Surprise Saturday: The Hard Things to Say

Hello Underdogs,

I hope that you are having a wonderful Saturday. I want to start off this blog post with a very clear disclaimer. Since there has been so much suicide in the news lately, I feel this is something that needs to be addressed. It is a very difficult thing, and if you are sensitive to this subject at all, then please stop reading. I know this isn’t like my normal posts, but there are many people hurting and confused. This subject is everywhere, and it should not be ignored. My normal blogs will return on Sunday, but today we are going to talk about this. Again, if you are not comfortable, then do not read or, nor leave rude comments. I am going to address this was as much grace as possible.

The world was rocked once again when Chester Bennington took his own life yesterday.  This was just a very short time after singer Chris Cornell also ended his own life. Chester and Chris were friends and worked with one another. Chester choose to end his life on Chris’ birthday. Both of these men were very talented and had a thriving career. Both were middle aged, were married, and had children who they left behind. This was a huge shock to many, and it really hit the fans hard. These voices gave people hope, and the fact that they took their own lives have left many in a downward tailspin. Not to mention that this is the anniversary of the death of Robin Williams, who hung himself last year after battling a long illness.

Suicide is a public health issue, and people are not getting the help that they need. It is very clear that each of these men suffered from depression, and addition. Even though they had the means to get help, it doesn’t seem like they did. Or, they weren’t getting the right kind of help. Mental Health has been ignored too long, and there is such a horrible stigma attached, that people are dying from this very real, and very dangerous disease. It is so difficult because mental illness is not given attention unless it’s too late. We hear people suffering from it, and we hear about people who lost their lives because they didn’t get the proper treatment. But, we are still so afraid to talk about the real, every-day, face of mental illness. More people are suffering from mental illness than are getting treated. There are a several reasons for this including cost, and fear. People are still afraid to this day to admit that they have a problem because depression seems like it’s an emotion and something that people can control. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One of the worst things we have done to ourselves is equate Mental Illness with an emotion. An emotion is something very temporary. Depression is life altering chemical imbalance that can kill someone if they don’t get the proper treatment. We would not treat someone with cancer the way we do with someone battling mental illness. People don’t tell someone who has diabetes to just get over it, or try not to be sick. We don’t laugh at people who have liver issues getting their pills and going to treatments. We don’t question a person getting PT after an accident. Why is it so hard to believe that someone who is mentally ill  is actually just as sick? There are so many different sections of mental illness and none of them are the person who is suffering’s fault.They did not wake up one day and ask for this, or just felt really sad. It is both highs and lows, and many things in between. It is a sickness, and no, it can not be something that they can just get over one day. They need treatment, which may mean medication and therapy. It may take years to find the right combo that will help.

I am not condoning what these men did to themselves, or to their families, but I do understand that they were sick. Very, sick and they didn’t know how to reach out and get the help that they needed to keep moving forward. I know people have a huge range of emotions from anger, to sadness, to fear. You hare every right to these emotions. I keep hearing how  angry people are at Chester and Chris for being so selfish and leave their families. I urge you to look at this way. These men were so sick, that even the thought of their loved ones wasn’t enough to keep them from going through with it. Many times, people who are already this far gone honestly feel that the world is better off without them. That is the reality of someone who is very mentally ill. We all know that the world is not a better place without them, or without any of us!  Death is hard enough, and even if your loved one lived a long and happy life, the hole from their loss never goes away. You eventually learn how to live with it, and some days will be better than others. That does not make you weak. It means you were lucky enough to have a person who made an impact on your life.

I encourage people who are hurt by this weeks events, to please talk about it. Do not hold this in. If that means you need a friend, call someone. If you need to get it all out, write it down, or blog about it. There are many people hurting, but you are not alone! I want to tell you that I have been there. I have been to the point where I wanted to end it all, and not even the thought of my loved ones that I was going to leave behind was good enough to stop me. I’m glad someone did. I struggle with Depression and Anxiety every single day. Some days I am fine, others are okay, and some are terrible. It is a very scary thing, and I understand that I am sick. I work each day to try to function, and it is a struggle. There is no magic cure, just like there isn’t a magic cure for anything. Like any other illness, you need to treat your symptoms. Sometimes they are okay, and other times, you need to try new things to get to a better place. But it can be done with love, support, and a good medical team.

In closing, I am going to leave you with a few places that you can reach out to if you need help. There is never a bad time to get help. If you don’t know where to get started, just ask. Call a hotline, or call your family doctor. Go to the ER if things are bad. Get yourself healthy, maintain your treatment, and spread the word about how mental illness is very real, and nothing to be ashamed of! I love all of my underdogs, and I’m sorry if this subject upset anyone. But I feel it is too important to stay silent about how had this has all been, and how we all need to embrace a change in the the world views mental health. Remember, you are all amazing and beautiful, and important. The world needs each and every single one of you.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1800-273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

Beyond Blue: Immediate Help with Depression:

Crisis Chat 24/7: