This week has been rough. In between the smiles and the grieving through joy, there have been two celebrities that have died by suicide. This means my Facebook feed has been filled with the public outcry of “please reach out for help” and “check on them they can’t reach out” as well as the quick, re-shared blogs and blurbs of suicide helplines and text lines.
Compassion porn filling my screen like some sort of virus.
These conversations need to be had. Those numbers need to be prominent and saved in everyone’s phones but the question is, how many people who shared those numbers actually saved them in their phones so they have them quickly available if they, or someone close to them needs them.
Not many of us who struggle even save the numbers until we are in trouble. We always think, not us, never us.
And when it comes to reaching out, or reaching in, it’s a two way street.
I am responsible for my own shit. And Parker was responsible for her own shit.
Six months before she died we had a fight. She came out of the room and I happened to see her grab the box of medications, I checked on her and she told me she was getting the homeopathic anxiety medication. The next day she checked herself in to the inpatient crisis unit and admitted that she had been planning on overdosing. I found a hoard of medications while she was inpatient and I trashed them.
There were more fights between that day and the day she died. None of those triggered that response. The day she died, the medication was in the room and I heard her take them, but I had no reason to suspect it was anything more than her regular night time meds.
It was her responsibility to reach out while it was also the loving thing to do to reach in. It was not my responsibility to save her, that was only something she could do.
And now, here we are 2 years later. I’m fighting these thoughts most days. I’m living with an amazing woman who is in the exact position I was in. It’s my job to reach out and it’s the loving thing for her to do to reach in when she’s in a position to do so. If in the end I lose my battle with this damn list of labels, that’s on my shoulders, not because she didn’t see the signs, or do enough, or check on me.
My shit is my responsibility. It’s wonderful when the people around me support me as they are able, but they have their own shit, and that is their responsibility and unless I speak up, they don’t know what I need.
Unless I dig my way out of my black hole long enough to hold a hand up, they can’t reach down and grab it.
Now, go save the crisis numbers in your phone, you don’t know when you or someone close to you will need them.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number
Crisis Text Line