I’m going to slap a warning label on right here and now: if you’re uncomfortable reading about suicide, then this post isn’t for you. But then again, who can say they are 100% comfortable with discussing and/or reading about such a grim topic?
I know this is quite different from my usual content, but I like to write about things that are important to me, and this topic is something I not only feel strongly about bringing awareness to, but have felt the after effects of firsthand.
Thinking about it now, I don’t think I’ve ever properly written down my feelings or experiences regarding this. I’ve talked about it, because not talking about it would’ve sent me mad, but it’s not something you can just bring up at a dinner party or ask your friends about.
It’s a yucky topic. An uncomfortable word. Suicide. Oh, the taboos that surround that phrase. I guess you’re probably wondering why I decided to discuss it now, and if everything is okay.
Am I okay? Yes, absolutely. Was I always okay? No. Have I been directed affected by suicide? Unfortunately, yes. Now I don’t know who exactly does read this blog, and how many of you know me personally (and how well), but it’s possible that me talking about this is going to ruffle some feathers. Although, seriously, fuck that. Because every year I have to put up with the Facebook posts and the pictures accompanied by thoughts and short stories about how close all these people were to her and how quickly time has gone by. And I don’t have anything against this method of coping, but it does always disappoint me that no one has the guts to talk about how she was “taken from this earth too soon”. Why try and sugar coat it? Our friend was 12-years-old, and she killed herself. I never got to ultimately know the finer details, but it sounded like it was an accident. Like you didn’t really understand what you were doing until it was too late.
It’s an extremely sensitive topic, and one that effects everyone differently. You’ll never begin to imagine how it feels to be related to or be friends with someone who’s taken their own life, until you are, and you’re left behind to figure out what comes next.
The worst part about the whole situation was afterwards. How the teachers didn’t really know who her close friends were. How I was told by my friends before school started, before I had even sat down at our usual spot. How I didn’t believe what I was hearing. How afterward all of these people who barely knew her came forward and made the biggest fuss out of all of us, trying to grab attention for something they should’ve left alone. I remember not being able to fly down for her funeral, so I had to settle for going to a wake in a church that I had never stepped foot in, and one that I would never go near again.
That how later on we were told about the signs. The signs that they needed help. The signs that we were supposed to look out for, even though we weren’t even teenagers and barely knew what was going on in our own heads, let alone someone elses’. How now looking back, you did seem distant. You were upset because some of the older girls were teasing you (assholes). How, at one of our swimming lessons you gave me a little dragon ornament tied on a friendship bracelet; a trinket I thought you had so deeply treasured, given to me as a gift without a second of hesitation.
Being close to you and not even considering that something was that wrong, is the thing I regret the most. But at the other end of the spectrum, I wish you had reached out to me. We shared a lot of things with each other, and I wish you had felt you could come to me with any doubts you had.
If anything good has come out of this, it’s how much more empathetic I’ve become. How that if I see someone seeming down, I make a point to ask them if they’re okay, and show that I’ll be there if they’re not. I’m proud of how seriously I take depression, and refuse to brush it under the rug with prescription meds and reckless thoughts such as, “they’re just having a hard time right now”. How I am eerily drawn to books that involve young adults suffering mental health problems, and how most of the time, I have absolutely no idea that’s what the story line surrounds when I pick it up (seriously, it’s bizarre how many times this has happened. Just from reading a god-damned blurb). It almost seems as if I am unconsciously searching, to be able to understand what was going on in your head in those last few days, because you never told me why.
If you’re wondering what prompted this post, it was watching 13 Reasons Why. I’m sure most of you would’ve seen it by now, but after reading the book a while ago I was pretty excited to see it brought to life, and boy did they do a spectacular job at it. I knew what I was in for, but it didn’t make it any easier to watch, or stop the tears from falling during those scenes. It’s an amazing show, and Netflix did a brilliant job making sure everything was raw and authentic, and they didn’t try to sugar coat the bad shit. After watching Episode 14, which is kind of a bonus segment of interviews, I was completely moved. I won’t go too much into it, but even if you weren’t a fan of the show you should watch that episode.
I think I’ve summed up everything I needed to say, and it feels good to finally document it and not be afraid to air my thoughts. Year after year, on the anniversary of her death, and her birthday, I see post after post and I always keep quiet because well, what the hell can I say to make any of it better? It’s been 10 years since our world got flipped upside down, and now I think the most important thing is to spread awareness about suicide. I know a lot of people joking say, “oh, I could kill myself!” because they’re having a shit day, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t dig a little deeper. Just in case.
Because it’s all well and good to write these kinds of posts and repost pictures on Facebook, but if you’re not out there actually asking people if they’re okay, or if they need to talk, then you’re not really helping at all. It’s crazy something as simple as a question can make someone feel valued, and it seriously costs fucking nothing to be kind.
So I hope this helps you. I can’t say that reading other people’s thoughts can fix everything, but at least it might help you understand a little better. Everyone is going through shit, so be nice 🙂
Till next time,