Have you ever had an urge? An urge for chocolate, for cigarettes, for that one sip of alcohol? Have you ever lived with that urge until it began to consume your mental thoughts? You become in such need of that rich, sweet, taste of chocolate that nothing, I mean literally nothing will do but to find that exact taste.
Now multiply it by thousands. Imagine being a strung out heroin addict, who will literally kill for that next fix. Imagine being so obsessed with one simple thought that all rational thought, everything you thought you knew about yourself and those that you love is pushed so far into the darkness that they can not be seen, and they can not be felt.
This weekend another celebrity died. Wouldn’t be big news for the world, and most will chalk it up to the price of fame. We may have a moments regret for the children she left behind, but society as a whole will condemn her and then destroy her. Read the articles, read the op-eds. It has already started.
She killed herself. She took her life and in the process destroyed her children. She had money, she had fame, she had anything she wanted. She took the cowards way out, she took the easy way out. She succumb to her own selfishness, she fell to her own ego. The talk will continue. But those of us who have heard the demons whispering, taunting, know differently.
We know that the darkness has weight. We know that love can be overshadowed, drown by the very prospect of freedom. We know that the smiles our children gift us can be forgotten. We know the pride, the ego, the very thing that people condemn is the very thing that we have lost. When the demons rise, the very foundation we have built to survive, so easily crumbles.
I can remember a moment in my life when the red, beautiful blood flew from my wrists. I can remember those voices telling me to go a little deeper, to feel a little more pain. I remember the seductive exquisiteness of my breath leaving my body. My loving parents, were not there. The voices I thought I could count on to bring me back from the brink were absolutely silent. Not echoing, not just a mere whisper, but so quiet that the blackness was oppressive.
There were no children to remind me what God has given me, and there was no husband to mourn my passing. There was simply a voice. And not a voice that spoke, but a voice that moved my hands for me. A voice that controlled the steering wheel as I was driving down that highway, and a voice that was teaching me how fragile I truly am.
There are some that condemn the women who took her life. I happen to understand exactly how that could have been. I understand that the darkness does not care about your wealth, your children, your spirit or your God. I understand the feeling of loneliness in a room full of people, and I understand the desperation that would make a person fall on her knees in defeat.
But there is one other aspect that has to be pointed out. There are those that knew this woman was suicidal. They knew this woman was troubled, was a potential loss. And yet, once again we fell back on the old adage, that each person must fight their own demons. Each person must discover their own.
It makes me so incredibly sad that we have created a system in this country that literally has no need to understand darkness. We have therapists who don’t know what a demon sounds like; and we have hospitals that are so poor as to be forced to watch the wretched, the unsalable walk out their doors. We have a system in this country, based solely on the society that we have perpetuated, that sees mental health as a disease like any other. We have doctors prescribing medicine without the worry of the consequences, and we have beds that are either so full that nurses must turn away patients, or hospitals with so many empty beds because they are only there to cater to those that can pay for their luxury.
We knowingly allow those who fall into incredible depression walk away because we as a society can neither tolerate or understand the diseases we condemn. God will help, all she needs to do is think happy thoughts, all she needs is that pill she obviously isn’t taking. We throw those who can not cope with the voices out on the street, to be shot and abused by same society that screams at the top of their lungs about the dirty streets. We, as a society have forgotten that there are things that we can not understand, that we can not relate to, and there are things we will never feel; yet, they are there. There is darkness, yet no one can remember there is achingly beautiful light.
I do not accept that those with mental diseases are waste. I do not except that those with mental diseases will kill themselves anyway. And I will never accept that medicine is the be all, end all cure. I have no advice on how one goes about surviving these demons, this darkness. I don’t know if I have ever survived it. While I will be glad to give free advice to those who are watching it happen to someone they love, the truth is I will be giving advice to someone who will never understand and may never be able to accept.
The greatest crime that humans perpetuate is our absolute disdain for one another. For those who are different, for those who don’t conform, and for those who can not step out into the sun. May God forgive us all for letting one more of his children disappear.