I found out today that a fellow blogger who wrote some really great stuff on mental health and was very open about suicide died earlier this month. She was open about what works and doesn’t for her, and all the aspects of her own mental health struggles. Her stuff was hard hitting and made you think deeply. It appears she had been struggling off and on for about 15 years or so.
And now she’s gone. I can’t wrap my mind around it. She subscribed to my blog and it made me happy when she liked or commented on something of mine. I had noticed that she seemed to disappear a few weeks ago, but I thought that maybe she was traveling or just busy. Or maybe needed to step away from a bit. Something compelled me to check out her blog today and there it was…a post from her family with a link to her obituary. She was no longer suffering, they said.
It is impossible to know what her pain felt like to her. How it drove her to such depths of depression that she decided she would be better off not living. I’ve lost friends like this before. People I know from work. And I have struggled so many times in the past. I am learning how to just let the sadness in and acknowledge it without letting it overtake me. This has been SO HARD when it’s really weighing heavy on me. I cannot express coherently how awful I feel inside and I’m not sure any of us who go this direction can express it to people who don’t understand at all. Or people who don’t WANT to understand. You know the types, the ones where EVERYTHING is always going to be ok. The silver linings. Brighter days ahead. All of that makes no sense when the pain is crushing you slowly, making it harder and harder to take deep breaths to refresh your lungs and your brain. Everywhere you look is just dark. There is no hope that it will ever get better. Everyone around you is unfriendly and wants you to just be ok so that they don’t have to invest energy making sure you are going to make it. These are the same people who wonder what they could have done after you’re gone. You know what, fuck those people. They didn’t want to listen because you were sad AGAIN. They just don’t have the energy for you when you are hurting and just need someone to listen to you. They don’t want to be that person when it matters and then wonder why they weren’t that person when you finally hit rock bottom and couldn’t take it anymore.
Because of my extensive past with suicidal thoughts and coming SO CLOSE, I lower my head when I hear about people like this blogger. Respect for doing what you thought you HAD to do. When you couldn’t see the way out anymore, you had to do something. I don’t feel shame or pity for her. She wasn’t being selfish, she finally did what she needed to do for herself. What if the only way to get rid of her pain was to end her life? What if therapy and meds didn’t work for her at all? What if being thrust into a hospital increased her suffering? Why do people think they know what’s best for someone? The way this country handles mental health, it’s no wonder it’s a huge fucking problem. I pay a $50 copay for every single therapy session. Currently that’s $100 a month for just me to talk to a professional who cares and can help me heal. My insurance is pretty damn awesome, but these appointments are treated like a specialist appointment for copays. I hate it. Amazing therapists have huge waiting lists. New therapists might not be that great or even stay in the job very long. You can get in to see someone sucky the same week. How the hell is that person going to help you if no one else wants to see them? There is such a thing as a bad therapist, unfortunately.
I know that a lot of people won’t agree with me on this topic and that’s fine. I know it’s impossible to understand something you haven’t experienced. Could there have been brighter days ahead for her? Maybe. Could the bottom have just kept falling out repeatedly for her for years to come? Maybe. There’s no way to know. We just have to trust that she made the best decision she could with the information she had.
What I do know is that a few weeks ago, her pain won over any chance of hope for her future. She felt isolated, with no one to turn to who would’ve understood. There was nothing she could use to self-medicate to survive, nothing to live for, and she only saw one way out. Whether she planned it in advance or it was impulsive doesn’t matter. I will miss her blog posts and comments. She had a lot to offer for people hanging on by a thread, but even that wasn’t enough to overcome her pain. We need to do better in this world. Mental health care should be covered 100% no matter what your circumstances are. We are so caught up on babies having a chance at life, but we are content to let adults die when there might’ve been a chance with good mental health care well before anyone becomes suicidal. But no. We are focused on all the wrong things…money, success.
As long as we continue to dismiss mental health and stay in the stupid rat race for success and wealth, we will keep losing people who matter and had something great to add.