September is Suicide Prevention/Awareness Month
Dedicated to Prescilla
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you have most likely heard me refer to depression from time to time, namely, my personal journey with this heinous and insidious monster.
Many people find it taboo to discuss it openly, especially if it hits a bit too close to home. Shame and stigma are the calling cards of Mental Illness
(“Oh my God, what happens if someone I know reads my wife’s blog?”)
(“Why on earth would my daughter-in-law publicly embarrass me like this, OMG!”)
(“How can I distance myself, scrub this embarrassment from my social world?”)
Well, maybe they really pay me no mind and all of this is just a figment of my imagination, or maybe I’m cautiously reminded of words that bounced about the room, a finger pressed into my chest as I was taunted over how ridiculously embarrassing and cruel I was to put my family through so much shame…
Okay. All of that is forgiven. Truly it is. But I’m humanly flawed and will never forget the biting sting of those words. However, I do want to thank you for toughening up my edges! I learned I could unintentionally embarrass you without embarrassing myself. I could learn to love being a failure because it taught me something greater. It taught me about true success, the kind that no one can rob from me or take credit for. You showed me that conditional love is not love, and how it varies so greatly from true love. I learned that the unconditional item respects both parties, and garners hope and courage for the long haul. I would learn where it exists, understand that it never comes under question or doubt and that it builds unbreakable bonds that will stand the test of time.
Yes, I wish I could twinkle fairy dust and wave a magical wand, but I am powerless to do so. Just as powerless as I was to succumb to this aberrant behavior, disease, condition, genetic coding, or whatever the hell it is, or why it is. I’d love to simply do a Donald Trump comb-over and hide the whole damn mess for any and all of us. It is simply a reality that exists, and sadly it hits home for more people than some of us realize.
It isn’t pretty. It’s certainly not something anyone would wish upon even their worst enemy. It’s heartbreaking, life-taking to some, and a very real day-to-day struggle for all that are affected.
September is Suicide Prevention/Awareness Month. Will you consider that someone you know is hiking a treacherous trail and you may be their one and only lifeline?
You are more important than you realize. Don’t discount your importance even if you find mental illness difficult to understand. You very well could be the difference between hope and hopelessness. Do you understand your potential, the power you hold by learning to overcome shame and stigma?
A survivor does. We know how education opens the world to understanding the complexities of the human condition. Your eyes are upon us, our hope is that you will help us break the cycle of stigma and shame.