On Being Mary Jane’s “Sparrow” episode Dr. Lisa Hudson played by Latarsha Rose commits suicide. There’s honest dialogue about mental illness and suicide within the black community. Mary Jane states that we all should “tell everyone that you love them, that you will love them no matter how ugly their truth is.”
In an interview about her character’s departure from the show, Rose said “I don’t know that everyone has the opportunity to really get vulnerable and honest when dealing with the pain. The question is, why does a person choose to do this? I think it’s different for every person, and if we’re taking about suicide, we never know why a person chooses it.” She is absolutely right.
Several years ago I contemplated suicide. I was in junior high school and there was just so much going on within me – mentally and emotionally. For the longest I did not take the time to truly attempt to identify what I was feeling, why I was feeling that way and what were possible solutions. That all was pushed back due to the news via a good friend that another friend started back cutting, was disappearing/acting out and wanted to commit suicide. I remember not understanding why she did this. She was a beautiful girl, with a beautiful spirit. She had so much to live for. I told her that along with tears with my good friend. To see another smile on her face made everything better. To know that she really saw why she should live and the value of her life was comforting. Yet, a few months later I was her. I wanted to die. I wanted to free myself of this world and the world of me. I wanted the pain to stop. I no longer wanted to be anyone’s burden. Why not end it?
I tried “faking it until I made it,” by being over zealous in moments with family and friends, but then I’d snap. I’d snap in frustration. I’d snap in the lies. I no longer wanted to do this. I no longer wanted live. I didn’t see the purpose. I didn’t know my purpose. I was too tired to try and figure it out – figure me out. There was no way anyone could understand and I was not one to be vulnerable.
I recall my “cries for help.” I’d make comments to my mother with hidden messages and she’d take me for a joke. I’d describe to my mom how I’d kill myself. She thought it was a teenage phase, because I hadn’t gotten my way with something. But it was. It had nothing to do with material things or teenage things. It was all mental. Had I been strong enough then to vocalize what I was going through, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad.
Instead I nearly went there. I toyed with the idea of death. Death has always fascinated me. I wasn’t afraid. The more I thought about it the more I was content with my ending. I wrote it all out in a sort of code. Writing has always helped me. A few days later I wrote out in details exactly how I’d commit suicide. It was very descriptive. I hid the paper in my room so no one could stop me. After that, I was very happy. Like, not pretend. Like Latarsha’s character Lisa, I was light and happy as a weight had lifted off of my shoulders. But then it came crashing back down and hard. (Another post for another time. I have yet to get to that stage of sharing).
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Last night’s episode of Being Mary Jane was a reminder for me. It reminded me of what I’ve over come. It reminded me of what I needed to work on. It caused me to reflect and most importantly it allowed me to cry and be vulnerable. Could you believe I’d never cried about that situation up until the show? That was a long 10+ year, pent up and over-due cry. I even shared a post on Twitter about it. That was a really big step for me. Heck, it’s still sort of shocking.
I’m overwhelmed with all that I have shared as I do keep certain personal things under lock and key. And by habit, I guess, my thought process is all jumbled and I am tired after releasing that. However, I could not let this go by and not share something.
It’s okay to talk about it, even if it is online to a bunch of strangers. You never know, someone may get something out of it; maybe even find strength in it. And for anyone out there, I am here if needed. Be it for a cry or a listening ear. Don’t worry; you won’t be a burden to me. I love you and you are valuable.
For more information on suicide and suicide prevention check out http://suicide.org/
If you or someone you know is suicidal please call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) for help and support.