Being open and transparent on social media is a good 743 times easier than it is in “real life.”
I don’t have to look at people in the eye when I say that I attempted suicide twice… I don’t have to worry about their facial expressions when I tell someone I used to be an alcoholic… I don’t have to hear someone gasp in disgust when I say that I have used promiscuity and pornography to deal with the stuff I didn’t want to deal with…
There’s other stuff I don’t have to admit to in public settings which would get some kind of reaction…
I can type it all online and get a few people (hopefully more at some point) to who identify with this stuff to feel better because they aren’t alone.
There are times when I speak of my past and present struggles very plainly and candidly and I believe that is when I just don’t care or I use it a wall in order to prevent people from getting any deeper… All that information is getting deep enough, thank you very much. I’m perfectly satisfied with a connection to people that feels true but is absolutely counterfeit… (Hmm and I wonder why I’ve struggled with depth in my relationships… I digress).
But the honest-to-God 100% truth is that I am absolutely sick of myself doing that, and I am NOT AT ALL satisfied with counterfeit connections, telling half-truths, or not speaking up at all in a lot of occasions because it adds to the problems in my life… and in the lives of others. And a lot of times it CREATES the depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts that people are so desperately trying to get away from.
So I’ll continue to be transparent by telling you that when I found out this morning one of the members at church died by suicide that I was deeply affected by it in more ways than one, even though we weren’t close at all. It made me want to withdraw and go back to the place that God still helps me crawl out of sometimes because for some crazy reason I believed that going through it again would somehow bring them back so they could know that they wasn’t alone and that it was going to get better in some way, shape, or form.
We grieved as a unit at service, then of course began the speculation of why they would take their life began… which… come on now, have the decency to at least wait a while.
But it made me realize that for me (I will not assume for the person who took their life, and I KNOW for others) the perceived speculation and the fear of it is the reason why it took me over a year to ever admit to anyone openly that I struggled with anything and attempted suicide twice.
Which brings me back to my original point.
You absolutely don’t have to worry as much, if at all, about stigma online but shit like that kills in face-to-face interaction. Literally. To think stigma isn’t a trigger is to embrace the ignorance that fuels it.
So PLEASE, if you are reading this and you know or think you know someone who is battling with mood disorders and suicidal thoughts, best thing to do is shut down that little place in your heart or mind that makes assumptions and make room for people to be transparent so that they can be free. I’m willing to bet that you will save at least one or two lives doing that, and prove just how preventable suicide actually is.
For those who need help, it’s here: Get Help
You are loved, survivors. Until next time.