An open letter to all those people making ignorant remarks about suicide:
With all the suicides recently in the news and social media one ignorant comment is one too many and I couldn’t help but come across a few so that of course led me to writing this post. Look, I’m not going to hide that I’ve had suicidal thoughts myself in the past. And although it’s been years I also don’t pretend to be overconfident that I could never have them again. Why do you think I fight so hard to retrain my brain from getting stuck in my negative depression cloud??? Why do I admit consistent psychotherapy helps me even when I’m feeling “pretty good.” Even if I’m not suicidal I do still have my moments where I feel stuck in a nightmare or screwed in a life I can’t get out of because I don’t want to give up but my emotions sometimes get so riled up that I wish I could! But I don’t. And I’ll fight hard to keep trying. BUT I also won’t even begin to assume that what I do is going to work for everyone else or tell anyone that, “Oh, you just have to stay positive,” or, “It’ll all be okay.” Reality is it sometimes is not okay which is a big reason to seek professional help. But then there’s this horrible nasty stigma that if you get help with mental or emotional issues that you’re weak. Or CRAZY. So guess what, that doesn’t help anyone who needs the help to be encouraged in getting it. It takes SUPER STRENGTH and BEAUTIFUL HUMILITY to seek out help. To acknowledge it. To be okay with and willing to try hearing and then accepting a diagnosis. Then it doesn't end there, it takes daily work to keep fighting and trying to manage your mental illness. And those that don’t for whatever reason don’t deserve to be looked down upon or talked about negatively. They just happened to not get the help they needed at the time they needed it. I believe in God and the God I know and love is understanding and knows us better than ourselves. I trust Him and his judgement of people. But that’s just it, it’s not up to us to judge so please, please, please, can we try harder to stop judging?!?!
One of my recent Instagram posts was dedicated to suicide. I couldn’t help but notice that it’s also a post with the least amount of likes or engagement. If people don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine. (Although that won’t stop me from advocating for mental health or mental illness.) But I have a problem when I start seeing or hearing people show their ignorance with comments all over social media or in real life saying that suicide is never the answer, that the person was weak to do that, or advice to depressed people that a positive outlook will fix it. ALL WRONG. No, no, no. A positive outlook does not FIX IT. It is only a tool to help us cope with our mental illness. It’s an illness just like having some type of physical illness. And let me also say that there’s a BIG difference between non-clinical and clinical depression. Two different things people. I once had a woman with good intentions tell me her experience with depression after losing her son and while yes, that’s a whole other deep pain, it’s different from living with clinical depression. She went on to tell me how God helped her stop being depressed and that if I just had enough faith... What?!?! Excuse me?!? I know I have strong faith. And I personally don’t believe that praying to God about my depression is going to HEAL me. What I do believe is that he’ll give me the strength to cope and to help me get help that I need and provides the hope to keep me going. So, I know people just generally want to help but please don’t try to share your thoughts on what you think can fix us. It doesn’t work that way. Wish there was a quick fix but there isn’t. It’s usually a lifelong battle of ups and downs living with any type of mental illness. For myself, I choose compassion versus judging and I beg that other people do the same. Sure, I’m not perfect but I’m trying. That’s all we can do. Peace out and thanks for taking the time to read this.💜