My Dear Family and Friends,
I need to share with you some further difficult news about Alexx Bailey. We received notice this week that Alexx’s death has officially been labeled a suicide. Sometime on the evening of July 5th, he took a massive dose of his prescription Seroquel (quetiapine). He wrote a few brief words in his Bible, “I left happy” and “I’m sorry. I don’t know if it was selfish.” And then our cherished son, our beloved brother, our loving grandchild, our devoted friend died in bed. He was found in his apartment on July 7th by his grandfather and cousin while other family members frantically reached out to friends, hoping to find Alexx alive and well.
Why am I sharing these heart-wrenching details about our loss? Alexx struggled his entire life with bipolar disorder. He was terrorized by voices as early as five years old. He was on antipsychotic medications by the time he reached middle school. He fought anxiety and Tourette’s all the way through school. He tried to find relief through street drugs, then had to deal with the fallout of addiction. Alexx continually fought to overcome this debilitating disorder.
I am so proud of the young man Alexx had become, especially given the obstacles he climbed to get sober and to dedicate himself to helping others. I am destroyed knowing that his coping skills were swamped and he felt he couldn’t fight anymore, but I understand. And I will always remember him as the strong, witty and loving young man he was.
You see, here’s the thing, it is so hard to fight day after day just to have a “normal” day, whatever that means. Did you know that thirty percent of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder will attempt suicide at least once? Did you know that the suicide rate for those with this disorder is twenty times that of the general population?
But it’s not just those with severe mental illnesses who fight the fight of overwhelming hopelessness. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in our young people. The subject of suicide is not something we can ignore. We can’t pretend this doesn’t happen, nor can we consider this a sign of weakness. The amount of people who confront the dark thoughts that lead to their death is staggering. Too many too young are among these dead and dying.
Let others know that you understand their struggle and that they are not alone. Speak up as we fight against this epidemic. Kyri Bailey already has her semicolon tattoo, and I will soon be getting one, too. “Your story is not over”
MY son’s mother, Kimberly Read, and daughter, his only older sister Kyri Bailey, put this together in hopes that in telling the facts those with some of the same or similar struggles will look for answers and get the help they need.
Love, Alexx’s dad