Suicide recently came into the public consciousness because of the death by hanging of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. Whenever I hear about someone dying from hanging, I think about this kindhearted, sweet as hell, alcoholic teenage gutter punk I knew who hanged himself. The last time I saw him, I was in a van going to the Oregon Country Fair. I saw him walking outside on the side of the road. We lived in Seattle so this wasn’t expected. I considered asking the driver to stop so I could say hi to my friend, but then I figured–and I remember this thought so clearly–“Oh well, it’s okay, I’ll see him again.” I didn’t.
We never know when we will lose the people we love. Whether by suicide or something else, our lives are these tenuous, crazy things that can be shattered without a moment’s notice. We need to better appreciate the people in our lives, but we also need to forgive those who leave us on purpose. I’ve written this post to help you understand why you should let go of the anger you feel at your loved one who committed suicide, even though that anger is totally justified.
Although living with PTSD, Minor Depression, and an Addiction Disorder often feels like the loneliest existence on the planet, these are issues which affect my entire family. Especially when I am in the depths of an episode, I like to believe that my words and actions don’t impact others. When I’m in that state, I feel like my family doesn’t need me or care about me. I feel as though they would be better without me; like I hurt them simply by being. Of course, it’s that line of thinking which truly hurts my family.
Mental illness or injury affects everyone it touches. Expressing that reality was the reason I began my “Tales From The Other Side” guest blogger series. I wanted to show that when one person in a family is hurting, the whole family hurts. Yet despite publishing these touching stories by real people affected by PTSD and other disorders, it has been difficult for me to truly realize that when I hurt, my family hurts.