Suicide Ends a Life & Destroys a Legacy

Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide and high, probably controversial, opinions in this post *due to a death by suicide*


I was reading over a blog post I found through the mental health hashtag going on and now I’m just livid. I can’t freakin help it. I’m pissed off. I am mad, I am at a loss. It just cuts too deeply.

One of the founders (I would do more research but don’t have the time at the moment) of the Project Semicolon which is about suicide prevention and mental health awareness, essentially, died by suicide themselves a couple months ago.

 

I just, I don’t understand.

Did they reach out for help? Did they NOT? How can you possibly, knowingly, promote suicide PREVENTION and then die by the same thing?

The two just don’t work together. They negate each other. It makes no sense to me!

Like, what the fuck were you thinking? You weren’t. You fucking died. Another suicide on the listed statistics of suicides. When is this going to stop? How many people have to die before shit changes around here? Around ANY PLACE?

I just… feel too many things. I know to be compassionate and kind on the one hand. They went through some tragic trauma and utter bullshit in their lifetime… But do I think that gives them a reason, a sound reason, to have killed themselves?

What about the people left that you could have helped? What about the people you left behind? You continued the chain of suicide. You were supposed to break it! Not finish it off by ending yourself.

You can’t have both things. I cling to this. Because if you could, I’d probably be out the door myself. But I believe you can’t do both.

I can’t promote suicide prevention AND die by suicide myself. Because obviously I didn’t get help. And how can I promote OTHER PEOPLE getting help when I don’t myself?

My responsibility is MYSELF FIRST-NO MATTER WHAT, NO MATTER WHO. If I need help, I do my coping strategies. Or I do nothing, either way, I am not following through on my thoughts, and that inevitably keeps me safe.

Yes, I make mistakes too. It sucks to think this may have been one of theirs. But someday you’re going to get it “right”. Someday if you keep playing with death, death will win. We’re all going to die anyway, why hasten the process?

Anybody can die by suicide. ANYBODY. It takes more strength to choose to live.

Harm reduction is a thing though too.

And I believe it’s a choice. It’s always a choice. It’s a hard choice, to live, to die, but it’s a choice. And I know at least for myself, that I control my actions. I can take responsibility and accountability for when I do or do not act in line with my values.

Suicide isn’t brave. Suicide isn’t weakness. Suicide is a terribly tragic choice made when a person shouldn’t have made such a life-threatening decision. Suicide is when our demons outweigh our coping strategies.

Suicide is pain. For everyone involved. I ache for this person, even though I didn’t know them. I feel betrayed by their actions. I thought we were on the same team. I guess I was wrong.

Suicide ends a life and destroys a legacy.

I don’t believe you can have both. I have to believe that you can’t have both. I fear what backlash this may create–not for me, but for this person. If any. I would imagine there’d be backlash though. Others just…giving in. Letting go. Saying goodbye.

It still makes me mad though. Why didn’t you get help? I know why but still, why? It didn’t have to end like this. You needed HELP. Someone could have absolutely provided that. Suicide is often preventable. You wait a DAY an HOUR a week a month a SECOND before you follow through. You’re supposed to SUCK AT IT. So that you freakin live. Because living matters. Because inspiring other people to LIVE matters. Because you’re not supposed to have both. You can’t.

This reminds me of an article I once found where a gay therapist wrote a book about surviving through being gay and the backlash that comes from that, and he died by suicide, before his book could come out. And people who were treated by him had to come to the belief that maybe he couldn’t live anymore, maybe his fight had ended, and that it didn’t erase what help he had provided for them before.

I used to believe in that.

I don’t think I do anymore.

This reminds me of the social worker who first spoke to me in my last hospitalization. She told me about all sorts of people and how they died too, by suicide and the methods that they used.

She only remembered them by the way in which they died. Maybe she knew more, but confidentiality and all that jazz prevented more from being said…

But it hit me, you know. Because their legacy and who they WERE didn’t matter. All that there was to them was their death. Their legacy was erased.

You just can’t have both.

“Remember the legacy” is what keeps me going. Because I can’t have both. I don’t WANT both. I can’t be an advocate and promote wellness while also acting against my wellness. Not to the extreme of suicide. Not anymore.

Because it doesn’t matter what you were or what you did, it’s how you died. And that’s how people remember you.

I’m left with a conflicting feeling. To relate, and to be mad. To wonder how and to never know why. To be repulsed and to be in disbelief. To be confused and out of time.

 

If things change, which they do-they always do, I’ll make an update tomorrow. Now, I have to go to the OCD support group tonight.

Take care, my friends.

If YOU need help, please, please reach out for it. It’s always there. And I’m here, too.

❤ ❤

6. The Origins of Badassery – #Blog4MH

If you’ve recently come across my blog, you may notice the little slogan that I parade around shamelessly: That of badassery.

My new about the blog says “Journey to Survivor Badassery”. I talk often about how I am a survivor radiating badassery. Of how badass I am, that I’m a badass motherfucker (it’s part of my identity *hair flip*) and everything anything related to badassery. I’m EVEN a badass unicorn. Can’t get any more badass than that (though I’ll try!)

But you may wonder, where did this origin of badassery take place?

Well, now I will finally tell you all.

So this ship of badassery really set sail when my lovely blogger friend Imani Summer saw my badassery sign (it’s practically a plaque, but really it’s a card) tacked up on my framed billboard overlooking my bookcase (of badassery) in a vlog I shared with her.

Here it is for ALL to see:

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And really, where did THAT originate from?

Well, let me tell you, child. (and I mean that in a wise old lady fashion ;))

Back in October 2015 I stayed for five weeks at the OCD Institute in McLean Belmont. I live in the state, so it’s not so bad, but it’s one of three national OCD places in the USA, and it’s kinda a big deal. People from around the WORLD go to get treated at McLean. It’s top shit. I still go there each month for the OCD support group they have. Which is something I highly recommend to people, going to support groups can be very, very helpful. I started going there when I was at my stay.

Any who, each day much like in psych units anyway (it was an UNlocked unit as well) we had to come up with our goals for the day. They couldn’t be anything particularly simplistic like ‘staying positive’ (I fucking did it anyway) but something doable and constructive.

The first full day I was at the OCD-I my goal was literally:

“To tell the OCD to F* off”

That is the BADASSERY I brought to the table. It was awesome.

During my stay there I really felt I could be my genuine, authentic self. It’s where I first made little positive messages, something I would go on to do the entire year of 2016. (Well, except January).

Now comes the real bread winner. One day I said as my goal:

“Today I’m going to radiate badassery”

Or something along those lines. I remember one of the workers looked with confusion, not understanding what a badass meant, but it got some laughs and some metaphorical pats on the back for me. It was a great moment.

I also began painting while I was there, and before I left I featured the work I had created in a little art show on the unit (totally got the idea from someone else). It was really cool. And before I left, everyone would get a card that people could sign, and I got mine, and one of my friends put that quote on there.

In reference a tad to a painting I had made that said “Go forth and frolic”.

And that peeps, is the story of how I radiate badassery. I’m working still on being the survivor part, but I think I’ll nail it one day. 🙂

Thanks so much for reading!!

Oh wait, one other thing! I also made this drawing about my badassery:

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5. Recovery A – Z Challenge. B is for Bravery – #blog4mh

A is for Advocacy

B is for Bravery. To be brave is synonymous with courage, but I already have a word for ‘C’ to be used tomorrow. 🙂

Bravery goes into advocacy, in my opinion. To be brave is to tell your story, especially in our societies today where it does take bravery to talk about the things that no one else wants to talk about. Bravery is to go against the flow of the remaining sardines. If they go right, you go left. If they go down, you go up. You see a better day ahead of you, or at least you hope for it and you brave the weather until then. You brave the storm that ricochets off from your brain walls and you face the day once more.

You could sit back. Sometimes you have. But to fight and fight again, to face the day, to face the thoughts inside your head–I think that’s brave. Not everybody can do that, not everybody wants to. And, sometimes you may not want to be that special person either. That’s okay. Because often you’re still here tomorrow, still braving another storm, and that’s what really matters.

To be brave is to stand up against the tides. To hold fear and uncertainty somewhere within your bosom, and to stand up despite it.

To get up in the morning is brave AND it’s an accomplishment. There are lots of small victories to be found in our lives, sometimes it just takes the right amount of sunlight peeking through the leaves and the right amount of sparkle in our eyes to see them.

I am brave. I am a warrior. I am a survivor radiating badassery (the origins of this post will be out soon).

I share my story to end the stigma. I share my story to help others. I share my story because sharing my voice matters and I know it genuinely can help and aid in others stories, and that is enough for me.

Sharing my story helps me phenomenally–and I cannot wait until I can be back in the swings of recovery where the days are brighter and the color of the world is more pronounced, and where I can be reassured that my advice and my sharing of my story is more helpful because I’m in a more certain place than the difficulties I am still subject to now (which is not to say there are no difficulties while I’m in my Recovery Raquel mode, I just am aware of my struggles and don’t become them).

Until then, I need to be brave. For me. For myself. For those around me. For you. For the world.

I hope you, too, will join me in being brave, whether that’s today or tomorrow or five months from now. You are braver than you realize.

May you always be. ❤

4. Holding On to So Much More than I can Carry – Song A Day in May (SADIM) – Day #2 – #blog4mh

First post in this series: SADIM Day 1

Tagging credit to my friend mlbradford

LE RULES:

  1. Post a song a day for the month of May either related to or about mental health or something that YOU find helps YOUR mental health.
  2. It can be positive, uplifting music (you get bonus points for this) or music that’s somber and low if that’s what helps YOU.
  3. Post the name of the song and a video to it
  4. Post lyrics that stick out to you and relate them in whatever way you are comfortable with (i.e. this song helped me in my story…I just loved the way…etc)
  5. Nominate whomever you think would enjoy this challenge
  6. End this modified challenge with a emoticon of your choice.

Let us begin Day #2!


Song Choice:

Heavy by Linkin Park ft. Kiiara

Video:

Chosen Lyrics:

I don’t like my mind right now, stacking up problems that are so unnecessary. Wish that I could slow things down, I want to let go but there’s comfort in the panic.

And I drive myself crazy, thinking everything’s about me. Yeah, I drive myself crazy ’cause I can’t escape the gravity.

I‘m holding on, why is everything so heavy? Holding on to so much more than I can carry. I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down, if I just let go I’d be set free.

Holding on, why is everything so heavy?….

It’s not like I made the choice to let my mind stay so fucking messy.

What they mean to me:

So, I heard this song on the radio and I instantly fell in love with it. I really related to the lyrics, the ones I’ve made bold here, and I even shared this song with Elicia, thinking she would like it (based on what it’s about).

I have a hard time letting go of things-part of OCD I imagine-so I really grapple and admire the concept of letting go. I feel that the part about holding on also relates to how I personally hold on in each moment, clinging to life when my brain tells me to do the opposite. Like trying to hold on through the bad times, waiting for them to pass (yet also knowing when to be proactive about the situation).

I also think it’s because I have a hard time letting go of life that I’m still around today. So it’s a blessing and a curse. :3

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  1. Numb by Linkin Park

Years ago, when I first heard this song I absolutely loved it, but didn’t remember who it was by or what it was called. I legit went like three or four years without hearing it again until I heard it on the radio and looked it up. Then it was like at long last!!

2. Roads Untraveled by Linkin Park

I totes have this song in my CL;MA (Choose Life; Make Action) playlist. So it deserves a feature here, too! 🙂

Okay, I think I’ve overstayed my welcome within this post, so here’s to the next round of posts!! 🙂

Emoticon choice:

🐦🐦🐦 = a bird for flying free!

Thank you for reading!!