Suicide prevention doesn’t always start from the outside.

As with the suicides of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, there are an outpouring of posts giving the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and calls to reach out if you need to talk.

And of course, there’s the usual backlash of, “You should reach out to check on us if you’re so concerned!” It’s a back and forth I’ve seen repeatedly, and frankly, it’s getting very old, very fast.

So here’s my take on it, as someone who has reached out to others in the past, who’s talked people down from the ledge, who pulled a fucking knife away from a friend’s wrist when he was about to slice it open:

THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

Yes, you want people tor each out to you. I get it. But I’ve also had times, more than I care to count, where I have reached out, and the reactions were:

1. Denial- “No, I’m fine. Really, I’m all good. You don’t have to worry about me.”
2. Silence. No response, no answer, no call back, no reply email.
3. Annoyance- “I told you I’m alright. Stop bothering me about this.”

As someone with psychological training as part of my education, it is incredibly frustrating to hear that. Why? Because you can’t force someone to get help, even if you know they need it. Their rights as individuals supersedes what you want for them. They don’t want help? It’s their choice not to get it. You can’t make them unless it’s under very certain circumstances.

Here’s another detail: Most people do not have the experience or training to tell when someone’s in the midst of a depressive episode. It’d be great if they all did, but they don’t. Without knowing what to look for, they have no way to tell what’s going on with you UNLESS YOU TELL THEM WHEN THEY ASK OR YOU SPEAK UP.

As for the hotline number, it’s not being done to foist you off on a stranger. It’s being done to guide you to talk to a person or group that has the training and knowledge to get you the help you need. Again, most people don’t know how to handle this, and their instinct is to try to direct you to someone who can. It’s done to help you, not make you feel rejected or neglected.

Oh, and did I mention that one person, with the daily trials of work, family, relationships, and general life maintenance, may not necessarily have the actual time to reach out? Realistically, the number of people you communicate with on a regular basis shrinks over the years because you don’t have the time to maintain all those relationships. They weaken, they grow distant. People move away, they have kids, they get married. Things happen, and the energy and time they consume makes it difficult to keep abreast of everyone you know. You got things to do. So do they. Expecting a one-sided conversation initiation is unfair.

So don’t be critical of those posting that number or asking you to reach out. They’re doing what they can to help, even if you perceive that it isn’t enough.

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Dear left-wing Democrats….

While I do agree with a large number of your policies and structures, it doesn’t help your case when your more unhinged members begin yelling at me for not yet deciding on a candidate to back in the NY governor’s race because I don’t yet know who will be running.

I was under the impression- and correct me if I’m wrong- that one’s choice for a candidate should be someone that best mirrors not just your personal belief structure, but is also one that will do best for your fellow New Yorkers. That requires research, reading, diving into archives and such.

It really doesn’t help when they go right to blatant hostility with zingers like “Go jerk Bernie off and shut the fuck up.” and “Shut up basic white boy, you’re only 30% of the population and we can GAF what you think,” I mean, wasn’t there a high road you were encouraged to take? I’d understand the hostility if I came out tossing vile insults, but otherwise….

Oh, and wasn’t it the votes of supposed basic white boys in non-Democratic states that’s responsible for the current mess? One would think an educated, studied mind would result in less of this, but apparently that doesn’t seem to be the current thought process.

Bonus point: Popping off like this when it’s a woman firing off the barbs just shows the misandry that seems to permeate social and political movements these days.

Get your house in order before you end up shutting out those who want to help you.

Signed,
A registered Independent

Pepperidge Farm remembers!

As you may tell from some of my other blogs, I have the ability to rant. And rant. And rant. I consider it something of a superpower, a gift, and a curse all rolled into one. I try to use it wisely, but I have moments….okay, days….okay, weeks…where it’s used for anything and everything that irritates me.

Enter my exposure to the “Pepperidge Farm Remembers” meme. It cracked me up. And since I’m in a foul mood, it’s time for a rant, Oppa Pepperidge Style.

Do you remember:
When people used to be polite to each other?
When people didn’t have their head rammed so far up their phone’s ass they avoided getting run over by cars?
When we held politicians to a higher moral standard than celebrities?
When politicians actually did their fucking job and represented the interests of the people?
When the MTA actually ran a fucking train on time?
When the MTA did actual repair work on time and under budget?
When your job paid you what you’re REALLY worth?
When people used phones to……GASP…make actual phone calls?
When AOL was all the rage?
When ISPs didn’t throttle your service to get more money out of you?
When Nazis were people you stomped out on sight?
When charter schools were seen as the utter shit they are?
When we had a president that wasn’t a complete fucking retard that needs to be thrown out of office now?
When Congress didn’t spend millions on a bullshit investigation into embassy attacks to cover up the fact they voted to cut the embassy budget 2 years in a row, hence being directly responsible for the entire mess?
When Cabinet appointees were actually…shudder…qualified for the positions they were nominated for?
When it dawned on people that saving the environment was important?
When people didn’t take opioids like they’re going out of style?
When owning a gun meant you were a responsible gun owner and not some random asshole who got it at a gun show because he or she could?
When “No” actually meant “No” and not some imaginary bullshit that meant the opposite?
When a high school diploma got you a job that could support a family and buy a house?
When people realized the danger of credit cards and didn’t use them as much?
When singers actually wrote their own songs with real, understandable lyrics?
When music wasn’t all just pop garbage spewed out to make money?
When being part of a family owned company meant you felt like a part of their family, and vice versa?
When the government at least made the fa├žade of an attempt to respect the rights of Native Americans and the land they were forced onto?
When banks helped you save money for the future and not hit you with fees for every fucking thing?

Pepperidge Farm remembers.

I can keep going, but I think you get the picture.

The heart vs. the real world.

There comes a time when you have a decision to make about matters of the heart. You know you have to make it, you know you can’t put it off, but the possible consequences are potentially devastating. And you don’t want to deal with those consequences. But remaining silent will do nothing more than agitate you.
So you fret and fuss and overthink the shit out of it, wondering what to do. It plays on your mind, driving you even battier than you already are. But finally, you make the decision to speak to the other person, to tell them how you feel, consequences be damned. You have to be honest and true to yourself, even if that means nothing good will come of it.

And then, the decision is made for you. And as much as you’re relieved you don’t have to make it, it bothers you that the choice was taken away from you. It’s your call to make about how you communicate. You’re not upset with the other person; in a way, they’ve made it a lot easier for you to accept the situation and make peace with it. But you still wonder from time to time, what could have been, one way or the other.

It’s a familiar story, one whose refrain I’ve heard a lot over the years. But it’s very, very different when you’re the one making the decision. Very different indeed….

I have a decision to make.

Something has been weighing on my mind for a little while now. I’m not going to get into details here, but I will be discussing it with certain people I know when I feel up for it. Rest assured, it’s nothing bad or negative. It’s something that I’m thinking about and need other opinions about.

Understand that there are things I do not open up about. That I even write some of the stuff that I have here is little short of miraculous. My YouTube channel is very non-personal for the most part, and I intend on keeping it that way. I have fun with it, and that’s where it’ll stay.

So yeah, that’s it. I’ll try to blog here when I have the time and energy to do so.

A tired soul in a tired world.

I’m tired. Tired of a lot of the noise, garbage, and bullshit in this world. I need a change. I need new friends, a new job, and a much higher alcohol tolerance. Owning a bar would be nice as well.

I just don’t have it in the gas tank anymore. I exist and continue existing out of sheer inertia. I think I need a fresh start and perspective, but that’s not forthcoming.

Think I’ll hit the Burger King by my house later, grab a cup of coffee, and do some writing.