Over the last few weeks I have been writing, revising and practicing my speech for the Out of the Darkness walk on Oahu. (call me shameless, the OOTD link will take you to my donation page)
A portion of it speaks of how I felt I spent years wearing a mask, putting on a brave face, if you will. I never felt I alone in that, I think most people do wear a mask some aspect of their lives. It can be a way to survive or deal with a circumstance that we find unfavorable.
In the years before that night, one of my most difficult tasks was putting on a brave face, but I felt I had to. My sister had bravely fought throughout her ordeal with esophageal cancer, and my husband had deployed five times to a combat zone. I was too stubborn to show weakness. They say hindsight is 20/20 and if I knew then what I know now, I would have spoken up and been honest about how depressed and dark I was feeling.
After hearing about the death of Robin Williams on Monday, people took to the social media sites with their personal opinion, and then some. I fully believe we are entitled to our opinions, it is what allows us to be individuals. I read so many comments, many positive, but some negative, but I would just scroll through what I was reading, until I continued to see the word SELFISH! I was outraged. I am not one to create a scene in person or on Facebook, but this one I couldn’t keep quiet on. That post follows:
As as attempt survivor, hearing words like selfish is cruel and hurtful. Period. You don’t know what anyone goes through…
I help with the AFSP and Out of the Darkness walks and raise money, awareness and end the social stigma… If your words will be cruel and hurtful, DO NOT COMMENT! If you do say anything rude about me, choices I made,etc you will be promptly deleted and blocked. I don’t care if you’re a friend or family member.by KevinCarusoSuicide is a desperate act by someone who is in intense pain and wants their pain to stop. That is a HUMAN response to extreme pain, not a selfish one. And over 90 percent of the people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death, so they are not thinking clearly.Saying that a person who had severe clinical depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or a similar illness was engaging in an act of selfishness when they died by suicide – even though their thought process, mood, and judgment were greatly affected by their mental illness – is not only inaccurate, but downright cruel, to both the suicide angel and the suicide survivors.
And those who use the word “selfish” are merely helping perpetuate the STIGMA associated with suicide.
A suicidal action that manifests from intense, excruciating, unbearable pain associated with a serious mental illness has nothing to do with selfishness. Period.
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.John Keating, akaRobin WilliamsDead Poets Society 1989