In light of recent tragedy involving the death of one of our prominent community members it's become clear to me that we've got to shape up the way we deal with and perceive mental illness within our growing community.. Simply put the passing of @lauralemons should never have happened, although to paint yourself with guilt over it is a zero sum game.
We spend time on here, interacting with each-other, creating new friendships, sharing thoughts and ideals.. But is that really enough?
While I'll not glorify depression, suicidal thoughts, troubled minds or terrible past happenings in ones life, it's to be said out loud that nearly every human being I've ever got the chance to know "in real life" or online has battled with 1 or more of the listed above at some time in their life.
People we interact with here every day who seem to be content with life may actually be suffering the most. Without someone they feel they can turn to for support they may very well try to ease their own suffering, sadly the bravest of the sad folk may remove their own player from the game of life.. Wasting their potential and ultimately leaving us here on earth to deal with the sadness they were overwhelmed by.
It's Natural to Feel Sad Sometimes
Feeling low or being depressed isn't a sign of weakness of character or mind, if anything it may just correlate with a persons intelligence. No remotely intelligent being could look upon the state of our planet and societies without being filled with some form of sorrow or grief.
Our earth is a violent battle of survival, no matter where you look there is always something terrible happening: Wars, floods, famine, poverty, exploitation, predators and general disregard for the value of human life are a theme on every continent.. Often manifesting in different forms but none the less widespread in all countries, religions and societies.
While the above paragraph may seem far fetched to those living in safely gilded cages it honestly is how the world is. Often I've pondered why humans seem genetically predisposition'd to mistreat eachother.. My belief now stands that while our species and societies have started evolving away from "tribal" mentality it is still very much a part of our programming. Racism, homophobia and misleading news sources are all prime examples of this primitive tribal gene/code expressing itself in modern times. It can be completely engulfing at times to see all the pain and sorrow in the world... there is hope still, you'd not be here otherwise.
Reach Out When You Need It, Please
Statistically speaking most people who suffer from depression and end up taking their own life will go silent days before in an attempt to detach themselves from their emotional connections, mainly to ease their guilt of creating sorrow in their wake. They know that the sadness they feel will be magnified into their friends and family. They cut all ties and quietly go end their suffering in the only way they figure will fix it for good.
While I've not publicly shared this yet until now I too once succumbed to the sadness and took a shot at offing myself. Would have been 6 years ago now, the girlfriend at the time was bitching at me fiercely, my life seemed pointless and I was done trying.. so I casually set up a noose in the closet, then calm as a bomb proceeded to hang myself. While not an advocate of self harm or suicide while I was hanging there drifting out of consciousness the most overwhelming sense of peace came over me.
Rather than the darkness I'd expected to see, dazzling lights and colours began to dance in front of me. Wasn't my eyes that were seeing these colours, no.. They were being seen within my own mind but just as vivid as the reality we inhabit now, it was at that point my now ex-girlfriend heard me gurgling, came to see what I was doing and cut me down. When I came back to this realm I was no longer sad, rather than feeling the overwhelming sorrow I'd felt prior it felt like I'd been reset.. I told her calmly "I was at peace" as she wept and scolded me for being selfish and trying to kill myself.
Since that fateful day years and years ago hanging in my closet with my soul or whatever headed to disco heaven I've have not tried to end my life. Could have just as easily died that day, but was saved by a woman who would later go on to crush my heart.. Do I have a purpose on this planet?
Fuck if I know, but what I do know is that I'd try and help anyone here on STEEM who reaches out to me with a troubled mind. I cannot judge any person, because at the end of the day I've either been through it, been exposed to it or keep an open enough mind enough to accept another persons struggle and try to comfort them.
I'm Still Here, But it Ain't For My Benefit
I may not always have the right words, advice, analysis or picture to help people through their own self created hells. But I promise you I'll try everything within reason and power to aide in relieving your anguish.
Don't suffer in silence and think that ending your life is an option to escape the pain. You've been given the greatest gift this planet has to offer, life as the apex species here.. While it may be overwhelming at times to be bombarded with all the hate and evil in this world, if you EVER need someone to talk to.. I'm still here.
Let us Mourn, But Also Celebrate @lauralemons
In my family when someone dies we have a party celebrating their life, sharing fond memories of the departed and recalling good times.
Laura deserves the same, because let's face it, Steemit is more than a community.. We're a large, sometimes dysfunctional family.
If you've got any fond memories or instances where Laura impacted your life in a positive manner please share them below, I know it would help me a bit, maybe it will help others as well. May whatever deity she chose to put her belief in guide her to a more comfortable place to rest until her respawn timer spawns her back onto this planet.