Suicide Awareness

I know it’s towards the end of the month and all, but honestly I’d feel like a complete douche if I didn’t make an attempt at a post about Suicide Awareness Month.

I find it ironic; September is a pretty depressing month with school starting and summer being over. I guess if you work in a tourist town, the ending of summer signifies less stress on you, but in my opinion September just sucks. It sucks. That should be a name of a band: September Sucks.

If someone uses that, I get a portion of your earnings, remember that. I will hunt you down, don’t think I wont. I’m fucking crazy.

On a more serious note, we’ve lost many people to suicide and a lot of families will forever hurt because of it. The good news is, suicide is highly preventable, it just takes patience, understanding, and the ability to recognize possible signs. There are classic signs–someone giving away valuable belongings, talking often about wanting to die even in a joking manner and especially if they’ve got a history of depression/depressive symptoms, withdrawing into isolation, or talking about being trapped in a situation without any sign of hope for the future–and then there are not so obvious signs. Those aren’t easy to spot because, well, they aren’t in your face. You’d have to be a trained professional for about thirty years to recognize them and even then you might not.

I don’t know how many of you are into “Let’s Play’s” on YouTube or whatever, but I learned of them through my boyfriend when we first started dating. He, his brother, and his sister watch a guy called Markiplier. I didn’t really get it at first, I mean it’s some dude playing a video game and making comments while he’s doing it. Couldn’t I just play the game for myself? But he was funny some times. I mean, I guess I was aware of PewDiePie, I remember when he started his channel, but I’d never watched him as obsessively as they watched this guy. Eventually I subscribed just because he entertained me sometimes, especially when I wasn’t feeling my best. I also didn’t know my subscription helps pay his salary.

I think as a subscriber I should get a portion of that money. I mean, it’s a lot of work searching the name on YouTube and having to put my aching hand on the mouse and click the button and . . . ugh, it’s so much work that I’d like a little compensation for my labor.

Anyway, I was shocked and devastated to find out last week one of the members of the group Cyndago that worked closely with Markiplier committed suicide. Last night before class I got a text from my boyfriend saying his uncle was contemplating suicide. So it’s all around us, every day, every hour, across the globe, and it hurts to think we’re losing so many to an invisible fight. I don’t think anyone has captured the depth depression plagues people’s souls better than this man on Facebook:

Alex Sunny Hur On Daniel Kyre of Cyndago: I’ve experienced suicide in my life and battle with major clinical depression personally, and have helped with many support groups over the years. Your burning question is “Why”. Why, when everything seems so great or promising in the individual’s life? Why, when they were loved? Why didn’t they feel happy, glad or grateful? Listen. Depression does not mean feeling sad all the time. 90% of the time, they feel nothing at all, a blank void where other emotions should be. The remaining 10%, the rough parts healthy people would brush off as inconsequential, are devastating to someone with depression. They have no buffers, no barriers to protect their soul from the day-to-day ills of life. It’s as if they have no immune system, so a common cold can be deadly. That’s what depression really is.

I also have brain cancer. When I die, it will be from cardiovascular failure or pulmonary failure or shock, but when people talk about it they will say the truth: I died of cancer. This young man, Daniel, did not die of suicide. Suicide by definition blames the victim. He died of depression, and don’t you forget it. There is your “why”. There is no greater truth. He had a physical disease, and though he battled it no doubt for years, he eventually succumbed, just like many cancer victims. Those who succumb are not at fault and are not to blame. They are not weak. There was no lack of love. After all, they’ve been fighting an invisible war all while smiling for you, and wanting to see you smile.

My heart goes out to all affected, most especially his friends and family who loved him. May you find strength and peace to your souls, and comfort envelop you like a warm quilt on a cold day.

He died of depression, and don’t you forget it.

A man with a terminal illness he knows will kill him, confirms that yes, those of us suffering through/with our mentality day after day are fighting for our lives just the same as those with Cancer are fighting for theirs. We’re all fighting together, there’s no need to stigmatize either fight.

It seems unless something horrible has happened, we don’t address how dangerous depression is. No one talks about it, we just shove you some drugs and say yo, you got this. Telling someone “they got this” when they’re gripping on the edge of a hundred foot cliff with their finger tips is not exactly helpful.

I won’t even get into the discussion of how much harder it is for men in western society to express their feelings against our psychotic requirements of masculinity. All I’ll say is admitting you need help is not a weakness in the eyes of reality like it is in the eyes of society, it’s a survival tactic.

I’ve spent half of my life battling depression demons . I’ve talked myself out of suicide multiple times because no one else would, and my first thoughts always go towards my parents, my boyfriend, his siblings, and even the people in my classes I never speak to. It’s a traumatizing experience to know the person you sat next to everyday just blew their brains all over the wall. I couldn’t knowingly induce that sense of guilt on anyone. In reality, it’s an issue I can’t think of one reason not to kill myself besides everyone else, and I know I need to learn to care more for myself, but right now it’s the only way I can think of keeping myself in this world. Sometimes that’s just enough.

Sometimes it’s helpful to contact crisis intervention services. If you have severe depression, and other disorders that cause this kind of thinking, and you also have social anxiety, try the chat websites and texting websites, I’ve used them more than once. If you’re not in the U.S, I’m sure google will have similar things in your country.

Learn to recognize the signs and be someone’s reason to live. Be your own reason to live. Every moment of eye contact is a moment you’ve made an impact on someone’s life and they’ve made an impact on yours. Remember, we’re all fighting this war for this odd thing we call life and your existence on this planet thus far is worth just as much as the rest of us. Not only are you loved, but you’re needed and wanted. We can’t fight this war without you.

And to all those who have lost the fight, they were not weak, they may have been the strongest out of us all. I don’t hear about even a thousandth of the people who commit suicide and yet I feel connected to them. I know their pain and I know how much courage it must have taken to lose every ounce of hope. They are our bothers and sisters and they died in the name of depression, hopelessness, active psychosis, and agony. And they will never be forgotten.

Yo, Let Me Hit That Apple Real Quick

I woke up this morning, sat at my desk, set my fingers on the proper keys, turned on my sub-woofer, blasted the playlist on my computer, and still couldn’t think of a clever opening line for this post.

I thought of talking about some fancy neuroscience articles on psychiatrists and neuro-scientists attempting to quantify consciousness and then blast them for thinking they could explain something as mystifying as consciousness in terms of man-made mathematical equations that, if you really want to get technical, still don’t explain consciousness itself. I’ll give them props for their Integrated Information Theory, but even that thought process kind of, well, falls short of explaining how we feel the information our brain integrates. They understand the biology, not the result, and that’s not very invigorating to me. If quantum particles can change their state and “teleport” information between each other than how can consciousness be as simple as integrated information? They have a lot of work to do if they think they can understand our perception of life to the degree they understand the transportation of a neurochemical. Which, judging by the psychotropic medication out today, there’s not a lot of understanding. So I guess we’ll never know.

Instead, I’d like to address a disturbing incident I witnessed last night.

I’d like to personally accuse the American public school systems, particularly in my area, of attempted murder. Yes, you read right, attempted murder.

Attempted murder of the human soul, spirit, and creativity. I don’t give a shit if I sound like some weed smoking, slap happy hippie.

Really, bro? 

The robots they’ve turned these college students into reminds me how lucky I am to have suffered Social Anxiety Disorder through elementary school. Being inside of your own head has its advantages.

As some of you know, I’m taking a Native American Literature class, one of the most tranquil courses I’ve taken thus far in my college career. What you may not know is that I’m a very spiritual person. Not religious by any means, but spiritual yes. I enjoy the connections humans share with other humans, animals, seasons, the self, and nature in general. After all, we are all made up of the same material if you want to look at this at a micro-level. If I could embrace it as much as I’d like, I probably wouldn’t have this rampant anger management issue.

I don’t know as much about my own Cherokee ancestral history as I should, but I know every time I walk into that class there’s an aura about it that serves as a pungent reminder this class will be forever life changing.

We just finished a memoir entitled “The Morning The Sun Went Down” by Darryl Babe Wilson, an extraordinary autobiography of a man of the Achumawi and Atusgew tribes from Northern California. When abrupt tragedy strikes, Darryl experiences the reality of how desecrated and disrespected his people have been by the ever expanding American government.

Wilson possesses an extraordinary talent for describing feelings and incidents in relation to nature, as most natives are, and I felt honored in having read this summary of the first part of his life. His words don’t need analysis to be appreciated. They don’t need to have some crazy symbolism and motif attached to them to make them have substance.

I can’t blame these students for not understanding that, but they better learn quickly. In this class we don’t receive grades on any of our work and when we read texts we are supposed to write the responses in terms of how the text made us feel whilst simultaneously providing an analysis without trivializing or being a kiss-ass. When we had a discussion in class last night, hand after hand raised and mouth after mouth made my ears bleed.

I say this because what most of them said was the result of a very one-track mindset, a program. And that mindset is “I’m in a Native American class, so I should talk really good about the Native Americans and bash the Christians in the book that made the Native guy feel bad.”

I’m not a Christian. Or a Catholic. I’m more inclined to read science fiction than The Bible and in all honesty I can’t stand science fiction most of the time. The problem with these students is that they contrast and compare everything. That’s a mindset we learn early in school. Analyze this side, analyze that side, state the facts, and who gives a shit how you feel about it. It’s easy for a kid to realize if you argue with the side that has the most positive points, you’ll get an easy A and you’ll sound so smart.

More like intellectually stunted.

Why not just accept what that particular group of Christians did to that particular group of natives, understand how that relates to the underlying feeling of inadequacy and self loathing in natives today, bask in how that makes you feel, and put some thought into it? Why do we have to spend time in discussion labeling all Christians as murdering freaks and why do we have to spend time labeling natives as victims? State facts without judging who is in the wrong and who is in the right because wrong and right is very subjective. Natives were a victim of settlers, yes. Does that make the settlers horrible human beings? I don’t know, I can only judge of their past actions and I don’t think actions are an entire representation of the self.

That being said, I also call this compare and contrast/over analytical mindset the kiss-ass syndrome. That’s what they were doing last night, kissing the professors ass to make it sound like they actually understand the depths of sorrow in these people’s hearts. But none of their words held any substance or feeling and one guy spoke for five minutes straight. He spoke empty words. I almost fell asleep.

There’s a time for analysis and there’s a time for simple appreciation; they can be combined, cleverly, but they’re not the same.

For this I love my anxiety disorders. These students may be amazing at socializing and vocalizing, but they have no sense of self and no sense of how to relate the outside world to their self. They can only relate to each other, and on a shockingly shallow level. I’ve spent so many years inside of my head that I’m in the head of each emotion I’ve ever felt. #Headception. It’s why I can write a paper consisting of analysis of thought and understanding of feeling on a personal and external level, and have the professor thank me twice for writing the paper I did.

You know you did well when the professor thanks you for your work.

I’ve only spoken in class maybe a hundred times from Pre-School to College, so my thoughts and answers never got shot down by teachers. I was never molded, not to the extent these students have been.

I don’t want to make it sound like these students are horrible students, I think many of them are brilliant. I just don’t think they know how brilliant, yet. I don’t think they were ever allowed to exercise that brilliance.