start the conversation / change the conversation

An actor was found dead today in his Culver city home, 
and with no evidence of foul play it seemed he'd acted on his own, 
the position of his body looked like he was reaching for the phone, 
makes you wonder who he was gonna call

Maybe all his demons were settling their debts
Or maybe all the pressure finally drove him to the wall
Maybe there were secrets that he needed to protect
Or maybe it's for no good reason at all.

"for no good reason" - dawes

it is june 17, 2018.

just two weeks ago the world lost two people who used their gifts to create empires, of fashion or culinary influence. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain lived very different lives, but both completed suicide on the first week of June. 

speculation on the reason two people of wealth and good fortune would choose to end their journey early will swirl around the internet, offices, and across tabletops for years to come. however, the story has already fallen silent on media channels across the United States. There's an ongoing investigation plaguing the President of the United States, the 2018 World Cup is underway, and frankly, suicide is not something we want to talk about.

there's a laundry list of conversations that we just don't care to discuss in america and most of them have to do with the way you feel, or the way life seems. with the rise of movements like #metoo, Black Lives Matter, and March for Our Lives, there has been an increasing amount of voices ready to express how they feel - marginalized, terrorized and undervalued. all of these moments matter in their own right and to try to explain their importance in society would overshadow this topic and simply not do any justice to the light each is trying to shine.

it's simply important to recognize that in all of these groups, a feeling is being expressed. often, many feelings. anger, sadness, remorse; agony, sorrow, rage. once again, the conversation is being pushed out of the mouths of a nation that bit its tongue or turned it's head. it's hard to say to endgoal of a feeling. there's no "fix" for years of systematic oppression.  we can't turn back time and unhurt these groups. we can't put their lives at the point where it could have been, if they hadn't had to endure. but we can change for the better.

the future doesn't have to look like the past.

which is what brings us to the two celebrity suicides at the beginning of june 2018. the future of mental health doesn't have to look like its past. the option to kill yourself isn't going to go away, but the help that can encourage someone to stay past those feelings can improve. the conversations over suicide and what causes it and what helps those who are hurting, needs to take shape. the option to feel something other than success and joy, needs to be expressed. a community isn't built on a single person's idea. we need to change the conversation, but first we need to start the conversation.

so often we dissolve into our phone when things get "boring" or uninteresting to us. even in a room full of people, we turn our eyes to... more people, just flatter. the difficult thing about suicide is that it is silent. someone who doesn't feel like living has already exhausted their brain;  their legs working tirelessly to keep their head above water. at the point where you are detatched, wondering if what you just experienced was real or just a part of the endless dream you've been experiencing since the clouds rolled in, there is little left to say. moments of being awake are a struggle, both mentally and physically. you can wake up from 10 hours of sleep and immediately turn to go back to bed. it's better to shut off than to question every move. so, when someone does have even the courage to get out of bed, it's important to meet them where they are at. listening isn't going to cure them, but it's going to help them not feel alone.

running beside someone isn't going to finish the race for them.

someone's suicidal ideation won't likely come out over coffee. there's no "what to expect" for someone ready to die, but through conversation there can be an understanding. at the very least, they get to express their thoughts. they might be walking through the dark, but now they have a voice to echo back.