy each day and be at peace with yourself.
    I can truly say that Supernatural saved my life and has given me a reason to keep going.
    I am blessed to be a part of the SPN Family.

  2. Jessica says:

    I have to say, Karla, that what you have written here strikes very true for me. I have never attempted suicide but I have thought about and come close. I suffer from depression and anxiety. Sometimes it feels like the world is closing in on me and I have no way out of it. I could give you example after example of all the things that have happened to me but it would fill an entire book. I work on a day-by-day basis. I tell myself that every day is a new day and that I can always start over. When things are particularly bad, I find someone to help me share the grief. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a daily struggle. But I do find as much joy as I can. I am blessed to have a niece and nephew that make me feel like I am the best person in the world. And my wonderful sister who never judges me no matter what I do. Supernatural has also been a big part of helping me. Seeing two brothers who truly understand each other like no one else always gives me hope. To know that the brothers are just as messed up as I am and that they somehow always make it work, it shows me that not everything is lost. I’ve watched it since the first episode and can’t stop watching it. We have to remind ourselves that every day is worth living. And that giving up is not the answer. Always fight the fight.

  3. Emilie says:

    Found this on the #AlwaysKeepFighting hastag on twitter, and just wanted to say how beautiful the idea is. I know you’ll help many people through their struggles.

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I nearly lost one of my sisters to suicide a few times when she was younger, and I’ve had suicidal thoughts myself. Compassion like yours is what helped me get through those dark times, and, like you, I hope to pay it forward, too.

    Wishing you and yours all the best!

  4. Kiki says:

    I’ve been through hell and back this year. I lost a best friend to suicide last summer from being bullied, and felt as helpless as it can get. I lost my mother in April to breast cancer, and I had to switch schools during this, my senior year of high school. but I always stay strong to the best of my abilities and always keep fighting the feelings of loss in my heart. because I know they’d want me to move on with my life and live for them. I hope you find the person you are looking for, Ma’am. I shall always hold this website dear to my heart.

  5. Jan says:

    Such a beautiful letter! Jared’s answer was absolutely perfect. Helping others does keep me from dwelling on negative issues while building self-esteem.

  6. Karen says:

    You are so right that through connections we find the answer. We all look at social media and see people more perfect than ourselves, and we come up short – how could we not with the professionally prepared, photoshopped images we see? To see some of our beautiful idols break down that wall and reach out a hand to say “You are all beautiful. Everyone struggles. You are of value.” is a powerful thing. To use social media for #AlwaysKeepFighting and #SPNSurvivors is also powerful. Connection is everything. Keep reaching out to others no matter how you yourself feel today. You have something to give and we are all glad you are here as part of our family. Thank you Karla, for starting this site.

  7. Maryellen says:

    Hi Karla. I want to thank you. Every single day I contemplate taking my life. I get through by distracting myself with whatever I can. My kids, housework anything. It’s constant. I’ve learned how to put on a good face and not let anyone in.

    I have Aggressive MS and rheumatoid arthritis but worst of all I have Hansen’s disease or Leprosy. Because of all of these illnesses my husband divorced me, my brothers and sisters have nothing to do with me and even my friends just left. I lost my home, cars everything. My kids are always struggling. Everything I do I do alone. I even signed up for gishwhes knowing I was the only person on “my team”. Is a pathetic existence.

    It’s been a hard long road and it’s taken a toll on me emotionally. Following your group on Twitter has helped me so much by helping me gain the encouragement to keep going.

    While I still can’t wait to “just be done with this life”, at least I can muddle through it a little better because of you and the SPN group.

    Thank you so much,
    Maryellen

  8. Anna says:

    Wow! This fan helped start this group! Just wow! They should feel special and so should you for starting it!

    Maryellen,

    My family has SEVERAL health problems and it hurts to watch my dad go through his flares. While I cannot fully understand what you are going through, I can mildly relate. Keep your head up! Try support groups and keep your kids close! Best of luck and lots of hugs!

    -Anna

  9. I have survived for 60 years and will keep on surviving. I told Jared that if I can survive 60 years he could too.
    blessed be to all of the other survivors out there.

    Diana

  10. CJ says:

    I fight the demons daily. They almost had me late in Jan but I took that scary big step and got help and kept reminding myself AKF. I was in a Partial Hospitalization Program (insurance didn’t cover more) and shared the AKF story and why I kept saying it to help remember. It’s saved me and I don’t find shame in sharing my story. I am a survivor of three attempts. Jared has saved me and I hope he saved that girl. If any of you haven’t read family don’t end with blood I recommend it. Shows how the we all have helped each other the cast and the fans.

    • SPN Survivors says:

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. We’re glad you are still here and fighting everyday! {{hugs}}

  11. Sue Cherry says:

    I started to attempt suicide 10 days ago. I was watching Supernatural at the time and glanced up just as a close up of Sam appeared, eyes full of sorrow, looking right at the camera, right at me. I fell apart but the breakdown was enough for me to stop for a moment and think. I’m still on the edge but I’m fighting as hard as I can. I’ve immersed myself in Supernatural and, while it’s probably not the healthiest way to deal, it’s keeping me here a little bit longer. Of course, the hope is that it will keep me going long enough to find something else worth fighting for.

  12. Malibu says:

    I wish I would have known about this site a few years ago. Things in my life had been going wrong and it felt like I couldn’t live through the pain. It had even gone so far that I was coming up with plans on how it was going to happen. To know there are other people out there that are brave enough to come forward to talk about a “taboo” topic such as anxiety, depression, and suicide, it means a lot to know I’m not alone in my struggles. I found this site through the book Family Don’t End With Blood and I’m glad I did. Not only the characters of Sam and Dean, but Jared and Jensen have taught me that there is always something you need to live for. Sometimes it’s just something small and other times it’s the bigger picture, but there is always a reason.

  13. Trish Smith says:

    To anyone that has just wanted to give up, it’s not an option. Although I have never actively tried or even wanted to kill myself, I have on a few occasions just wanted it over. I have been to the point of just giving up. Most recently when my partner of nearly 30 years passed away from a heart attack. It’s just over a week til the 2nd anniversary of his passing. And it’s still really bad sometimes. I’m sharing this for a couple reasons. 1st to thank my SPN family for just being out there. Supernatural saved my life 2yrs ago, Jared gave me a reason to make it to the next day. My partner James was a huge supernatural fan, had watched faithfully every episode, me not so much. Until he was gone. About a week after he died I was at the lowest I’d ever been, I’d stopped eating or doing much of anything. I was just done. Then I was trying to go through his stuff and turned on his tablet. It was set on supernatural. I watched S2 E22 all hell breaks loose part2. That Dean never gave up. So I started binge watching from the start. Then I watched everything SPN on YouTube. That’s when I saw Jared open up about his depression. It stopped me in my tracks. That’s when I knew I couldn’t give up. That somewhere there was someone that needed my help just like I needed Always Keep Fighting. Yes everyday is a struggle. I often still wonder if anyone would miss me. Yes, I tell myself every morning, every night, yes I would be missed. And knowing that gets me out of bed every day, it feeds me, it keeps me going. I AM A SURVIVOR!!!!! And I will Always Keep Fighting!!

    • SPN Survivors says:

      Thank you Trish for sharing. We’re sorry about your loss and the pain that comes with grief. {{hugs}} And we’re grateful you found the SPN Family and the strength to Always Keep Fighting. Together we are Survivors making a difference “Helping People, Saving Lives: The Family Business!”

  14. Joe says:

    Just an amazing story, the fact that the kid got up and asked that was so brave and Jared’s response was perfect. Sometimes you never know when a hey how are you doing lately could save someones life, sometimes you just need to know that someone cares, that you’re not invisible.

    • SPN Survivors says:

      Thank you, Joe. We couldn’t agree more. “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.”

  15. Valarie Patrick says:

    When I was growing up I had an uncle and three cousins commit suicide I’ve seen what it does to the family members left behind. Growing up I had a friend who was always there for me. We talked about what was going on in our lives even after we both got married and had kids. At the age of 33 she committed suicide leaving behind 4 children. My heart was ripped out of me I started drinking and doing drugs Eventually my marriage suffered and my kids were sent to live with my parents. I was so depressed and messed up that one day I woke up and decided I needed to get help. I moved 200 miles away from my family to get my life back in order. I started going to AA and NA meetings got a job got my own place and after being clean and sober for 3 yrs I got my kids back. A friend of mine introduced me to the TV series supernatural in 2005 and I’ve been a big fan of the show since then. Without Jared and the spn family I communicate with I don’t think I’d be where I am today. On Jan 17, 2017 my friend committed suicide. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and left a note saying she didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. I own the first 14 seasons of supernatural I watch it everyday. It helps me fight all my demons. I also get on a Facebook sight and talk to other supernatural fans who are also fighting depression, anxiety and we help one another. There is always someone willing to listen you just got to keep fighting and find the right person I did and as of May 3,2020 I have been clean and sober for 20 years I’m still fighting my demons but I’ll keep taking it one day at a time.

    • SPN Survivors says:

      Thank you Valarie for sharing your story. We’re so sorry you’ve had so much pain and loss in your life but grateful you found the strength to get your kids back and stay clean and sober for the last 20 years! Congratulations!! We’re proud of you. Thanks also for all you do to help other Supernatural fans. It is much needed and greatly appreciated. Much love to you {{hugs}}

  16. Angela says:

    Wow. Um. *wipes tears*
    Reading this letter, I am moved in many ways.
    Suicide, with its many hydra heads and its ever-changing shapeshifter forms, has touched my life ALL my life.
    A person I had called my best friend whom I had known since high school took her own life a couple of years ago, after she told me (for the millionth time) never to speak to her again.
    I cannot count the number of family members and friends who have attempted to take their own lives, for reasons known and unknown, one of which was in my own garage. Or the phone calls I’ve taken in the middle of the night asking me to just listen or to come get them, or if they could crash on my couch for a few days because they didn’t trust the thoughts in their head.
    It’s funny (funny strange, not funny ha-ha). I was told by a counsellor that thoughts of packing up my stuff and disappearing was a form of suicidal ideation. It never occurred to me to think of it as such. In my head, it was a way of just “getting away.” It’s something you see in SPN often enough, yes? Sam or Dean or John just packing their things and leaving. Well, thoughts like that didn’t start happening until after I experienced a Transient Ischemic Attack (often referred to as a mini-stroke), was informed by my neurologist that the next one might kill me, to which my partner (at the time) looked me right in the eye and said: “I don’t care if I kill you.” For months afterward, she did her level best to try just that.
    I would dare say, it’s because of another long-time friend, his love for this show, and his desire for me to love this show just as much, that I’m still here. I’m still getting a grip on talking about… things. But I’m getting there.

    • SPN Survivors says:

      Angela,
      Your response also moved us in many ways. Describing suicide as a hydra with many heads and ever-changing shapeshifter forms feels accurate in unexpected ways. Powerful visual too. Thank you for sharing that.
      Having someone you can reach out to when you’re struggling is SO important and we are grateful you have been that person for your friends and family over the years. And having a friend you can share your love of Supernatural with . . . well, that’s just awesome!
      Keep finding the courage to talk about…things and feel and process all the emotions that come up. You are stronger than you know. {{hugs}}
      Always Keep Fighting

  17. Charlotte R Verch says:

    Reading these comments to see a lot people going through things. I’m so overwhelmed, my uncle just died of COVID. My nephew is schizophrenia/bio polar and in hospital. I got hit by a car 6 years ago permanent disability. Always in pain. I have traumatic brain injury causes seizures and memory loss. I moved w family due to COVID, my family doesn’t get it. They make my life so hard. I have bipolar depression. My Dad Died, best friend, my dog who helped w the depression and new before if I was having a seizure. I’m so tired. It’s effort to get out of bed. I’m trying to keep fighting. My whole life been a fight. I hope I see a story inspires me

    • SPN Survivors says:

      Charlotte,
      We’re so sorry for your loss and all the challenges you are facing, especially during COVID. This pandemic has pushed all of us outside of our comfort zone making it very easy to feel tired and overwhelmed on a regular basis. We encourage you to be gentle with yourself. It’s OK to not feel OK. Since your family doesn’t get it, we hope you have someone in your life who does – a friend, counselor, pastor or support group (like the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance or NAMI – see our resource section for more info) where you can talk about what you are going through, share how you feel and be seen, heard and validated. {{hugs}}

  18. Diane says:

    I lost my fiancé to suicide in sept of 2012. It was so hard for me to even get out of bed afterwards. It was the most horrific thing I had ever had happen to my life. I am thankful for supernatural and the community, my friends and my yorkie ( she was a gift the year before from my fiancé). I still have days it is hard to think about what happened but it really does help to talk to people about it. Love you all.

    • SPN Survivors says:

      Thank you for sharing, Diane. We are so sorry for your loss and the incredible pain that accompanies suicide. You are right, it does get easier the more you are able to talk about it and feel and process all the pain but I think there will always be days that are hard because of our love for the person we lost. Sending love and hugs to you and your yorkie as you continue to heal.

  19. Margarita Infante says:

    I just read this and it really hit home for me. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression since my “teenage depression” days; there were times I wanted to end the pain and yet did not want to end my life; I was at that low point that I have slight scarring on my inner wrists (*I have a slight covering reminder in heart tattoos in honor of my parents; mom is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, father died fighting his own inner demons*). I just wanted to say that this young fan, I hope she knows how much her words impacted everyone reading this, is loved and will be loved by all of us in this incredible family and to Always Keep Fighting. I also wanted to say that I find that SPN Survivors is amazing and to keep up the amazing good work! ♥ 🙂

    • SPN Survivors says:

      Thank you, Margarita, for sharing your experience with us and for your kind words. Whether that young fan knows it or not, we are so thankful for her courage and forever grateful for the love and support of this incredible community. This fandom continues to inspire and fuel the work that we do, so again, Thank You!

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