Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-11-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Trigger warning, mental health, suicide prevention and survivor guilt
by Karen Hawkins
2018-06-13

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Trigger warning: mental health.

Simply put, suicide can kiss my ASS. If you're a fellow family/friend survivor, I'm sending you tons of love this week and a not-so-gentle reminder: It's not your fault.

While I deeply appreciate all of the suicide prevention information being spread this week, it can be hard on us who didn't "prevent" it.

If you want to chat, vent, drink wine or eat frozen yogurt in the rain ( that should be a lesbian love song ), hit me up.

WTAF.

Karen

I posted that message to my personal Facebook page after reading about—and crying over—the death of Anthony Bourdain. I didn't cry when Kate Spade died, and I'm not sure why Bourdain's death hit me harder. Because I'd watched and enjoyed his show? Because his death was the second in the week? Because his sharp features and wicked sense of humor reminded me of my brother, who died the same way?

Whatever it is, it's made me sad. And livid. Then guilty. I find myself cycling through all of the same emotions I did when my brother Aaron died in 2004. And that last one, guilt, is the trickiest because of what I alluded to in my FB post. We talk about suicide prevention the same way we talk about suicide in general: in broad brush strokes that don't begin to do justice to the complexity of mental illness and without any examination of managing the pain of someone who literally doesn't want to be alive anymore.

Even the phrase "suicide prevention" doesn't begin to capture the enormity of what it means to try to keep someone on earth who is hell-bent on leaving it. Suicide isn't a forest fire, you can't just prevent it by not tossing a lit cigarette into the forest or stamping out your campfire. You're being tasked with convincing someone that life is worth living, that there is hope, that you want to love them through whatever it is. Suicide prevention means successfully fighting the seductive lure of ending their pain once and for all.

And it's not your fault if you failed. Or if you didn't recognize that this depression was deeper than the last one and would be fatal. Or if you convinced yourself that your loved one wouldn't actually do something so drastic and final.

I'm always in awe of other survivors who have been able to transform their pain into some kind of advocacy or action, who start walks or foundations. Everyone's pain and grief is different, and I've manifested mine into a stubborn love of life, over-the-top birthday celebrations and a gratitude for every day above ground, no matter how shitty it is. Because I know better than anyone that it can always be worse.

I want you to know that whatever your grief looks like, and however it's manifested itself, it's OK. It's yours and no one else's, and you don't owe anyone an explanation for it.

I am not a clinician, an expert on mental health or particularly sane myself. This essay isn't intended to downplay the importance of preventing suicide. It's a love letter to everyone who sees the words "suicide prevention" and immediately feels a heaviness, a reminder of the life we weren't able to save.

It isn't your fault, and I hope you've gotten to a place where you can forgive not only the person who left you behind, but yourself, your friends and family.

Go easy on yourself and maybe turn off the news this weekend. Conjure up happy memories about your lost loved one. Or chuck it all and do something you love, that reminds you why this sometimes brutal life is also so precious.

In case it's helpful, here's a link to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: afsp.org/ .

Yes, that's me being held by my Mom, who I must say is rocking those sunglasses, along with Rebellious Val and Aaron.

Karen Hawkins is the founder and rebelle in chief of Rebellious Magazine for Women, a feminist digital media site based in Chicago. She is a Lisagor Award-winning reporter and editor whose journalism background includes The Associated Press and Windy City Times.

Link to the original: rebelliousmagazine.com/trigger-warning-mental-health-suicide-prevention-survivor-guilt/ .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

AIDS Quilt moves to National AIDS Memorial, archives to Library of Congress 2019-11-21 - Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 2019 ( GLOBE NEWSWIRE ) — The NAMES Project Foundation ( NPF ) today announced that the National AIDS ...


Gay News

461,000 LGBT people in Ohio are vulnerable to discrimination 2019-11-21 - Ohio's legal landscape and social climate put the state's 389,000 LGBT adults and 72,000 LGBT youth at risk of discrimination and harassment. The ...


Gay News

HRC Foundation releases 2019 Index rating cities on LGBTQ inclusion 2019-11-21 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ...


Gay News

AMA supports laws protecting youth from conversion therapy, NCLR responds 2019-11-20 - CHICAGO, IL — Today, the American Medical Association ( AMA ) announced that it will formally support state and federal legislation protecting LGBTQ ...


Gay News

American Medical Ass'n adopts policies on LGBTQ health issues, racial pay equity 2019-11-19 - SAN DIEGO — The American Medical Association ( AMA ) gathered physician and medical student leaders from all corners of medicine at its ...


Gay News

New report out on lives of trans people in rural America 2019-11-19 - ( November 19, 2019 ) Des Moines, IA—Stereotypes and pop culture portrayals often overlook the diversity of rural America, framing rural regions as ...


Gay News

State of LGBTQ Equality in nine Illinois cities detailed in HRC's index 2019-11-19 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ...


Gay News

Trevor Project raises $1.2M at L.A. gala 2019-11-18 - On Nov. 18, the Trevor Project—the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people—hosted its 2019 TrevorLIVE Los Angeles ...


Gay News

CDC releases report on school health policies 2019-11-17 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) released "School Health Profiles"—a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices ...


Gay News

Jury renders $2.3M verdict for Planned Parenthood 2019-11-17 - A federal jury found an anti-abortion group led by activist David Daleiden caused substantial harm to Planned Parenthood by infiltrating abortion industry conferences ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.