I refuse to gloss over this topic with an alliterative title.
It’s been a difficult week. Two celebrities were found dead this week and both have been reported by the media as suicides. I had no emotional connection to Kate Spade but the outpouring of messages on social media brought many lovely tributes and reminders to seek help – listings of suicide hotlines, etc. Those messages are helpful, but it seems to me that they are the bit of hope that people hold onto when it’s too late for someone else.
I saw a post (paraphrased) that if someone like Kate Spade, with all outside signs of success and resources to seek help commits suicide then what hope is there for those of us who are struggling and living barely within our means? Medications are expensive and therapy even moreso. There are many private insurance plans that don’t even cover mental healthcare. Indigent and sliding scale programs have waiting lists that range from months to more than a year (I’ve been on both over the years).
The news of Anthony Bourdain hit me very hard. The topic was already on my mind; and I’m more familiar with Bourdain than I was with Spade. I’ve watched his shows and read his books. The news that his daughter was the same age as my son hit me the hardest. I sat in my car over my lunch break and sobbed – all I could think about that little girl.
Mental health and addiction issues are all around me. I’ve written about my personal story here previously. The struggles of my loved ones aren’t for me to speak about in depth but I live with the constant anxiety that I will someday get that call that changes your entire world in an instant.
So what can you do for someone who is struggling?
Be the voice outside of someone’s head. Send the text or make the call. Leave the message and do it again. Be the voice that is pulling or guiding them back to life. Be the voice of support; the voice of hope. Be the voice to speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves; for those who lost that battle. Be the voice for those who are left behind.
These words are my voice, sent out into the world. Can you hear me?