Lyndsey Muñoz: 'We Keep Going'


Lyndsey Muñoz, a former Stanford goalie and current George Mason assistant, played for Spain in the World Lacrosse Women's World Cup.

Lyndsey Muñoz is the assistant coach for George Mason women's lacrosse and played in the 2022 World Lacrosse Women's World Championship as a goalie for Spain. Muñoz penned this piece for her personal Instagram account, and USA Lacrosse Magazine is sharing the story with her permission during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

If you’re in crisis, there are options available to help you cope. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at any time to speak to someone and get support. For confidential support available 24/7 for everyone in the United States, call 1-800-273-8255. More resources are available here.

Warning: This post contains sensitive topics.

It is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and I feel compelled to share more about my story, to give someone hope in their journey toward mental wellness, and encourage others to continue supporting those around them regardless of how they may “seem.” I promoted Project Semicolon during the World Cup and have a semicolon tattooed on my neck because so many struggle under the surface.

My mental health concerns, in general, really began in middle school. I strived to be perfect in everything I did so much that I would experience intense and rapid heart palpitations in certain situations. I went to a heart doctor who found it to be murmurs, but later in life, I realized this was my first experience of anxiety.

In high school, it continued and intensified as the stakes for excellence on and off the field increased while trying to get recruited. Simultaneously, I had to reconcile the religious views that guided my identity and moral compass, telling me I was bad and wrong for the thoughts I had about my sexuality. Simply put, I couldn’t. Every mistake triggered the shame I felt, leading me to believe hurting myself was the only way. It was during this time that ideations first crept into my head. Luckily, I got help for self-harm, which ended in college.

However, the years after college would be some of the most trying times of my life. Suicidal ideation came up more often and feeling depressive symptoms I was not aware were symptoms like emotional apathy. I felt such internal conflict at the time, trying to figure out who I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do. Honestly, I don’t remember much of this time, but I do remember just how lost I felt. After seeing the events following a suicide of a close family friend, I knew I had to get help. Thankfully I did. However, I know I am incredibly lucky that the pull of suicide stopped at ideation, and I could see that help was possible. I know there are many not as fortunate.

The scariest part, and why I’m sharing this, is that my story is not unlike others who ended their lives. It was never obvious that I was struggling. I had so much love in my life, yet these thoughts still existed. It also makes me concerned now that I’m in coaching to know as much as you can ask about well-being and confirm your love for your players, it may not always be received. Nevertheless, we keep going. We keep sharing. We keep loving because you never know what words or actions will land with someone on any given day.

This is my greatest hope in telling my story here and to make sure anyone who has struggled knows it doesn’t have to define your life negatively. These experiences gave me far more than they took. When people tell me I’m calm or patient, that’s because I learned self-awareness, mindfulness, and gratitude to simply wake up without apathy. It grew my confidence in finding out more about myself and what I wanted from life. It also strengthened my relationships, realizing how much my well-being flourished with them. I will forever be a perfectionist, but I have shifted to a stronger association with learning from mistakes. The best part was I finally realized I achieved what I always wanted to be so long ago: normal.

I will forever preach this for as long as I can. Whatever you’re going through is normal, and you don’t have to do it alone.

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