Yesterday was a phenomenally bad day, but not for any of the normal reasons. My wrist is doing mostly better, and my knee while swelling a lot more is also starting still progressively healing. My day was horrible for a bit of news I received. When I got out of a meeting yesterday morning I had two missed calls from friends in the Little Rock area. My mind immediately jumped to something having happened to a third friend and member of our AggroChat podcast Thalen. It turns out Thalen is fine, but the news I received was so much worse. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail but one of my friends and sometimes guild members took her own life. I don’t know the specifics, but having had a suicide in my life before… you never really do know the specifics. All we really do know is that she is gone.
She struggled with a lot of things, a toxic work environment, a family that was largely unsupportive… and the lack of a support network in her area. I talked over the years with her about these things and more, as I tried to just be someone who would listen. The problem with gaming friends however is that if you don’t happen to be playing the same game… it is extremely easy to fall out of touch with each other. It had been at least six months since I last talked to her, and now I am kicking myself for not reaching out and making more of an effort. I saw her pop on steam a few weeks ago, but I myself was going through a “speak when spoken to” only mode… but now I am agonizing over not saying anything. This is the problem with a suicide, there are so many unanswered questions… and the ones that get left behind feel guilty for not doing more.
My Own Struggles
This morning I am going to be far more candid than I normally am. I have struggled with these suicidal thoughts my entire life. Right now I am taking something that helps, for pretty much the first time in my life. I’ve always been afraid to seek help, and even now I am largely self medicating with a holistic remedy instead of actually seeking treatment. There is something terrifying about talking to someone and unpacking your soul. I know personally I just keep ramming things down on this pile of frustration and shame until it overwhelms me. I was actually scaring myself a lot lately… which is why I am trying to do something about it. There are moments where I catch myself running down these scenarios in my head about how I would do it… and what planning would need to go into it. The fact that my brain can run down those pathways terrifies me.
The thing is… I know these are not “right” thoughts, and as a result I have always been able to bring myself back from that line of thinking. I’ve always had a friend to talk to, or someone to cheer me up. Last night a few moments in Free Company chat and watching the friendly green text wash over me… erased so much of the days frustrations. On top of that the remedy that I am taking really does seem to be working for me. I’ve felt so much more balanced over the last few weeks since I started taking it. I can get “bummed” but it never really reaches the point of turning into that crippling morass of depression that just paralyzes you. I guess my problem has always been that I never really even know how to start a conversation with a medical professional about my inclinations. Here in the bible belt, we are taught to keep up a good appearance no matter how fucked up your own life is… that folks want you to smile and nod and be sociable… and I am absolutely a product of my upbringing. I could be dying inside… but I would still try my damnedest to be kind and courteous to the people around me.
Be Stronger Than Me
Basically this morning I am unpacking my soul, because I am begging you to be stronger than me. If the world is threatening to take you down with it… please go find some help. I don’t care if that is a professional that can prescribe some good drugs, or just someone you can talk out your problems with. You are never as alone as you might feel because there is always someone who cares… even if that someone is a person you have not even met yet. I had a really bad experience with a psychiatrist in college, and it has kept me from ever trying to find another one. Please be less proud than I am and go find some help. There is literally nothing in the world worse than a suicide. In 2004 my nephew committed suicide and even a decade later there are still times where it all comes back to me and I keep grasping for the answer “why”. I’ve had so many deaths in my own family, but nothing is worse than a suicide because at least when cancer takes a life you understand it. You know what lead to the chain of events that caused you to lose someone you love… suicide makes no sense.
I realize that might come as counter intuitive for m to say that, considering that my brain naturally keeps trying to end itself… but in part it is because I have lived through it… that I am steadfastly pulling myself down from the brink. I know just how truly devastating it is to anyone who ever cared about you. Every one of you out there reading this matters, and more so than that… you are important to someone. There is no life that can leave this world that does not cause a hollow void to form. So please if you are struggling reach out to someone. I’ve not met a single person who struggled with this that was not also uniquely beautiful in some way. This curse, often times comes with its own blessings. I care deeply about the pain others, even when it is really not healthy for me to try and take that sort of thing upon myself. So while you may not be able to see it yourself… there is something special about you that would be a travesty to destroy. So please… if you are struggling find someone to help you through it.
Source: Tales of the Aggronaut
Be Stronger Than Me