It never fails. When stuff seems to be going really good, something always comes up to put me right back where I seem to belong. I’ve gotten lots of good news lately. Good job changes, moved into a great new apartment, and about to celebrate 5 years sober when I turn 32. I wake up this morning to get thrown something from left field. I can’t say it wasn’t fully expected. I always knew this particular part of my life would reach a precipice one day. Unfortunately, it hit a bit harder than I expected.
Suicide has been a hot topic lately. More so than in past years. A staggering number of celebrities have taken their lives over the last couple of years and it has since put suicide at the front of conversations again. Because of this, you have the inevitable blaming of the victim themselves. I would say often times it is a result of lack of knowledge of mental illness, but I can resoundingly say it is 100% the result of not knowing anything about mental illness or suicide. This extends to even those who have a loved one who died by suicide. Just because it affected you, it doesn’t mean you understand it. Therefore you have no place to blame the victim. It’s paramount to blaming the victim of a sexual assault. Let me explain before you jump on me for the comparison.
When in mental illness recovery, we thrive and grow from peoples stories of perseverance and ability to stay stable through times of adversity. We learn new ways to manage episodes that we live with daily. When we can also hear stories from people who live in the spotlight, in one way or another, through all of the stress, criticism, adversity, and more, we take much strength from that. The people who live in the spotlight and can still manage their mental illness diagnosis, is something to admire.
My passion, and job, is being a dog trainer. I pride myself on my knowledge of the ins and outs of dog behavior and my ability to help people create better relationships with their dogs. I have spent years educating myself through self-study and learning from others to hone in my skills. I have created many lasting relationships, and saved many lives, along the way. But one comment made me question it all. It wasn’t even a direct jab. It was simply an update on an event a clients dog was involved in.