A few days ago a young lady posted what looked to be a suicide post on social media. The beast that is social media mildly exploded, showering her wall with messages of support and love. Loved ones and Strangers shared her post in the hopes of that somebody would recognize her, see her somewhere and lend a helping hand. An outpouring of support that showed, even in this disconnected world, people could still care.
Unfortunately, the beast has another side, and there were comments asking, among other things, why she had to let the world know, why she couldn’t just suck it up, and why she didn’t just do it. Others, in their attempt to cheer her up, told her that suicide was only for cowards, and not for strong people. At this time, I don’t know what has happened to her, I hope that she found the peace of mind to not go through with it. It did show however, that many don’t get exactly what causes someone to even go near that dark place.
A few years ago, someone I knew and cared for went throught that same process. He was joyful boy who loved to laugh, play and loved music. As life tends to go, we drifted apart as parents moved but met up again in the village many years later. Without skipping a beat, it was like we were kids again. He had grown into a young man who was the joyful, active person that many aspired to be. There was a loneliness though, that none of us could see.
Unfortunately for him, there would be no intervention and the loneliness would eventually overcome him. I cannot imagine the grief that flooded his immediate family. In the aftermath of the shock and grief, I sat and listened as my dad and his dad talked about what had just happened. In very few words I heard his father and I saw why this loneliness was so deadly. “Tu vinaka sara tu ga na yagona…..io…sa ramusu ga na yalona”(His body was fine, but his spirit had broken). Sadly, no one knew. It makes it even more painful when you realize that someone everybody loved and cared for, had to go through something so dark, all alone. Compounding the pain was the fact that a slight change could have altered the path forever. The friend who sat with him for the last few hours joking and laughing, oblivious to what was about to happen. The neighbor who saw his light on and was going to pop in to see if he had a few bottles to wash down. The other neighbor who wanted to borrow the stereo but heard it playing so he decided against it. Everyone shared that pain, that anger, and their love for him made it even more painful. No one knew that he felt alone.
I will not pretend that I know what kind of wall this loneliness builds up or that I know exactly how to break it down. I will admit, I had taken quite a dim view of it all(depression,loneliness, anxiety) until it happened to someone I knew. I thought it happened only to someone who did not have an existing support system of loved ones and friends. I now know different.
I now know that someone with so many friends around can still feel alone. I now know that a person can be a joker, be talented and be a fully functioning person and still feel everythings for nothing. I also know that while the wall may be big, one small crack is all it takes(for starters). It can be a neighbor checking in. A friend sitting with you. A stranger writing a blog post about the wall of loneliness. You cannot let the wall close someone out. Reach out and talk to someone. Or go out of your way to call someone just to say “Wassup?” or if you’re not in 2001 anymore, anything. If you’re on the other end of loneliness, talk to someone(I’m not going to pretend its easy, but you owe it to the champion self that you are). Message me(seriously) or if you don’t feel like it and would rather talk to someone who is, you know, trained to deal with these situations, go ahead. I’m hoping that all it takes is just one slight give in the wall before good can come rushing in. Contrary to what T-Pain said in Buy you a drank, you don’t have to do it all by yourself(dry, weak, I’ll go with it anyway).
You can be many things in life. An astronaught, a model, a gamer, in an open relationship, single or married, but please dont let yourself think you’re ever completely alone.