The Thing About Bridges II

Interestingly enough the comment thread about the jumper disappeared last night. I don’t know if the OP actually decided to delete it, or if it is just a normal FB glitch. As much as I like Facebook, it is a royal pain in the ass most of the time. Anyhow, the various comments below the post ” Thanks to the bridge jumper for ruining my dinner”, ranged  from – did he jump yet?, to oohh poor soul. Nice commentary on how our society views suicide. Some recoil in horror, others leap to judgement, others look away. No two people respond the same. It is a rough topic, no doubt about that. I think there is such a strong stigma attached to suicide, as strong as the stigma attached to mental illness as a whole. I do wish it were more out in the open for discussion and in doing so, provide information to the masses who know nothing about it.

For those who judge mental illness and suicidality, I can only wish that they knew more about the people they are casting judgement upon. I’m not so much talking about religious judgement. I’m talking about societal beliefs that suicide is taking the easy way out. That it is selfish, and that it is done with the intent to harm those close to the suicide. The old, “pick yourself up by your bootstraps”, keep calm and carry on type nonsense. To anyone that has ever been depressed and suicidal, they understand this is so far from helpful, it isn’t even funny. To me, being that depressed means struggling to find the energy to breath. To find the energy to take a shower, or even eat. There is no pulling oneself up by the boot straps, and there sure as hell isn’t any keeping calm and carrying on. I wish it were that easy. But that is what it is for-  those who stand in judgement, to say things like that IS easy. They have not been there, have not experienced it. Sadly, some of the most adamant individuals are relatives of someone with mental illness. It is all that more cruel, when coming from someone who first hand sees the struggle. I think by saying things in judgement, it allows the person to gain distance. It closes off the doors to communication. It gets them “safe”. They don’t have to hear about it, or think about it, and most of all they don’t have to talk about it.

Sadly. that is what is needed most. Talking about suicide and mental illness. Talking about pain and suffering. This is the only way things can get better, both for the suicidal and for the uneducated. When we are able to talk about our illness, and our behaviors, and our past, we are able to see the future. The future where we are understood. The future where we are embraced for our differences. Loved for who we are.

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