Having a rough go of it, friends. Someone I care about threatened and attempted suicide today. He was taken to the hospital and later released. But I don’t know how he’ll be tonight. He did something stupid, this guy… I mean, he really fucked up. He lied. He manipulated. He hurt people, people I love. He hurt me too. And despite me telling him that everyone fucks up, that it’s part of being human, I’m not entirely sure what will happen. I have such an ugly, sick feeling in my gut.
Then stupid fucking Facebook and their stupid fucking Timehop reminds me that today is the EXACT day that I found out another person I cared about took his own life. 2012. Seven years ago today. That death shook me, cracked my foundation. Rearranged my DNA. In truth, I’m not the same person I once was. This other boy, he was younger and also troubled. I didn’t know he was in danger. Maybe I should have. Even so, I’m not sure I would have known how to help back then. I might have hugged him, might have sat with him and laughed at his goofy jokes, might have listened to him fan on and on about Biggie and Tupac. But he’s not here, this boy, and neither are the rappers he idolized.
Here’s what I know today: Life is hard, and sometimes we screw up. Sometimes people hurt us or we hurt them. Sometimes life looks and feels a lot like a steaming pile of crap, and still there’s hope. People care, no matter how desperate things are or appear to be. Sometimes what we need to do in our fucked up state is to sit down in a spiritual fire pit. We need to get cozy and let soul fire burn off the ugliness, all the things we want to change. It’s a purification rite, a cleansing. It’s passion and heat, inspiration and soul.
Spirit fire isn’t physical, but it can refine and rarefy us just the same. We can take our seats and warm ourselves from the outside in. And when we emerge, still ourselves but new Phoenix in form, we can help others. We remember the heat and the pain. We can offer water to the thirsty. We can sit with our friends as they enter their own soul flames and keep them company as the pyre burns. We can sing them songs and tell them stories. And love them.
What works for one doesn’t work for all. We need to remember this. Maybe it’s spending time in nature or calling a supportive friend. Maybe it’s reading or petting an animal. And when we feel desperate, any of us, we can take a deep breath. Then another. And another.
Think peachy-pink thoughts, friends. It’s a healing color. It’s the color of my heart palace, and there’s room enough for you.
PS: I understand it’s my trigger, but I would consider it a personal favor not to joke about shooting yourself. No finger guns to the head, please. Please and thank you.
PPS: If you or anyone you know needs help, please reach out for help. Text "TALK" to 741741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255