But suicide is more subtle than that. Suicide is a kind of fatal exhaustion. It knocks on your door not as a monster but as a healer making a house call. We have to invite it in. Spade held that red scarf in her hands, Bourdain held that bathrobe belt i…
I love the entire piece, but I think that this, and the statement about detachment, stood out most. I understand the monster. I’ve experienced it. I’ve also experienced the detachment. Once, I took a knife and drew the non-blade side against my wrist “just to see it.” Then I snapped out of it, dropped the knife and ran from the kitchen.
What I’ve found in my interactions with the monster — and I had experts suggest this first — is that it takes more energy to resist it than to show it compassion. We need to keep as much energy as we can. Staying calm rather than struggling always conserves strength.
When you fight the monster, it fights back hard. When you love the monster it sometimes fights back, and sometimes, just when you think you have your shit together, it seems to sneer, “Oh yeah??” and then gives another sucker punch. However, it eventually calms down, like a child throwing a tantrum. As I said, this is what experts advised me and what worked for me so it might not be universally true. It’s sometimes tough to show the monster compassion, but that monster is part of us. We need to treat it with love.
Today I attended a memorial event for my niece who killed herself the week before Kate Spade’s suicide (see my Medium blog for a few stories that I posted in response). The event was held by the group therapy program she attended. A few of her peers there spoke, and of those few, most mentioned her smile, warmth, positivity and how she helped others. One suggested that she cared about others more than she cared about herself. Her smile and her positivity. You never know what invisible struggle someone is facing.