Jan

So many noteworthy things have been happening lately that it’s hard to keep up.

I recently found out that I lost one of my high school acquaintances to suicide. I do admit some fault of being absolutely clueless about how he got to that point, and it would be unfair of me to assume that he wasn’t talking to someone about his mental health but I feel a huge loss in my heart. I didn’t know him particularly well but I always respected him for the different perspective he had of the world and his boldness to share it.

It’s too late now. My words of affirmation were too few and far between. All I can do now is wish that I had done something differently, that there was just some way I could have known what was going on in his life. But what could I have done? The guy seemed perfectly normal; a bit odd, yes, and rather lonesome, but perfectly normal otherwise. Nothing could have tipped me off about how he was feeling or doing.

That raises a question. Is it my fault for not being able to tell how he was doing? Was it his fault for not being able to deal with it? Is it the fault of his close friends who weren’t able to help him? Is it society’s fault for putting a stigma on discussion about mental health?

“Fault” probably isn’t the right word to throw around but I’m sure it’s a little bit of everything I just mentioned. All we can do now is to try to break this stigma; to show people that it’s okay not to be in the best shape. Nobody’s perfect and the fact that we’re trying so hard to appear to be perfect is literally killing us.

 

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