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Beauty in Darkness

by Stephanie Keesee 5 years ago in humanity
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Suicide is a much discussed topic, but have you considered this?

So today I am sitting here listening to Linkin Park. Noticing the lyrics and taking them in. I did not realize how much of the music was about addiction and crushing depression. The lead singer just hung himself.

My first thought when I heard was that I was sorrowful for having lost another soldier in the battle against depression. Someone who inspired millions. Someone who had access to everything they needed to fight depression.

It woke me up. There have also been several suicides locally and for some reason hanging seems to be the choice of method recently. I do not understand why. Seems like it would be a terrible death.

I hope none of them suffered.

I have been thinking about giving up this week. As my life continues to fall apart, I have been missing the pieces falling into place. It is easy to over look those when you are in pain.

I was taught that when someone commits suicide, it is more about ending the pain than it is death. If the person had a choice, they would live without the crushing weight of mental illness or drug addiction. However, for them, it is not an option.

No amount of positive thinking, training, counseling or medication will remove the pain someone carries around inside them. Especially victims of abuse who deal with PTSD and other mental illnesses triggered by the painful experience of another human taking from you what is yours.

You have to just live with it. Like a physical illness, we must treat the symptoms because the cause it not treatable. Treating the cause is only possible with prevention and interference from outside forces to stop the abuse. The damage has been done, the wounds are there, and at best, they will turn into hideous scars.

I am so tired of people who do not suffer genuinely from assault and abuse telling people with depression, self-harm, and suicidal tendencies to hang in there, be positive, forgive the aggressor, just keep moving forward, just stay sober, go to work, pursue education and focus on you/your family.

We want to. We try. Yet there is this demon inside our own mind that we live with which is the shadow from the monster that invaded us.

It is like telling a hiker to just calm down and stay moving when they have the weight of another full grown human on their back and they are out of water. You would not tell them that, would you? You would tell them to stop, regroup, and care for themselves. Someone who is (by no fault of their own) stuck in the middle of the desert as their organs shut down from dehydration would not be told to toughen up, would they? They would be gently nursed back to health.

The starving children in third world countries are a great example. In Ethiopia there are specific guidelines on providing food and water. You see their bodies have been shutting down and starving so long that if you give them proper nutrients, their body will go into shock and shut down. There is a very specific gentle process they must undergo before they can begin to eat, hydrate, and nourish themselves.

Suicide is like this. Suicide is a person whose mind has been so wrecked by various situations. Genetics, physical illness resulting in a lack of chemical production, trauma, inherited addictive traits, exposure to drugs and alcohol, and poverty. The human mind is even more fragile than our bodies, and now that we do not have as many physical obstacles in developed countries, we are seeing more disease of the mind. Trying to expose someone who is suicidal, self-harming, or with mental illness to intensely healthy activities or what we consider healthy is like introducing the starving child in Ethiopia to a full-course meal and expecting them to survive and their body to adjust when it has no frame of reference of knowledge on how to do so.

The mental health system needs to change. Our society needs to change. Our perception of “normal” and “healthy” needs to change. Of course, I could postulate why and how this process is to be accomplished. However, I won’t because there is no simple answer. There is no cure at all. The epidemic of mental illness and suicide is something we have created as a society by shaming victims and sweeping our mentally ill under the rug. America is like a stressed out house wife fearfully shoving the mess into the closet and under the beds so that her husband won’t come home and criticize her. It is time we begin to have open discussions and address the fact that our country is sick. Our country is a body of people and the people are sick and dying in the worst ways possible.

In order to fix this, we must start at the root, dig it out gently, and nourish the body slowly until its organs can begin to take nutrients in.


About the author

Stephanie Keesee

I write poetry, short stories in the genres of children's fiction, adult sci-fi/fantasy and horror. On occasion I may write cultural commentaries, inspirational articles, how to articles and fashion related articles.

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