Life…. it’s funny. You can be staring someone right in the eye and have no idea the pain they live with every day. We will never say that we are hurting. We will never tell. We are too busy making sure the world is a better place while suffering in silence. We are awesome. Everyone loves us. We are so giving… “How could a person like that take their own life?” Recently we lost a legal eagle. A powerhouse in the legal community. A woman of distinction. A trailblazer. The reports say that she committed suicide. Others have differing opinions, but after an investigation, the results remained the same… Suicide.
Suicide… it’s a taboo topic in our society, especially in the Black community. No one ever wants to talk about it and no one ever wants to acknowledge when it happens. I remember reading comments about the late jurist in a facebook post. “She was so skilled and loved she would never do such a thing”. No one that great would ever take their own life. That would be crazy! Or is it?…
Life is tough. It is hard, and every day presents another challenge. Some days are better than others. I personally think that there is a point where everyone wonders what this life would look like if they were no longer living. I know I have…
I grew up in a high pressured environment. I was the product of a Haitian immigrant, single family home. Religion dictated my life, I was not allowed to have real friends and I lived with my younger sibling who I hated. (I know hate is a strong word, but you know how sibling rivalries go. Don’t worry, I like him now). In my opinion I had no one, and I often felt alone. As I got older, that feeling of loneliness never left me. I learned early on how to maneuver in society, my reality undetected. The irony of it all is that some call me popular, which in actuality I may be. I am a people person. However, I am the most anti social social person you will ever meet.
Sometimes I get to the point where I am so frustrated. I feel so taken advantage of because I give, give and give and rarely ever take. I rarely ever accept and I am rarely ever offered. People expect me to perform at any given time with out ever wondering if I can actually do the job or what toll it may take on me. Maybe it is because I often go out of my way to make myself competent so that I can meet the expectations.
A lot of high powered/ high functioning people commit suicide, and every time we lose one, the world goes in shock and disbelief. They insist that there was foul play and compel law enforcement to launch an investigation to find the “killer”. But the only killer is the deceased…. “He or she was so wonderful, so loved so perfect”. Well that’s just it. Perfection comes with a price. Being high powered comes with a price and often that price is one’s sanity. There are days where I want to just drop everything and run because I am tired of being everything for everyone. I am tired of having all of the answers and I am tired of being tired. “Take a break or stop it you say?”… it is not that easy. It is not easy to stop being “that” person. No one voluntarily jumps off of a pedestal. There is a mentality behind it. You can’t just shut it off. Instead, you run yourself ramped until it is too late. Until you get sick, or until you say that enough is enough and conclude that it is better to remove yourself rather than to disappoint by not meeting the expectations…. It gets too much. It really does.
I have been a Christian all of my life. I believe in heaven and hell. But if I wasn’t so afraid of the after life, I would have probably taken my life a long time ago. It is not to sound morbid, but it is true. Pressure is a real thing and until you have been under it, you will never understand the effects it has on one’s psyche. It doesn’t mean that you are crazy. Sometimes it’s a rational choice to say I am done, that it’s time to bow out and let the world figure out how to function without you.
Why am I saying all of this? Well to put everyone at ease, I have no intentions of committing suicide. But I say all this to wake your asses up. It is time that you all stop being naïve about mental health. Suicide is not a dirty word, it is a reality. It is time to stop with the stereotypes and the judgements. Suicide is not a crazy person’s dilemma. It is real and it affects EVERYONE. Doctors, lawyers, actors, humanitarians we are all human and we go through hard times. We have little children committing suicide everyday. In the past two weeks at least two little black kids have committed suicide. But because of the negative stigma surrounding mental health, we as a society, have made it taboo to seek professional help. In fact, we often hear that “black people don’t need therapy, they need Jesus,” or a good whooping.” I am all for Jesus and the whooping, but there are therapists for a reason, just like there are doctors and lawyers.
When we look at the results of society’s wonderful teachings, judgments and shaming, what are we left with? DEAD children and DEAD loved ones. We all need to take a step back and observe the people in our lives. Stop with the pressure and the crazy expectations and just observe… You can tell a lot about a person through observation alone. Watch and listen, you do not have to speak.
If there is one thing you take from this post it should be this, take the time to appreciate the people in your life and the things that they do for you PROBONO. The energy that they invest in you, the time that that they sacrifice to make sure that you are ok, when they clearly are hanging by a thread. Too many great people are opting out of life. Make sure that your loved one is not next.
This message is brought to you by the friends of Tata campaign against B.S.
*Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way*