Suicide. Depression. Mental health. These are topics that when sometimes brought up can make many people squirm with anxiety and discomfort. But, why? Regardless, if it makes you squirm, I need to talk about it.
I recently just had my oldest and best friend, a sister to me, sometimes felt like my child, took her own life early in the morning on Sunday a few weeks ago.
I had this blog written since the day after it happened and I held back on sharing it. I thought maybe it was too personal, or I needed more time to process, or maybe I just didn’t want it to be real, but realness is what we need in this world.
I didn’t find out that she died the same day it happened. I heard about her from my sister who saw it on Facebook on Tuesday evening. She had already been dead for two days and I was just now finding out.
I started balling hearing the words come out of my sister’s mouth because my best friend is dead and in addition to that I feel like such a shitty friend. How could I not have known soon? Or felt it? Or done more? These are the questions that start to flood your mind.
Our day in age feels weird to me sometimes because I discover life changing information on a screen, through a social media page where people are posting pictures and prayers, yet you can’t feel their hug or share a tear.
I’m so grateful that my sister called me to let me know about Lanna. If she hadn’t then I would’ve have had to just stare at my screen with no one to be there to hold space for me as I completely “lost it”.
I’m not sure what “it” means for most, but it was for me a slow eruption of pain from the bottom of my belly that seemed to collapse all of my organs into themselves. The energy surged up through my body like tidal wave that blasted through my eyes like they were liquid razors. I let out a cry and a moan with audible pain in my voice, “No,not Lanna!!!” I cried through the phone to my sister.
Lanna had struggled with depression that had lead to drug use. I agree with Russell Brand’s philosophy that drugs aren’t a legal issue, but a mental health issue. One doesn’t just start taking pills, heroin, coke, meth or whatever because they feel stoked on life. You take drugs because they take out of your current reality and give you a different reality.
You would have never known that she was struggling with depression or drugs. She never was outwardly sad. She always was laughing and cracking jokes. She had the best laugh ever. As kids we would laugh so hard we literally couldn’t stop for minutes at time.
But, life happens and people have trauma that occurs and we pick how we would like to handle that trauma. For most us, we do nothing. You feel wrong or ashamed of having problems and just drink or drug away their pain remaining on the surface of the pain that lives inside of them.
I learned that I do this from losing my best friend. I have habits, addictions, dark thoughts, that I don’t feel proud of but it sure does feel good just acknowledging that I have them. It takes away the power of the darkness.
When we isolate the darkness into the confines of our own mind you convince yourself you must be the only one that feels this fucked up and dark. To silence the voice of shame you find something that makes you feel better, but it never does, it only intensifies it.
This is why I am 100% committed to creating a space and offerings for people to know they have a place where they can be themselves. Despite our closeness, Lanna was holding back from telling me about the depth of her troubles. I could feel her holding back from telling me because perhaps she thought I would be disappointed, judge her, or freaked out by them.
I told her that she had a space and still she held back. Holding back what is needing to come out of you will drive you crazy. We need to start holding a space for people to talk about sexual abuse, childhood trauma, destructive habit patterns, what tools to use to help alleviate them, and a uplifting community.
Friends, whatever has happened in your life is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone is on their own journey and has ups and downs we need to cultivate a feeling of being comfortable with our darkness.
Ask your friends, what has been one of the most difficult experiences of your life? Then just sit there and listen. Be present with them we never know when our last interaction will be our last.
I know that you didn’t know my friend Lanna, but you may have a friend just like her. We grew up riding horses so there is a fund raiser trail ride in her honor to raise money for suicide prevention and help.
If you feel you would like to donate: http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participantID=1227226
Thank you for your time. Light and love to you and yours.