I don’t remember when this became a thing but every other post on social media is people joking about suicide. Whether it is a picture of a noose with the caption “Hang in there” or a picture of a bottle of bleach being in the “Back to School” sale. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who laughs at these depressing jokes. But why do we laugh? Is it because we find it funny? Relatable? Is it a coping mechanism to make us feel less uncomfortable?
It isn’t just online where people are joking about their suicidal tendencies. You can be at work or at school and suddenly someone jokingly tells you to kill yourself. I doubt they expect you to respond with “Well I was planning to last night”. You’re meant to laugh it off and see it as a joke.
I have never been one to take any of these jokes seriously and I would be lying if I said I never joke about suicide myself. Sometimes at work, I say, “This is so boring, I want to kill myself”. Do I mean it? No, I mean I have a very low tolerance for boredom but I don’t want to kill myself because of it.
Whilst we have been talking more about mental health over the years I still don’t think we have grasped the concept of suicide. “13 Reasons Why”, a Netflix TV show, tried to portray what it is like to be suicidal. However, the creators of that show didn’t do a brilliant job as they suggested that suicide was some form of revenge. Kind of like going “Ah he rejected me so I’m going to kill myself”. Which isn’t the case, you don’t kill yourself for other people’s sake.
And I realise being alive today means I probably have no expertise in the subject of suicide. But normally people kill themselves either because the chemicals in their brains don’t work the way they are meant to or because multiple things over time got too much. It would seem petty and a waste of time to kill yourself over what someone else did.
We may be aware more of mental health but there are still some habits we can’t break out of. Men are “pussys” for crying and women are “bitter bitches” for getting angry. But why? All we are doing is being human. If someone was full of joy and happiness 100% of the time there would probably be something wrong with them. We all have our down moments, some more than others, and we should be allowed to express ourselves in those moments.
I think we need to stop over sharing online and under sharing in person. We can happily tell everyone online in some form of humour that we want to die but we can’t tell the people around us when we are feeling a little down?
It doesn’t matter how uncomfortable the other person gets if you are feeling suicidal, tell someone rather than expecting them to read between the lines of your Facebook post.
My Book: “Letters to my Past”