Flashback: This is an old blog post. The first blog of my "Cleaning Out My Closet" Series. The next written blog will be the second installment in the series. So since this one was posted on my old blog (A Black Woman Living In Pain.) I thought that I would give you all that hadn't read it a chance to do so. Plus it's a really good piece. Remember, I bare my soul to heal yours.
I have felt recently that I haven’t been fulfilling my goals with this blog. I wanted to reach more people to help more people.
I decided to examine myself and see where I could improve. I saw that even though I was trying to talk about things that brought pain to my life as well as others. I wasn’t being completely open. That was because I didn’t want to deal with certain areas of my life. If I wasn’t dealing with them how could I ask someone else to? So I am cleaning out my closet of some pretty heavy topics. After every topic, there will be a video or written interview with a professional on the topic so that if anyone is experiencing an issue in that area then they can get the information they need to improve their life. I am doing this not only to help myself but to support other people who might deal with these issues as well.
With no further ado ... Cleaning Out My Closet: Suicide (September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month)
Okay, I am going to tell you right now we are going to talk about some heavy stuff today. If you are not ready to be open to some things stop reading. For the rest of you. Once you start reading I don’t suggest that you stop. We are telling on some people today and hopefully saving some people's lives as well... Ready! Set! Go!
When was the last time you wanted to kill yourself? No, truthfully. That wasn’t said for shock value. I wasn’t trying to get your attention. I really want to know. When was the last time that you thought about the different ways you could just sleep forever (I mean for a while) and which way would you be able to complete the task without chickening- out halfway through? How many times have you pictured how happy and unburdened your loved ones would feel after they got over their grief. How many times have your religious beliefs made you think that you could go to hell but your mental state made you feel that maybe you were just being selfish for thinking about yourself when you know that your death would help your loved ones. I know that a lot of people like to think that people who commit suicide are selfish. That they aren’t thinking about anyone but themselves because they can’t handle the pressures of life when that could be the furthest thing from the truth.
There is this myth about people that suffer from mental illness especially in the Black community. We (the black community) would convince someone who is sick with a mental disorder not to get help because we don’t see it as a real illness. It’s either that or the person suffering is too afraid to seek help because of the stigma associated with mental health. They suffer in silence because the Black community tends to think that people with mental illness need to just: act right, think positive, or pray more because God will fix it.
The way that we act is based on what we think. What we think is based on how we were raised, our temperament, and our mental health. How we were raised includes a lot of things: what type of family we were in, what number child you are, what environment you live in, etc. For example, The oldest child in a two-parent household in a middle to upper-class neighborhood could very-well act differently from the middle child in a one parent household in the lower class neighborhood. All of that doesn’t matter though when it comes to mental disorders. They don’t care where you live, how old you are, or who you love. Everyone could be affected; white, black, rich, poor, young, or old. It has nothing to do with how you act. Mental Disorders don’t care how many things you have going for you, it makes you think that you are cold, unloved, dumb, hopeless and alone.
Think positive? Ha! Take it from someone who is always trying to keep positive for everyone including myself. It is not that easy. I post positive images all over my Facebook and Instagram every day. I try to give positive encouraging words to my friends and family all the time even if at the time my insides are rotting and the stench of my depression is making me throw-up any positive feelings I had for myself. Thinking positive when you have a mental disorder is sometimes like trying to save yourself from drowning in the middle of the ocean with boulders tied to your ankles. So please don’t think that a person committed suicide because they refused to think positive.
I am not saying that God can’t fix it but just because you wish or pray it so doesn’t make it so. Prime example how long was slavery? Don't you think that those people prayed? When they were getting taken from their homeland? When they were packed in a boat like supplies going across the ocean? When they got to this strange land and white people beat them, raped them, and stripped them of their clothes, customs, language, family, and dignity for 245 years? Don't you think they prayed? God’s will is going to be done, right? Well, that was god’s will. I am not saying that God can not change anything because he can. God can make it snow in the summer and make it 90 degrees in January. What I am saying is, sometimes bad things happen to good people no matter how much you pray. The same thing goes for Mental illness there is a big chance that prayer alone isn’t going to work. If you get shot in the chest, chances are that you aren’t going to just lay down on the ground and do nothing but pray for the bullet to come out. You are going to go to the hospital and let a doctor who God has blessed with the skills to save you, do what they are trained to do. The same thing goes for someone with a mental disorder or disease. God has blessed wonderful doctors and therapists with the skills to help them. So when someone is depressed of course pray for them but also lead them to a Mental Health Professional.
Back to the reason I wrote this blog entry. I wanted to kill myself recently. I was as close to it than I have been in over 15 years. 15 years ago I would do things to try to kill myself. Now here I was again thinking about the ways I could do it. I was considering how long the grief would last before my loved ones could move on. Cherlnell Lane the person who is terrified of death was thinking about killing herself because she doesn’t want to cause anyone pain. That is what mental disease does to you it makes you think that you are a problem that can’t be solved. It sometimes makes you think that you are the cancer that is infecting the people around you. It makes me feel this way. I, Cherlnell Lane, who is the poster child for a cheerful demeanor, the same Cherlnell Lane that is always telling her friends that the sun will come out tomorrow, the Cherlnell Lane who believes in God is sometimes so wrapped up in depression that she thinks that even God doesn’t love her. You know something though... It’s not my fault. It is just as if someone that has a heart problem from birth. Would you condemn them for having a weak heart? Most likely not, so don’t do the same thing to people who suffer from depression and other mental illness.
If you don’t share my beliefs or opinions that’s fine everyone in the world doesn’t agree but next time you see or hear about someone with a mental illness or someone who wants to kill themselves do me a favor remember: if you can’t do anything helpful, get them to a professional who will. Because not only could you save a life but you could better the lives of those affected by the life that you save. Be your brother/ sister’s keeper let them know that their lives matter. Say their name, Edwin. Say their name, Phyllis Hyman. Say their name, Lee Thompson Young. Say their name, Don Cornelius. Don’t shame people for wanting help to save their life.
Cleaning out my closet,
A Black Woman Living In Pain
Remember This is a Flashback! I do not feel this way now but there are people who do. Help them help themselves direct them to a professional.
Writing To Evolve Minds One Word at a Time