It’s interesting the waves of caring and compassion that occur when an “important” person commits suicide. The posts on social media start as a dribble then a flood and then it slows and once again becomes a dribble. It’s predictable and completely useless because the call is for those people; the ones who are clinically depressed, suffer mental illness, have unbearable grief…the call is for them to get help. The “helpful” people on Facebook, Twitter, etc. even cut and paste the national suicide prevention hotline.
Get help…that’s hilarious.
You’re telling someone who’s brain is already malfunctioning to do something only a well-functioning brain can assimilate and act on. You’re telling someone to somehow climb up and over that massive mountain—they know as their personal hell—that they’ve never EVER been able to surmount before to just, well, you know…get over it.
Yeah, good luck with that. The point is that people, based on their mental state, who are in the position to contemplate taking their own lives are likely alone and isolated and have shut down communications to the outside world exactly because they cannot reconcile what the world is telling them and how they know they feel. There are no amount of words on social media or flashed as a PSA on the TV that will reopen a dialogue with them until they themselves found a way out.
Meaning they are responsible for saving their own lives…and only them.
But, as a friend and loved one—or merely just because you give a fuck—you can be responsible for paying attention and noticing when they retreat, when they self-isolate. You can be responsible for lighting a path to safety through your attention and acceptance and understanding. Especially your understanding that people who are hurting so bad that ending this amazing journey can be the biggest, loudest and ugliest assholes to the people they need the most.
People like you.
And you have to let them be assholes until they’re back on safe ground, until they are no longer turning their fear and self-loathing into the weapons of destruction that they can be. Until the darkness clears and they can see the path towards life and safety. The path that only they can take…but one that you can illuminate.
So…please stop cutting and pasting the suicide prevention hotline, as if that was an actual way to help people, and start paying attention to the people you love by lighting a torch of patience and understanding so that you can actually start seeing them…
…and they can see you…
…and see a way back.
Believe. Go. Do.