For a Man I Never Knew

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Tonight, there’s a memorial being held for a man who killed himself in the parking lot of a church this past Sunday morning. I suppose if he had been a man of little notoriety, the situation might not have made such a splash in the media. As it happened though, the man was a social media guru known all over the world — not a full-fledged celebrity, but  if you had tried to learn anything about social media, especially in Greenville, you would have at least seen his name mentioned.

I never met him. I’d read some Twitter posts and a couple of blog entries while I was trying to find a job a couple of years ago. I’d seen replies and retweets on Twitter. My impression was that he was extremely smart and well-respected. Things have come out about what had been going on in his life leading up to the suicide, and while I’m not going to elaborate on that borderline tabloid aspect, it didn’t take much clicking to read that this smart, respected, marketing genius was known to suffer from depression.

I can’t explain why, but my heart aches for him. I hurt over the fact that he felt like he couldn’t go to anyone for help, that he either couldn’t take meds or that they weren’t working, that his desperation was that low.

And it’s situations like this when — not to turn the spotlight on me on purpose — I have to speak up and say that no one has to feel this desperate. I thank God I’ve never sat in a car in a church parking lot with a gun while police tried to negotiate with me, but I have had deep, dark thoughts that I can’t bring myself to speak out loud to anyone. Y’all, that is not the place to be. That place sucks harder than one of those Dyson vortex vacuums with all the cone-shaped cylinders and G forces and swivel apex that gets into every nook and cranny of your soul.

Then you have people who can’t understand why you’re unable to just snap out of it. Just eat right and exercise and lose weight and all your problems will be solved. Meanwhile, you’re struggling to keep your shit together just trying to blow dry your hair.

I’m not proud to say that I have this problem. I am proud to say that I’ve been able to keep it at bay, but I don’t wanna stand on a mountain top with a Riccola horn and announce that I’m on meds and see a therapist.

But I would if it meant that one person sitting in a church parking lot with a gun would put down the weapon and get help.

So since I don’t have a Riccola horn, here I am, on my virtual mountain, telling anyone out there to please talk to someone if you believe you feel anything like what this man felt.