Marshawn McCarrel, a 23 year old American activist, died last week from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. This is the message he left on his Facebook,
“My demons won today. I’m sorry.“
I read those words and felt defeated. I feel defeated because it reminds me of the helplessness I feel watching people close to me suffer emotionally and mentally.
Unlike physical pain, which is typically overt, emotional and/or mental pain is very difficult to detect. You can spend time with someone and be completely unaware of the demons they wrestle.
But soon, they can no longer hide the darkness.
You notice that they look different. Sound different. The energy is different.
Is everything okay?
They promise their okay. They smile at you, laugh with you and things flow back to their usual.
But it doesn’t last long. The darkness is persistent.
You hope. You pray. You hug them, tight.
You reassure them endlessly, “I’m here for you, you know that“.
If your love could heal them, it would.
But they can’t receive the love. They can’t help it.
You get angry with them. Please, stop self-destructing.
But mental illness isn’t self-destruction. It’s like someone falling over, cutting their arm and then telling them to stop the bleeding. How?
There’s no switch on or off button for mental illness. It creeps into your life and you wonder how, why – I didn’t invite you..?
Here’s what I know- you can’t fix people. You can try- but it’s an exercise in futility. You don’t have magic healing power. Healing comes from within. Healing comes from God.
So don’t take it personally when your efforts are met with no response- it’s not about you.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying. Or that you won’t cry endlessly knowing that someone you love so much is in such pain.
You would give anything to see them whole again.
But again, just remember- it’s not about you.
“See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.” (Isaiah 60:2) | Glasgow, Scotland
For mental health information and support, check out:
© Tessy Maritim