As I sat there with the people who were there for Ellen’s informative, enlightening, and effective talk last night, what mostly came to my mind was for twenty years I have been fighting and I feel like we’re starting to get somewhere and where was this knowledge and support when my sister needed it?
It was a swishy mix of accomplishment, fellowship, anxiety, and anger. Typical Ang.
It feels like it’s only within the last decade that we have gotten smarter about suicide. But not smart enough. Not yet. The stigma surrounding suicide, depression and other mental illnesses is diminishing, but not fast enough. Awareness, understanding, and compassion are growing and spreading. But not fast enough.
Even twenty years later I get emotional when I talk about this. But now I finally feel like we’re getting somewhere—albeit not fast enough.
I have watched the amount of participants in the Out of the Darkness walks grow over the years, since 2002. While I find comfort in being amongst my people, people who want to change the way we talk about mental illness, depression, and suicide, I am sad that there are so many who have been affected.
Last night someone pointed out that people will talk about someone dying in a car accident, for example, no problem. But if the subject of suicide comes up then it gets all uncomfortable and lonely.
I just continue doing the best I can, even if it’s uncomfortable or sad.
I’m still fighting even though it would be easier to try to forget, to move on, to put it behind me. I’m not going to do those things because by remembering, honoring, and continuing, I might help someone else.