Anthony Bourdain. I’m gutted.
Of course I did not know this man personally, but I know this man’s pain – personally. I’m sure some are baffled by the idea that a man who seemingly had the world by the kumquats would succumb to such clutches of despair and ultimately decide to remove himself from the world. Once and for all.
God. The sheer, unadulterated pain one must feel to make that final, permanent, unalterable choice.
The stigma of mental illness doesn’t help. Sufferers of depression are supposed to be capable of handling an unmanageable darkness. Maybe it depends on the degree of darkness. Maybe it depends on how deeply one feels when painful events occur. Maybe it depends on the instances in life that brought a person to commit this unthinkable act. Maybe it depends on how clearly and brightly empaths see life in ways that others just don’t. Why one commits suicide, and why one does not, is complicated.
Depression is very fond of us. We’re easy. All he needs to do is dangle a sad story into our midst. Or he gives us a memory of what sent us crashing to the ground in the first instance of our lives. Perhaps he’ll touch us with a feather of hope and snatch it away – just so we feel that glimmer of optimism crash to the ground as hard as a van filled with cement. Once that positivity is squelched, our old familiar friend will present itself again. It’ll sit beside us morning, noon, and night. It’ll poke us while we work, cook, read, sew, change diapers, weed, et al. It will prod us when we least expect. We sometimes try to run off in the other direction, but the dastard fuck pulls its reigns. Sometimes it yanks. Sometimes it tugs. Other times it jerks with such force that we give in and succumb to its strength.
What we need to ask ourselves is how we can be proactive and get help before we lurch ourselves into the reaper’s grasp.
Do we need meds?
Which meds fit our uniquely different minds and biologies?
Talk therapy? Works for a percentage of us, I guess, but as someone with lifelong despair, talking it out does one thing: nothing.
Like gerbils in a test lab, do we want to live with the zombification of medications? Eventually, we starve to feel emotion again. Tears are sometimes a glorious release. When medications are constantly stimulating the brain to feel euphoria or ‘balance’ – a tactile sensation of dampness cascading from an eye socket can be a forgotten human pleasure.
Single souls suffering alone with their inner chaos. An unraveling of the mind, if you will, is what so many battle with every day. Being a guinea pig in a doctor’s office is maybe the one humiliation we decide to endure. Or, being a guinea pig in a doctor’s office is not even a choice we have the privilege to choose – and so we ‘choose’ the bottle, the pill, or the needle.
Where do we start in getting proper care and help for what is often times an extraordinarily insurmountable illness? Questions have to first be answered, like:
From where does this blackness emanate?
How will the costs of therapy and pharmacy be covered when one can barely talk themselves into thinking they are worthy enough to interview for a job, take care of their families.
How can they get along day after day pretending to be happy and having it all together?
How can they be expected to talk themselves into believing they can handle everyday life obligations while mentally talking themselves off a cliff?
We’re ethereal, amazing, beautiful, yet tragic beings. How deeply some of us feel may be remarkable and worthy of adulation – but it comes with a price and sometimes the expense is paid with our life.
My fellowship with those in this fight is strong. The struggle of depression is a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It is Hellfire. It is damnation. It ebbs. It flows. It comes and it goes. It’s always nipping at your toes.
I’d like to think I’ll be leaving the grip behind in the dust for good. I remind myself that Anthony B, Kate Spade, and millions more decide day after day there is only one way out from depression’s horrid clasp and that their darkness will never pass.
This has to change.
#mentalhealthcare #endthestigma #suicideawareness