Please Stay

Listening to the radio as two experts discuss the rise in the suicide rate in the US. They’re dancing around some of the blunter, more obvious ways in which this rise comes to be. Or describing a downstream consequence.

I also feel like I should tick off a bingo space for mention of smartphones and lack of face to face time among youth.

Look: The world is looking a lot meaner in recent years. Wage depression means parents aren’t as available to their kids, in aggregate. Wage depression also means people aren’t as available to one another, the financial insecurity means longer hours. The degree of divisiveness in the political upheaval we are experiencing leaves people feeling deeply suspicious of all but key, trusted allies.

It sucks, and there’s no rapid remedy to making it better.

The only thing I have to offer is this: If you feel like checking out permanently, please stay. We need you in this fight for this thing called life. No, it absolutely isn’t fair of me to ask if you’re in a black mood. I’m asking anyway. I’m dead earnest when I say we need your help on this right now.

Believing you are loved, which you are, and in your worth, which you have, and that things may get better. Those may be impossible for you right now. Or you may even be in such pain that though you believe them you may even resent those things and wish to eradicate their memory from your mind to make it possible to act on impulse. I get it. I’ve been there.

I’m literally talking from remembering being in that headspace. If it helps, I’m asking you to commit to do nothing more than I asked myself to commit to.

And I am here. Decades later.

And for the rest of you, not in a black mood? Please be excellent to one another. Check on the ones who always seem strong, who always take on caring for others. Check on those you know who are vulnerable. Offer empathy. Know that you, personally, may not be able to make it better. You might only make it bearable. But that’s not nothing, and it might make the difference. If someone is suffering so much they are in a black mood, please be willing to just sit and stay with them through some of that. We need you to do that.

Either side of this: We need you. Please stay.


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