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Suicide

This is an extremely tough topic for me. Do you know how long this "draft" has been sitting here? Ages. It's been like, maybe, 7 years?

First off, we've all thought about it when we hit what we deem rock bottom. If you have never, you're really #soblessed and I am so happy for you. But if you have, you'd know that the topic challenges the best writer, singer, composer, artist when they're trying to depict it. If they were honest about it.
Because I know for a fact that at one point in our lives, we have been suicidal or have known someone struggling with these thoughts. One in five people struggle with mental health issues - The Mighty
I wanted to explain the feeling again when I heard of Anthony Bourdain's suicide but I never got around to it because much of me was still grappling with the why. The word "tragedy" has never been a bigger understatement. His and Kate Spade's deaths catapulted the world head-first into a vortex that we all knew existed but didn't really want to confront until...you know...later.
The majority of the suicide deaths not linked to mental health problems involved midlife white males - The Vox
What's more troubling was the fact that "suicide" is not always linked to mental health. One doesn't have to be "crazy" to consider the option. It can be multiple causes and its collective, slow culmination.

Feelings of loneliness and helplessness are also major causes, therefore, to solely link suicide to "depression", "anxiety" and "mental instability" is erroneous. It's a public health problem. In fact, it's a human mix-muddle.
In 1999, then-Surgeon General David Satcher issued a report on the state of mental health in the country and called suicide “a significant public health problem.” The latest data at that time showed about 30,000 suicides a year - Washington Post
Of course, "shooting an expensive breeze" with a shrink would help, so would swallowing a palmful of pills. We should have a look at the bigger picture, which is to build more inclusive, positive communities. The reason I can say this is because being a single parent for many years of my life, I KNOW the isolation have negative and possibly deadly effects. I was often saved from those horrid thoughts by nonsensical friends and their silly outlooks of life.
The most important takeaway, mental health professionals say, is that suicide is an issue not only for the mentally ill but for anyone struggling with serious lifestyle problems.


A friend committed the act many years ago, slightly more than 10 years ago, and one of the things that really popped my eyeballs out of their sockets was his relative's account of how "He couldn't enjoy anything anymore. Not a massage, not a good book, not a bottle of wine, not sex. Nothing". Considering the fact that he was well-to-do, it was even more baffling.

What I've soaked in from whatever studies so far tells me that a large percentage of the people who commit the act don't want to die. Not in that way. But they feel backed into a corner, servile to coping mechanisms that were not working, and there was a need to escape to make things better, not just for themselves, but for those around them too.

I felt my heart break when anonymity-emboldened keyboard warriors accused people like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade of being selfish. They've spent their lives trying to lighten people's lives up. And they're definitely not looking for attention because they already have it and suicide means not being around anymore to enjoy the said attention. They have a natural flair for fun and a predilection for adventures - culinary or fashion so, all arguments are off.

We cannot save the world but what we can do is to look at each other as humans and realize that small connections make a big difference.

My suggestion is to pump action into the following:-
  • stop making it a taboo topic - TALK
  • form bigger community
  • savor every moment and be there for your family, blood-related or otherwise
  • promote inclusiveness
  • spread compassion
  • be nonjudgmental
  • stop stereotyping
  • stop bullying
  • be human, for f sake and let's be nicer to each other. I know there are assholes out there, so, be both aware and self-aware of who to connect with. 
Further read from National Alliance of Mental Illnesses (NAMI): Mental Health by the Numbers

I'll also leave you guys with this short list of reads that I've collected over the months/years/I don't even remember. You've probably read one or two of them, but some of them are worth remembering.

Charles Deluvio @charlesdeluvio - Dark Hallway at Unsplash


Have a pleasant day ahead and look out for your friends/family,
XOXO,
Marsha

Update:
For some reason, The Star newspaper started highlighting a few other articles related to mental health.

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