• Jackson C Garton

Cuts You Up

This morning, I rolled out of bed ten minutes later than I usually do, made my usual cup of coffee and scrambled some eggs, then sat down to eat breakfast. During the meal, I skimmed Twitter and Facebook, and discovered that Keith Flint of Prodigy fame was dead. He was only 49-years-old. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. While I am not a huge fan of Prodigy, I was familiar with their work, and had friends who were really into the band during my high school years. Firestarter was a favorite of many, I believe.

Suicide is a horrible reality that affects many. It's like a tornado, in that it destroys everything in its path - your relationships with others, your mind, body, everything. I remember when I found out Robin Williams killed himself. I was crushed, devastated, even though I had never met this man. Lots of friends shared posts on social media about how RW had impacted them as children. For me, Aladdin was a mainstay in our house. We probably drove my mom bananas with that VHS. I couldn't bring myself to listen to the news for the next couple of weeks because that's all they seemed to talk about - his recovery, did he relapse, was he terminally ill. The speculation went on and on, with no consideration of how it might be affecting his friends, family, and yes, his fans. I adored the Genie in Aladdin. Even though that movie is not without its GLARING PROBLEMS, I enjoyed it immensely as a child.

I have a child who has also been brought up on Disney movies. Aladdin is one of her favorite movies as well. When I found out RW had killed himself, I went to her and talked about suicide, and how hard it can be for the person and their loved ones. We watched Aladdin afterwards and I'm positive I wept throughout the entire thing. I can't believe he's been gone now for nearly four and a half years.

Suicide is a topic that no one should shy away from discussing. My child and I have been able to keep the conversation going because we are open-communicators. Why, just last year, when Logan Paul released his experiences in Aokigahara, my child and I spoke at length about the incident. She came to the conclusion that something like that shouldn't be captured & released on YouTube; I agreed.

Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, loneliness, all of these things will impact you at some point in your life. No one should feel ashamed, or be embarrassed, to discuss these topics. I have a Masters degree in Social Work and have been trained by therapists in the past, but it doesn't take a degree or an encounter with a therapist to know just how crucial it is for you to be able to share your perspective/thoughts with others.

Your mental health is important, and no, that doesn't mean we should put on a facade, or deny our feelings/emotions, but it does mean that we shouldn't neglect ourselves.

Not everyone has access to therapy or medication, and there are no substitutes for those things, but there are hotlines out there for you if you're growing through a crisis.

I've included a link for your convenience. It's not much, and I'm not sharing anything new or enlightening, but I felt the need to share this with y'all today.

So, take a deep breath, pick up the phone, and check on people who are important to you. You might just save someone's life.

*I do support an individual's right to end their life as they see fit, but I won't sit here and tell you I wouldn't try to move mountains for someone if they wanted help.

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