i haven’t cried enough; not like i want to, not like such a death observed deserves. the pain is building up and i’m not sure where to let it go. it seems so trivial – but i am hurt, lonely, even triggered by this loss; i have dwelt deeply amidst the similar darkness, and many of us are always just one small thought away from the same tragic fate.
it isn’t just about the ending – the thing that people judge him for. “the coward.” “he didn’t try hard enough.” “he didn’t want to get better.” “how could he do this to his family?” “it was those drugs and that alcohol” “he was foul-mouthed and deserved to die.”
its also about the journey. i loved robin’s eyes. i often saw the impish looks, but i also saw his eyes for who he was. the vulnerability was obvious, even though every behavior was to distract from it. everyone who has walked this journey has those same eyes – if you take a moment to really see.
and those of you who think you “get it” or can judge it by your wanting to kill yourself once when you broke up with your high school boyfriend — you are assholes with no compassion and people who are so terrified of your own unbridled dark thoughts that you push all of it away with platitudes, arrogance, jesus and verses and light and laughter; bullshit judgments on other people and what they “should have done” — (you) will never understand the dimensions of life or the world. you want to just make everything go away.
you have no concept of this path, this journey. you have no concept of the caves and the dragons who sleep in them waiting to munch you all the time. you don’t know how it feels to step back from the ledge again and again, to hold your trembling hands over your wrists, knowing that the long way is the best way. (you also know that those who slice across are amateurs; it takes some good long cuts vertically to make it harder to stop the bleeding) you crawl trembling towards your car parked on the bridge, your mind envisions scenarios, getting even, getting out, shame and guilt are your constant companions.
you are too busy telling other people how to live and marry and love and be, to even begin to glance towards the shadows, your own caves, the depths of your own soul. and even thinking of it terrifies you. you just don’t want to know. it is the same reason many people have read stumbling toward faith and written me letters. “stop feeling so sorry for yourself.” “why can’t you just get over it?” “C’mon, it was a long time ago”
as a survivor of torture and abuse, i can tell you that major depression is real. hopeless isn’t a strong enough word for it. i can tell you that ptsd is real. its not just people wanting attention, or “thinking too much about the negative.” i can tell you that medications help. it has nothing to do with “trusting god” or “demonic influences.” and as a survivor of over 80 electroshock treatments, i can tell you that at some point you reach the depths of that necessity. my depression was treatment resistant; i couldn’t stop from imagining suicide, thinking about suicide, planning suicide – i even tried to drown myself in the toilet on the psychiatric hospital intensive care unit.
the ect treatment worked – i am still alive today. but the trade-off was significant.
this judgment i have seen and read infuriates me, and it makes me terribly sad. i do not wish for pain on anyone, and yet i wish there was a way to give a tiny glimpse to others who don’t understand. words don’t do it. blood talks. urine covered hair and face talks. hanging by a belt talks. but if there is closure to that kind of world; to that depth of pain, nothing will help–people will go on judging that which they are too cowardly to admit to themselves that they might feel that way too–keeping them safe and secure in their bubbles, living according to their own blindness and misconceptions.
i’ve been working on my next book, and i am convinced we need it more than ever. mental illness, spirituality and tidbits of shamanism. it is only 10,000 words right now, but there is so much to write down, to capture; so much to tell.
may those of you who have ears to hear, listen.