Good girls just don’t make others uncomfortable…..
So they say.
I beg to differ…. If we are going to change the world, we need to get “comfortable” with the idea of making others uncomfortable. Because maintaining the status quo is undeniably comfortable. It is familiar, like the warm fuzzy blanket we curl up to in the winter time. Unfortunately, though, if we are not careful, that same blanket will smother us.
It is the same with preventing suicide. It feels natural to avoid the subject, avoid the issue. It is much more comforting to just bury our heads in the sand, pretend it will never happen to us or anyone that we know, and leave in in the “only happens to others” category.
I know, because I have been there.
Getting comfortable with the word suicide has been something that I am still struggling with to this day. In the beginning, I lied like the devil about the circumstances of my brother’s death. I made up every story you could think of. It didn’t feel right to me though, didn’t mesh with the whole “Thou Shalt Not Lie” thing. Yet, telling the truth didn’t feel right either. I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s day.
Or make them uncomfortable….
Finally one day, I gave up. I decided that it is what it is, or was what it was. I gave myself permission to tell the truth. This was not easy. Nothing when it comes to the subject of suicide feels natural or right.
There are people reading this right now, who are thinking, “I don’t believe she is sharing this. Shouldn’t she just be quiet about this, and then go away….”
But no, I will not. I will not go away, I will not be quiet about it, and I will not stop making people uncomfortable….
I want them to be uncomfortable with the fact that 42,000 people in this beautiful country of ours will end their lives this year. I want them to feel nauseous when they hear that statistic. I want them to squirm inside. I want them to feel so uncomfortable, that they open their eyes, fear for the safety and wellbeing of those around them, and look for the signs anywhere and everywhere that they can find them.
Like I wish I had done….Maybe had I had the same mindset, my Joey would still be here…
I have to live with that. But I can’t live with that, so instead I will shout it from the rafters: NO ONE IS IMMUNE! Depression is a disease, and without help, it is insidious and deadly. No one asks for it, no one expects it.
One person in this country contracted the Ebola Virus, and the whole country went bonkers (as well they should). And why? Because one American life is too many. Also because we realized that this could spread to countless others. Possibly even 42,000…..
“But that’s different”, you may think. We have more control over that…
No. We don’t have more control. We have even less. Because someone with Ebola is so wracked with pain and symptoms that they can’t possibly go under the radar. So they get the help that they need and we pull out every stop and fight with everything we have to save a life.
People who are suicidal go under the radar all the time, thus ending 42,000 lives. Per year. Times year after year after year….
So pardon me for not being very lady-like, but I hope I am making everyone very uncomfortable; so uncomfortable, that we respond to the rash of suicides in this country with as much gung ho strength as we can muster, just like we did with the Ebola Virus.
Only then can we really make a difference.
Stay uncomfortable, my friends…..