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treat it.

to everyone who has never been touched by suicide,

i get it.  i used to be like you too.  here are the most common views of suicide i either heard or personally held growing up:

that person is selfish
that person is crazy
that person is a coward
they wanted to die
they were depressed for a long time and finally went through with it
there are always warning signs, so people know it's coming
that it's preventable
THAT IT WOULDN'T AFFECT ME


there is this social stigma around depression, suicide, etc.  i can't tell you what it is like to not be able to talk openly about my husband's death.  to see people either openly or privately distance themselves from my pain, search for reasons that he did it beyond the fact that he was ill and we didn't catch it in time, connect dots that aren't connected.  all so they can convince themselves that they will never know the pain, and i honestly hope they don't- but it's possible they will.  i know people whose lives have been touched by suicide and they feel the need to lie about the way their loved one died.  honestly i get it, because i know what it feels like to be marginalized now, and it's not great.  in my own life personally i've had people tell me he was selfish, i've had people question elly's death, i've had people question my own personal actions in the days leading up to his death.  it's difficult- i get it.  we are surrounded by people who look for ways to distance themselves from pain and in doing so just bring damage to an already painful situation.

want to know the truth?  up until elly, we were happy.  we were fucking happy and content and in almost complete and total bliss with our lives.  there were stresses, sure, but we had our lives set.  there weren't any marital strains you aren't privy too, the night before his death there wasn't any fight that i am keeping to myself.

want to know another truth? suicide is not preventable, it is treatable.  and until this country stops stigmatizing it and stops putting the responsibility of PREVENTING a disease on survivors and the patients, there will be no change.  it took me experiencing suicidal feelings myself to realize,

normal people commit suicide
happy people commit suicide
life of the party people commit suicide
successful people commit suicide

want to know how this change is going to start?  it's going to start with your rhetoric, how you speak about people who are depressed, about people who commit suicide.  i'm not proud of the manner of jim's death, just as i imagine most people aren't proud of a cancer death- but i'm also not ashamed.  he was ill, we did not catch the symptoms, it cost him his life.

we need to focus our sights on treatment.  we need to allow those suffering from illness to be able to seek help without stigma.  we need to stop putting the responsibility of an illness on the people affected by it and raise our voice for change.

Comments

  1. Bria- Your voice was very strong on this and I bet one day you will be the one to bring sound to the silence of suicide. You will be the difference.

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life we expect over life we're given

one of the undying truths i have discovered through this process is that few of us live the life we imagine.  sure, some do.  but most have speed bumps thrown their way throughout life.  whether it's a divorce or death or financial insecurity, many start over, many rebuild, many take stock throughout their thirties, forties, fifties and think "well this isn't where i thought i would be"



granted... all things considered, mine is more tragic than most.  even outside of these most recent events my life has seen its fill of trying circumstances.  by the age of eight i had seen abuse and death in my family.  not exactly what you would hope for, but certainly it has given me the coping mechanisms i have now.  

as i navigate these next steps, the great unknown, there are many that have opinions and voices into my life.  everyone wants what's best for me and everyone has their own idea of what that is.
people... i don't even know what that is.  but i know what i want…

dating in 2016, also huge LOL at even posting this.

Half of me can’t even believe I am writing this post.  Dating is gruesome, isn’t it?  Like most of life, I suppose.
The weekend that Jim died I was standing there, a wreck, while my phone was blowing up.  Alayne goes “who is texting you so much?”
I respond “oh those are just my tinder matches” 
and I know that not everybody gets the hilarity and all I can say is until you are in the fire, you don’t see the need for a respite from getting burned.
anyways, i was talking to my therapist about dating and i commented “single, widowed mom, sole custody of two kids… it’s a tough sell” and it is.  
i have this story that literally leaves people speechless.  most people when they hear it don’t even really know how to interact with me much less get involved romantically.  and i know eventually it won’t be such a big part of my identity, this widowed, grieving mom, but right now it is and if i want anything to do with the person then it’s like they have to know it.  
again, it’s a tough sell.