I have no doubt that perhaps we have all the support a human could ever hope for in the struggle of life.
But even then, it happens.
Like any illness, sometimes we lose the battle while fighting the war.
I don’t even have the words for the sadness that permeates my soul each time I hear that someone’s battling an addiction, a mental illness, has taken their life.
I’ve heard some people say that it’s a “white people” thing, a social media thing for people to get attention. That we aren’t actually losing people to mental health issues… irrelevant statements if you ask me. That person is still gone even if we don’t know about it. That spouse is still heartbroken even if we can’t rally around them on Facebook or Twitter. That family is without their child even if there isn’t a hashtag attached to it.
I have had at least one person in my immediate circle nearly taken from us over the course of my life. People are struggling with things you can’t imagine you’d ever be able to carry even physically. If you have buried your head in your pillow and cried nga you can’t even breathe and you feel a ka pain in your chest that you can’t reach to scratch or remove, nga getting out of bed, brushing your teeth and having a meal is an achievement…you have an idea. I know I do.
THIS IS REAL.
And in the aftermath of how very real it is, my heart and my mind can do nothing but go towards the others.
The ones buried in silence. The ones who are still standing. The ones who are fighting like hell to keep the walls from closing in.
I have sat in rooms with people I care about and listened to them talk about how those with anxiety “just need to worry less”. I’ve been told this countless times.
Perhaps even a professional (if you can afford it) will tell you that it is simply a matter of “deciding to grow up”.
Often I am bewildered as Christians have blatantly stated that the only medicine anyone really needs is to “pray more” .
I have continually watched other people dictate the truth of someone’s suffering just because they didn’t understand it. “Chandiru did this to herself. what did she think was going to happen?”
NO HUMAN SHOULD EVER HAVE TO PROVE THEIR SUFFERING IN ORDER FOR IT TO MATTER.
I didn’t know if I would be able to come here this morning without my own emotions about this blinding my vision. But then I realized that I didn’t need to. Because change never happens from the neutral zone.
And there is nothing neutral about losing anyone to the darkness within.
I don’t have any answers for this.
But I will say one thing…
If you are out there right now and you are hurting, I beg of you to keep going. One day, one moment, one breath at a time. Always one more day.
If you are out there and someone you know is hurting, please don’t try to “fix” them. They aren’t broken. They are fighting. They need you to hear them, to see them, to love them. Most of all, they need you to believe them. Because the enemy waging war against them is one that you can’t see. Remind yourself that you don’t need to experience something first hand in order for it to be valid. And please know this; there is a very real battle going on inside them. It’s hard. It’s scary. And it’s exhausting. They are likely fighting in ways that you can’t even imagine.
And for all of us who are blessed enough to see another day, may we always make space for kindness and compassion to prevail.
This is not just a social thing.
This is not just a medical thing.
This is not just a faith thing.
This is a human thing.
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