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suicide
  • Don’t Call It A Suicide

    I took a HIIT class at my gym this morning. That’s high intensity interval training for those gym neophytes like myself. It was my first one and I wasn’t sure what to expect other than my body wasn’t going to like me very much later today. You see, I joined a gym in January determined to incorporate more exercise into part of my care for myself. Medications: check. Sleep hygiene: check. Regular visits with my team: check. And now regular exercise: check in progress.

    We started the class with an exercise the trainer referred to as “suicides.” It consists of running back and forth to various points ultimately across the entire room with the goal of being able to do five sets of these. It’s a hard, exquisitely challenging exercise without a doubt. It’s defined as “a high intensity sprinting drill, suicides consist of running to multiple progressively distant lines, within a set, as fast as you can. Speed, endurance and agility are all highlighted when running suicides as they test your ability to push through mental and physical fatigue to meet your goal.”  livehealthy.chron.com/suicide-running-drill-8784.html 

     Challenge met. My mental and physical fatigue was peaked. In between the “suicide” drills we had other exercises to perform as well. Perhaps I’m being overly critical or picky today but I hate that they are called suicides. Call them hell burners, call them your least favorite drill of the day, but don’t call them suicides. We aren’t there as a class running back and forth in the depths of despair plotting how to end our lives. We aren’t there contemplating methods of lethality and how we can avoid people so that our plan to complete actual suicide goes unnoticed.

    I’ve been there, both contemplating suicide and attempting suicide with failed completion. It’s not an exercise. It’s pain, but it’s not an exercise to be found in a gym. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say again and again and again until I’m understood. Language matters. Words matter.

     There was a piece of my brain in class this morning thinking about my attempts and the aftermath.  I got dizzy – I suspect from low blood sugar and couldn’t complete the last twenty minutes of class. I have to question the mind-body connection to a degree; thinking too much about the past and what I had done before, residual effects on my family, the thought of my children being raised without a mother versus now just asking me where I’ve been mornings and hearing my cheerful reply “oh, the gym.”

    In the end what mattered today is that we were there in HIIT cheering each other on, lungs burning, and gulping water as quickly as we can, alive. Gloriously and amazingly alive this morning, enjoying how magical it is – what our bodies are capable of. And it’s not called suicide. 

  • Oh Dear Logan, Apology NOT Accepted

    Turning on the news today one read how a YouTuber named Logan Paul with 15 million subscribers got himself into a bit of a pubic relations disaster overnight and that’s putting it mildly. Logan Paul is a 22-year-old video blogger who posts daily short “shows” to his channel and had managed to garner quite a bit of fame doing so. However overnight a video was posted by him of himself and his team in the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mt Fuji, Japan – most commonly known as the suicide forest. He took the time to bleep out his curse words, but posted the body of a deceased person in full-view. The video got 6.3 million views in the day it was available prior to being taken down. http://nymag.com/selectall/2018/01/logan-paul-suicide-forest-video-youtube.html

    The video since been taken down, reportedly by Logan himself only after he came under fire for having the lack of decency and let’s face it – balls – to be so disrespectful to the family who lost a loved one by suicide. He claimed at one point they stumbled onto the forest, but last I checked, no one “stumbles” into Japan’s infamous suicide forest incidentally. He then claimed he did it for mental health awareness, but my god, I can think of a million and one ways to promote mental health awareness that do not involve a corpse and re-traumatizing a family whose loved one is in the forest or all the other families who lost loved ones to suicide.

    As a suicide survivor, I don’t accept his defensive, tearful apologies. There has to be a point where you, Logan, understand your actions and that you took your fame too far. Stick to your silliness and comedic acts. Hold a fundraiser if you want to raise some awareness. Participate in American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)’s Overnight Walk and encourage your followers to do the same if you want to raise some awareness. Do something for the seriously mental ill, the ones who get ignored, who can’t get care, who get funneled into the prison system; raise awareness for them if you really want to get serious about mental illness and mental health. I’d be happy to give you some names and point you in the right direction. Let’s start with Treatment Advocacy Center, huh?

    But Logan, please let’s just be honest with the public and with suicide survivors like me first. You knew what you were doing and you did for views. The American public is not stupid. You underestimate your followers. And my children, who used to watch you for kicks and laughs? I say used to because as of 6:45 this am your content in any format is banned in my home. My nine-year-old is pretty savvy and has an impressive level of awareness regarding mental illness and mental health thanks to having a mother with bipolar disorder, so he knows EXACTLY what you did and thinks you lack morals. My nine-year-old. Sleep on that tonight.