why’d you guys let me do this depressing episode? blue makes herself uncomfortable with the sound of her own voice while she navigates through her feelings on suicide, the permanent answer to a temporary problem.
awh shit. things are about to get real real.
and it’s probably a sensitive topic to some of you, so if you’d like to, you’re welcome to skip this episode. i ain’t yo daddy. i don’t pay yo bills. it’s a free country.
But I would like to ask you… what are you resisting?
just a warning, the way i’ve been dealing with this topic might be considered insensitive to some people. so if i come off offensive, i’m sorry. i just have a bizarre reaction to grief, and i don’t intend to make anyone feel uncomfortable.
okay now let’s throw in a few warning buzzers here. caution, caution, danger ahead. warning. wrong turn, etc etc.
so real fast. my own history with suicide. it’s a brief one.
after i turned 14, something happened in my life that caused me to be a really angsty, stubborn, hormonal teenager.
i hated my mother, i didn’t have my dad around, so i got to blame everything bad that happened on my mom.
if she said no, my reaction was to throw myself into my room, shut the door, and scrape car keys down my arms.
i wasn’t going to use a razor or anything sharp because fuck sharp things, but also because i wasn’t trying to kill myself at the time.
i wanted to punch things, i wanted to hurt something, but i only had myself, so that’s what i would do – take it out on myself.
banged my head against walls, dug my keys into my arms so deeply sometimes that during the humid Houston days, the salt from my sweat would eek into where i’d dug, and them sons of bitches hurt.
once, my mom saw my arm and went loca on me. i tried to tell her it was because of her, which only pissed her off more. she told me if i did that shit to myself again… dot dot dot… like many of mom’s verbal threats, well-meaning but ultimately empty.
i know my mom didn’t love disciplining me, but when she did, for me, it felt like the end of the world.
ultimately, i kind of grew out of it over time. i turned 20 or so, and i realized the best way to live side by side with my mother was to learn how to choose my battles, that even when she’s wrong, she’s right, as long as she’s not hurting me or anyone else, and also, best to deal with her in small doses.
my early 20s were probably some of my “happiest” years – everything i touched turned to gold. i was doing well in school, at work. i was making a lot of friends and being social. i was creating.
then i got sucked into a relationship where the only things i felt were insecurity, paranoia, anger… and sometimes, i assume, there may have been some good days.
i’m not blaming this person. i was incredibly emotionally immature. i had absolutely no concept of tact, controlling my reactions, which, in many times, were just… over the top and unnecessary.
truth be told, this person didn’t deserve the way i treated them. if it ended the way that it did, it was because we were both in bad mental spaces.
me moreso. i think.
she wasn’t the one up all night, crying hysterically in the closet, wishing she were dead because she can’t get in touch with you, phone calls are being thrown to voicemail, she’s being ignored.
but, in retrospect, my reaction was unwarranted. this was how i reacted to my mother when i was a teenager. if i didn’t hear what i wanted to hear, i lost my mind.
with this person i was with, if things didn’t go my way, it was her fault. it was never my fault.
“well, why the fuck didn’t you…” insert some responsibility i refused to acknowledge here.
when we were at our worst, i can’t tell you how many times i cried alone, blue dress wrapped around my neck, counting the number of seconds i could go without breathing, until i just started to fade to black.
in the summer of 2013, my mom called in hysterics, screeching the ugliest words i’d ever heard in my life: “robert killed himself.”
he did it in the same way i imagined i would do it to myself, except it was a bedsheet wrapped around his neck.
ugh, the agony we collectively felt for so long, so much regret, so many words left unsaid. so many “i wish i could have”s, ”
hindsight is 20/20, of course – not to be a cliche, but you torture yourself with all of these things you think would have changed the outcome. you blame yourself. you blame other people.
why did it have to be like this? why did we need to learn a lesson the hard way?
for months, i cried daily. i cried in the shower. i cried in the closet, cried in the car. i tried to keep my mind preoccupied with work, but then i would just cry some more in the warehouse by my lonesome.
i was angry with my family for a long time for failing to see storm brewing, but i was more angry with myself, almost unforgiving at one point.
i’ve processed a crazy number of emotions since this happened.
you know how there’s that single pivotal moment that defines all other life events as “before blank” and “after blank”? this was it. this one thing, it changed everything for me.
for one, i knew that i was never going to make anyone feel the way i know that robert felt most of his life.
it destroyed me thinking about how inferior he thought he was, how lonely he must have been, how unworthy of happiness he must have felt. no one deserved this less than him.
when i was in my darkest places, i literally felt like i was going insane inside my own head.
you ever play the sims and keep your character strapped to chair for days without social interaction, just so you can max out your stupid cooking skill?
and then your sim would go stir crazy a la jack from the shining, and the adorable pink bunny from an alternate version of donnie darko would suddenly appear to nurse your socially-deprived mind back to health?
that was me, minus the bunny.
that was me, nearly at the literal end of my rope. unhinged to the fullest.
so it hurt me to know that would never get the chance to tell him, “hey. it feels ugly today, but tomorrow might be better.” sometimes, that’s all i ever wanted to hear for myself.
when i hear about suicide or am faced with it either through some song or a movie, tv show, i usually have a reaction of some kind. it doesn’t come into my peripheral and roll back out unnoticed like it used to.
not too long afterwards, i saw some popular scary movie, can’t remember which because a lot of them at the time kind of blended together. but there was a tree hanging scene that made my stomach turn a bit.
i remember thinking, “gosh, i hope this isn’t the way it’s going to be forever. a good hanging scene can make a movie sometimes.”
and that’s where i am now – making tasteless jokes about hanging. not to make light of it but because of the nature of it, i have a lot of mental images that stem from that day. when i saw this movie, that was the vision that popped into my head. it’s not okay, it’s not healthy for me to attach something innocuous like a scene in a film or a line in a song to what has probably been the worst day of my life so far.
dealing with the topic of suicide in music is another facet of my relationship with suicide.
when i was a teenager, angsty as all hell, plenty of the songs i listened to romanticized the act of committing suicide, as if there was something tragically poetic about creating a permanent solution to what is sometimes a temporary problem.
and then when i hear kids as young as 6 years are hanging themselves in their closets after things like getting beat up at school or because they were simply sent to their rooms as punishment.
i wonder why someone so young can believe that the appropriate response to negative feelings is to end their life. is it because they don’t understand the consequences of something that is spoken on so much in the media, depicted in tv shows? i mean, there are ENTIRE tv shows and movies centered around suicide.
but i don’t know whose responsibility it is to shelter children from shit like this. obviously, not every person who watches a tv show is going to imitate it, but isn’t it possible that someone can be influenced? encouraged?
secondly, i no longer try to justify my reasoning for the notion that suicide is a selfish act. it’s not, not usually.
and this is what drives me crazy about certain tv shows i’ve seen lately where a character kills themselves. their reasoning is absurd and usually revolves around revenge or spite towards one or more people.
i don’t know the statistics because i’m sure the data isn’t there anyway, but i don’t get the feeling that most people commit suicide to get back at someone else for some wrongdoing. and i feel like portraying that mentality makes light of a heavy topic where these people are usually just sick and in a bad space and haven’t figured out how they are supposed to cope with it.
everyone is different. everyone has a different limit, some have thicker skin than other people. what might seem harmless to some may actually be hurtful for others.
when you’re not treating others as equals, as human beings, you’re telling them they don’t deserve to even look you in the eyes. and if you are this type of person, the “bully” type, then you clearly have no concept of empathy, of respect for your fellow human.
people can be using their voices to express positive messages, yet we sit here at computer screens, talking shit over the internet as if there’s actually going to be a winner in the end.
no one is asking you to talk someone off a ledge. no one’s saying it’s your responsibility to save everyone. but sometimes, some people are just looking for emotional support to get themselves out of their head, where the only thing they hear is how worthless they are, how no one will care if they were no longer around.
it’s not difficult to listen. and if you get the feeling that someone just needs to vent, it’s okay to be selfless for a little while and allow someone else to release all of that tension, frustration, anger, sadness, whatever it is they’re feeling.
truthfully, i have the suicide hotline programmed into my phone now. as corny as this is, when i heard that logic song off the new record, i cried like a baby the first few times. it was like i was being told exactly what i needed to hear at that time.
but before that song, i never even saw the suicide hotline as an option of expression. i called to see if i could get anything out of it. i expressed that even though i knew it wasn’t true and that i knew it would pass, i felt like i was nothing. i did actually want to die, but i wouldn’t do it myself.
i think the pure act of shifting these thoughts into words was therapeutic for me. after i got off the phone, i just sat in my car and wept for a second. but i haven’t cried since, and i haven’t felt as dark as i did that day.
i hate to think that what happened to robert was in vain. if i could do everything in my power to keep this from happening to anyone i know, i will.
and i hope that if any of you ever encounter someone who feels like they’re stuck in the blackest hole, you will do the compassionate thing.
and if you’re ever the one stuck in the hole, just know that there are resources, people, phone numbers, lots of ways to reach out. and if all else fails, you can call me. literally, if you need to.
okay. this was a super serial episode. subscribe and rate if you want to (please please pleeeeeeeease rate me on itunes).
if you have anything you wanna add, feel free to comment or shoot me a message wherever you are.
also, write this number down: 1-800-273-8255
call it, save it to your contacts if you have to. it’s the number to the national suicide hotline. you don’t necessarily have to be suicidal to call them.
but just know that, if you call and are actively threatening to harm yourself, there’s a good chance they will send police to you, so don’t use this number lightly, but know that if you recognize you need resources, they will be more than willing to help.