It’s been a long time since I’ve commented on suicide on social media when suicide is in the news. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m very conscious of any message I put out there and I’m not sure how to approach it because I have conflicting thoughts and feelings.
Many people share things like the suicide hotline and encourage others to reach out if they need help. Depression (at least in my experience) doesn’t make me want to reach out to anyone, even if I know I have support. And I don’t think a blanket broadcast to your whole network saying “you can reach out to me” is impactful with something so personal. I think some of the intentions are good, and also realize that I am just one person with one set of beliefs. Maybe someone would reach out or actually call the hotline.
Others are saying that it’s on us to reach out if we see someone struggling or notice they’ve disappeared or any other signs. I agree that we should reach out if we see anything, but I think the message of “it’s up to us to reach out” is dangerous because it could be interpreted as us being responsible for others’ lives and choices. Maybe we all are to some degree. But as a survivor who’s had to work through all kinds of guilt and unhealthy grieving, it hits me wrong.
I’ve thought about sharing this blog, but I don’t want it to be like I’m making it about me. I’ve wanted to be part of the conversation but it’s either been too painful or I don’t know/am worried about what to say. Even though I take issue with some of the things people post, I am glad that people are talking more about mental health. I hope the more we as a society talk about it, the less stigma there will be around mental illness and getting help for it.
I think ultimately I haven’t said anything because I’m just not ready. So for now, I’ll continue to just share my thoughts here and in-person with my close friends. I love and miss you.