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.
I can’t believe I find myself writing about Carrie Fisher again. Especially so long after her death and cremation. Unfortunately so many things seem to come to light once someone is gone. In this case it was heartbreaking and difficult to swallow. as you may have already heard, Carrie’s autopsy and toxicology report became public record. It showed she had a cocktail mix of cocaine, heroine, and ecstasy in her system at the time of her death. This will unfortunately tarnish her work to some people, especially the media who will allow her lifes work advocating for mental illness education and recovery from addiction. It has already begun. Most networks are only reporting on her toxicology report and not really mentioning the work she did while she was alive to bring transparency to mental illness and also recovery from addiction.
There’s no doubt that 2016 will go down as one of the worst years ever for America, and many other places around the world. This year we lost so many prominent faces to addiction, mental illness, and natural causes. People who were forces in their own rightful arenas. We were also either one side or the other from a toxic and dividing political election that pitted friend against friend and relative against relative. I ended up being on the losing side of things unfortunately, in more ways than one.
It’s safe to say that pretty much everyone is ready for the end of the year, but we have one more holiday to get through first. The one that has so many meanings to so many people. Yes, Christmas; the most misunderstood, stressful, and risky. This holiday affects me in all of the Big 4; Christianity, alcoholism, mental illness, and homosexuality. I always dread going into this holiday because of all the implications it could have on me. Will I forget to acknowledge the true meaning of Christmas? How many events will I go to that there will be alcohol? How will my mind handle the stress and anxiety of all the expectations surrounding this day? How many ‘Clobber Passage’ zealots will I be able to avoid before one of them throws one of those scriptures at me?