I’m Just Not Impressed

Am I supposed to be?

Archive for the ‘Processing’ Category

While Robin Williams has us all talking about suicide…

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So, uh. Yeah. I haven’t really been by here much lately, but I’m looking for a place to put some feelings and this seems like a decent outlet. I’ve meant to note for a while that I’m not blogging at Grounded Parents, a Skepchick sister site for skeptical, non-believer parenting discussion. So that’s where you can mostly find me.

GP is actually relevant to this discussion, to some degree, since that’s where I “came out” as being a suicidal child.

What I don’t mention in that post is that I still have bouts of what I guess is situational, usually manageable depression, which sometimes manifests itself as suicidal ideation. I haven’t had more than fleeting thoughts in decades, but it’s still there, fluttering around the edges on rare occasions. And so I’m having some complicated feelings about Robin Williams’ suicide today. Not so much about him specifically – I am saddened by his death and the loss of a great talent, to be sure, but I’m a little weird, I guess in that I don’t tend to react strongly to the death of people I don’t know personally, and sometimes not even then – but because of the developing narrative about what it means to be depressed and to experience suicidality and to literally choose for oneself whether to live or die.

There have been moments in my life where I have stood on that precipice and made a different choice. Part of what has kept me alive was the knowledge of what chosing to opt out of living and leave my family would do to them, particularly my children. So I’m actually sort of torn on the idea that suicide is not selfish is the wrong message, because internalizing a form of that has actually helped me. But that’s me.  No one gets to tell another person how to process their pain, which is part of why it was so hard for me to wrap up my GP post above. What motivates one person doesn’t motivate another and I don’t know what the answers are, except that pithy cheer up buttercup isn’t one of them, nor is piling onto people who are already suffering by telling them that they are selfish or weak or pathetic – all things that I’ve seen thrown at folks who are depressed.

My heart aches for Mr. Williams’ family and friends and for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. And my heart aches just as much for the individuals who are suffering enough to need to end it.

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Written by emandink

August 12, 2014 at 11:54 am