I was chatting with my husband this morning over iced coffee.
I brought up Mental Health Awareness Month, and we were discussing what I’m trying to accomplish while listening to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.
I brought up Kurt Cobain’s voice, how lovely and natural it is, how great he sounds even with just an acoustic guitar.
I’m sad that he’s gone. So talented. He didn’t deserve to suffer the way he did.
My voice started to exhibit irritation, as I explained to my husband my frustration with suicide.
People like my mother think that people that commit suicide are “selfish”.
This is after a suicide attempt of her own more than 20 years ago and seeing me suffer at during the times of my own suicide attempts.
My opinion is that the people around the person that committed suicide need to take responsibility of their roles in that person’s life too.
I have met many survivors of suicide, and I understand their eternal grief and pain. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child or spouse like that.
However, #MHAM is about informing and educating, and I believe that those that are involved in the lives of people with mental illnesses, addictions, and behavioral issues need to examine what they are doing to help.
For instance, if it weren’t for some of my family members during times of my intense mania and depression, things would have ended up a lot worse for me. I could have killed myself if I had my choice not to go to the hospital.
I could have really destroyed my life if I didn’t get assistance with my meds during a severe mania.
But in those moments, I didn’t have the capacity to be cognizant of my decisions and how they would impact me in the future.
I was psychotic.
I would tell my family I was fine. Then, hours later, I couldn’t stop crying, insisting that I shouldn’t go to the hospital. All I could do is sleep. I felt like ending my life.
Would it have been good if I didn’t have someone telling me that enough is enough?
And maybe that’s why people like Kurt Cobain wrote a suicide note and killed himself with a shotgun.
Where was everyone?
I’m not saying that it’s Courtney’s fault, or anyone’s fault for that matter.
And I do recognize how much suicide impacts a family. The person that committed suicide is gone now, with the family picking up the pieces. I get that. Believe me.
But what I’m saying is that we need to inform people about the seriousness of the symptoms that come before a suicide attempt in order to prevent them from ending their lives.
Without Mental Health Awareness Month, and without those of us that have experienced mental illness, disorders, or addictions, the people that aren’t educated about these issues will not know what to do when someone is in trouble.
We need to take responsibility for this issue because no one else is going to.
Not only big important celebrities die of suicide.
In fact, in 2010, over 38,000 people died in the United States from self inflicted injuries.
Over 700,000 were admitted to the emergency room and survived.
We’ll get into the fact that over 50% of suicides in the US happen by firearms in a later posting.
I just want people in the lives of the mentally ill to know that they have a big impact on what happens in that person’s life.
Whether you show them that you care, or do what is right and get them help when they can’t get it for themselves, you can literally save them from the unthinkable.
I know it’s not anyone’s fault. But we need to go forward with more determination to end the suffering and silence.
In memory of all that have lost their lives or have lost a loved one to the agony of suicide.
Make a difference during #MHAM.