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NCAA Football: Boise State at Washington State
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Tyler Hilinski was 21 years old and he ended his life yesterday in Pullman, Washington. I didn’t want to introduce him as “Washington State quarterback”, because this isn’t about that. He played football for Washington State, and was a quarterback. Those things go after his name and his age, because he was more than that to a lot of people. He should have been a football player for a very short part of his life.

There should have been a lot more to his life, but depression lies. It will lie to you at every turn. It will tell someone so disarmed by the power of despair that there is no hope, no alternative, and no other solution. It will feel like the only option, and the only defense is to remember that the loudest voice in the room is not telling you the truth, ever. That depression wants, for reasons beyond understanding, for you to go away forever. That depression is willing to tell you anything to make that happen.

The hotline is below. No one is alone. Call someone, DM someone, whatever you need to do. Be with someone, but most of all know that you are not alone, and that one day this will feel normal again. Maybe not even good, but something other than the present moment.

This is not meant to be overwrought, but to the point: Someone reading this right now might be in that place. They need to know that it is not a destination but just a spectacularly shitty place along the road. If you’re there in that spot, do whatever you have to do to get moving and get away from it and keep going. If you know someone there, be with them, because they no longer believe that there’s something ahead worth seeing.

Whatever you do: Reach out, talk, and listen, and hold on. Tyler Hilinski was 21 years old and walked off the field four months ago as the winning QB in a triple OT win over Boise State. He’s gone today, and he shouldn’t be, and in the gap between those two things is all the pain that should never, ever be for those who knew and loved him.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255