“She ODs all the Time and She Lies”

That was one of the Facebook responses to a woman who posted a suicide statement on the Social Networking site.

Simone Back left a message on FB which said; “Took all my pills be dead soon so bye bye every one.”

“She died”, the article said “…and nobody helped.”

What a sticky topic this is turning out to be. The article also said, “One user replied calling her a liar who ‘overdoses all the time’ while another said it was ‘her choice’. Miss Back, 42, is thought to have been dying of an overdose as the messages were posted on Christmas Day.”

I am overcome by so many emotions that I had to actually detach myself long enough to take a good hard look at the situation to see what is really happening.

Where I feel a bit caught is that the health of our friends and fellow citizens is everyone’s responsibility and the notion that a woman who is 42 years old is responsible for her own choices. What I feel is missing in the conversation is the part where we are not dealing with a stable adult. When the one person responded saying, “She ODs all the time and she lies” it might seem reasonably easy to dismiss the last statement Simone made. The problem I have with the response is that she stated something that was brutally obvious and was actually the answer to all of this, not the excuse for no response.

My response is, “She ODs all the time and lies? Ok then, she is sick and needs help!” If someone out there thinks ODing ‘all the time’ is on the same level as stealing cars or sleeping around, they seriously need to take another look at what they are saying. ODing all the time is time for intervention, not dismissal! Lying is another sign of sickness.

Healthy-minded adults absolutely are responsible for making poor choices like in cases where they are selfish, but I still believe every poor choice comes from somewhere no matter who makes it. If we choose to go sleep around on our spouse, we are making a choice based on some mental instability which needs addressing. If we have to lie about something to cover something up, we must be doing something harmful to ourselves. For this reason, I believe EVERYONE needs help and EVERYONE has the potential of being Simone Back.

All that being said, I firmly believe that friends and families can only do what they can do and shouldn’t beat themselves up from guilt. This is when we ‘do what we can do’ not ignore and type cruel, heartless responses. For instance, the Mother heard about it when it was too late and she’s disabled in a wheelchair. She is limited on where she can go and how she can travel, but she could get on the phone. She probably is well aware that her daughter was sick and lied, but she tried anyways…it was just too late. I don’t however agree this is FB’s responsibility although I applaud them for putting some things into play. Everyone’s pages are semi-private communities. The user base is over 600 million people. It’s getting to be like society. It’s like blaming the Government for something that happened in your living room. I would hope everyone could do their part.

Every single one of us has the capability to do what we can, but I also believe knowing when to keep our mouth shut is a skill too. If you jump on a forum and tell others to dismiss a suicide note, you are adding fuel to it. You aren’t helping. Ever remember the saying, ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?’ That does apply in some cases.

Now, on the flipside; one of the reasons I am such a defender of the English language is because I believe in Word Power. When we learn about conflict resolution, healthy debate and how to communicate well, we have a power to help that can equate to being fully armed.

What if this woman said, ‘Ok guys, we need a new angle with Simone because she has had several attempts before this where she didn’t actually kill herself and she is known to lie. Her life is worthwhile and if anyone can come up with a game plan based on Simone’s complicated personality type, I would love to hear it.”

People in war train all the time to get to know the enemy better before entering the combat zone. Why don’t we arm ourselves with the same weapons in peaceful resolution? If we can start with the facts instead of reacting with our annoyance, we might be able to realize the enemy wasn’t Simone and her ‘lies’, the enemy is the sickness going on in her head. If your friend was being attacked, you would try to get the attacker off of them. If your friend is being attacked by Depression, suicidal tendencies, mental illness or other instabilities, wouldn’t you want to save them from it if you could?

I hate the phrase ‘crying for help’ when used to describe something that Simone was doing. If someone is crying for help and we are in a position to help, we should help. Maybe they need help getting rid of their sickness. Maybe like cancerous cells, it’s taking over their judgment and their lies and manipulations are their body’s last resort. We don’t have to bend to their every whim, but we can recognize they are being taken over. You know how I know Simone was being taken over? …because she is dead today. If death is not enough to tell you the person was fighting illness, I don’t know what could convince you.

If we truly feel like we have done everything we truly can, we should not carry the weight of someone’s illness or suicide. But if we tell others to dismiss their illness, we are probably going to be left with a burden bigger than what we ever asked for. The responder might have been accurate saying she ODs all the time and lies but a person who offers that isn’t trying to help, they are either looking for sympathy from others or have been manipulated and therefore feel warranted in their reaction. It’s simply not a helpful response and could have been worded in such a way to educate others and help Simone get the help she needed.

If you ever wonder how to deal with things like this, the internet has all sorts of ways you can help. You can even ask other friends how to properly respond. If someone tells you dismiss it, ask someone else until you find someone who both respects Word Power and is interested in finding a solution. Again, we are adults! We can’t save everyone, but we can try based on being well-informed and well-equipped.

Much love on ya!
Karen :)

Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers or your clients and customers.” ~Les Brown

No comments:

Post a Comment