This week, one of the guys I’d worked with on the project I’m on this summer lost his job. Hindsight allows me to give a better interpretation of what happened, but at the time, it was because he’d pissed off the wrong people a few too many times. You obviously don’t need to know the details. I will tell you though what he did next. He went home, and he committed suicide.
Obviously there was more to why he was pissing people off so much than anyone knew. Or could be expected to know. We have a job to do here, it needs to be done right and it needs to be done professionally, they had no choice. Employers can’t get to know every single person that works for them intimately enough to know what’s going on in their home lives and, though they do anyway, they shouldn’t feel guilty over what happened.
I myself have struggled with depression for most of my life, long before I was even the lonely little emo teenager I became and thankfully grew out of. Many members of my family struggle with depression and other undiagnosed mental illnesses that they suffer from in silence, not because they don’t think they need help, but because the world we’ve all grown up in is one where seeking help for mental illness is a bad thing. You’re weak, or you’re crazy. You’re pathetic or you’re unstable. Never, you’re sick, and you need a doctor.
I suspect the man who died this week felt the same way.
The question The Llama’s book asks this week is What Are You Most Grateful For? I’m most grateful that I have friends and family who love me, and who I can go to when I’m in need. I’m most grateful that I have a bond with them of trust and respect that allows me to not be afraid. I’m most grateful that they feel the same about me and I know that if they ever reach this point they know I will always be there for them no matter what.
I am at heart an idealist. No matter how many times I’ve experienced feeling crushing loneliness and felt the people around me would be better off without me, I have a hard time accepting that view from others. Because anyone willing to tell me they feel that way is someone that I am not better off without. It’s someone who has viewed the empty expanse of the universe and though they saw no light, reached out in hope anyway. That kind of bravery would be missed.
I’m not the best at helping people deal with emotional issues, if I can’t punch it to make it go away I tend to just throw distracting images of bunny rabbits at them till they yell at me to stop. And I know I can’t save everyone anyway, I didn’t know the guy, me talking to him probably wouldn’t have helped much. But I wish someone who loved him had at some point in his life told him it was okay to get help. You are not weak. You are not crazy. You don’t have to do this alone.
I’m just going to leave a few links down here of things to check out if you’re ever feeling down.