Friday, July 21, 2017
Things happen and I used to talk about them. I am not on the air as much as I used to be so I tend to blog more when I need an outlet. Chris Cornell and now Chester Bennington. I am not one to quote facts, but the suicide rate is the highest it has been in thirty years. I am by no means an expert and can't begin to know what was going on in the heads of Chester, Chris, or the hundreds of other people less famous that saw it as an answer. I thought long and hard about what to write and while I wanted something positive, the world isn't all sunshine and rainbows.
I have lived a colorful lifestyle. I've lived with and been around alcoholics all of my life. Had my affair with drugs, dealt with abortion, bullied and been bullied. I seen highs and lows as most people have. We all have different ideas of what those are. I have been touched by suicide on a personal level more than once. I don't know what goes through any one's head. I am not sure if anyone can, but since yesterday, I have heard so many things. People calling it selfish because of those left in the aftermath. There is some truth to that. People saying they should have seen it coming based on his music. Maybe. People who have said they should have fought a little harder and people who say that there's always someone to talk to. I am not here to tell anyone they are wrong. Here is what I can offer.
We live in a world where people are very self absorbed. Walk past anyone and there is a good chance that their head is buried in their phone. Most of us have jobs that dominate a portion of our lives. There are things we don't notice. Life hits hard and sometimes people lose the will to take those hits. It is very easy to feel lonely.
People build their lives around their careers and the person they love the most. When you lose both or they don't end up being what you wanted, it can be a tough blow to take. It can look like someone has everything, but they might not have the things they need the most. So they should talk to someone right? What happens when there isn't anyone to talk to? Not everyone wants to talk to a stranger. These days your friends are not always there.
Social media has become away to share how we feel. I used to be a much more private person before it became intertwined in our lives. In the last couple of years, I have posted my fare share of depressing content. I heard a lot of, " stop being such a downer." Employers look at socials and people don't want that. It is true, but does that mean someone buries the pain? Maybe. Not everyone can do that or can only do it for so long.
Life has away of pushing people in different directions. You might not be out of some one's mind, but you can be out of their sight. I used to see the stats of how holidays are the worst time of year for addicts and people who battle depression. It is true. When someone you've spent every holiday with someone for several years and they are not there, it is realty tough.
Time is a beast. We don't get a lot of it. When you lose a job or end a relationship, you think about time a lot. It can feel like you haven't done much with yours and you can lose your sense of purpose. It can become a very dark place. When you get to that place and your friends decide they don't want to be around because you are depressing, who do you talk to? It doesn't make your friends bad people. It can make you feel like a burden to everyone. People have lives, but it does hurt when your phone stops ringing. It also stings when you feel like you are being called out of pity. That is probably not the case, but we live in a world where perception is reality.
Suicide is a selfish act. There is truth to that, but what happens when the person who does it can't find a version of themselves that they are happy with? I don't know everything. I just pretend like I do, but I do know that the need to feel like you matter is huge. I battle that one every day. I am certainly not encouraging suicide. I think every one battles their demons differently. Some of us are able to push the dark thoughts back and keep fighting for one more day. Some of us believe that it will get better, but the longer the fight for better goes on, the less strength we have.
I had a friend once who almost took his life. Things were not going his way in high school and this was before the You Tube and Social Media. He hated his home life and had no sense of direction. He had already tried God, but that isn't the answer for everyone. He had no sense of direction or felt like there was a purpose to his life. He told me that he drove out to a lake that was near his house and stared at the water for hours. I know the lake. I have spent many a night there clearing my own head. I rarely did that in January though. He said he was looking for any reason to keep going and he heard a car drive by playing Nirvana way too loud for that time of night. He never really thought of, " Heart Shaped Box," as a suicide prevention song, but it worked. My friend remembered how much he loved music. He remembered that he had a bit of a rebellious streak and figured sticking around to piss people off would be his anchor.
I lost touch with the kid. We all go in different directions and become different people. That is life. Life is a tricky thing. Not all of us have the one we want. Sometimes no matter how much we try, we can't build the life we want. We reach out to God, but he won't always answer on the time table that we want him too. When we don't get the answers we want or realize life is passing us by, we start measuring time. Some of us can look and say we still have a lot of life left to live. Some of us just want the bell to ring and the fight to be over. I am not sure if it is selfish. It's not for me to say. Every one's pain is different.
People will preach to tell someone you love them before it is too late and it is a good message. Some people mean no harm, but will become caught up in their own lives and lose touch with people who need them the most. It doesn't make them bad people. It doesn't mean that they should shoulder blame. I think the purpose to this was simply to say that everyone has a different fight. We all have the ability to change the outcome, but we can't always do it when we'd like. There are those people we can easily understand and other that we will never understand. Just remember that everyone is different and has their own set of feelings and emotions. My advice is to not think that you fully understand what is going on with anyone because you never know.