I remember this day like it were yesterday. It will forever be etched in my brain. Anger, confusion, frustration and total sadness consumed me. Over the years I took those feelings and used them to educate myself on Mental Illness, Brain Disorders, and Suicide. I involved myself in many community organizations, attended conferences, read books, searched the web, took advantage of counseling, and spoke with many people grieving just the same. I educated myself to simply understand "why."
The conclusion I have come to is that there is NO "why." I will never be in my brother's mindset at that very moment when he decided to end it all. I will never know the pain he suffered to get to that point. I am not him. I am not genetically wired that way. To tell you the truth, from what I've learned, he couldn't tell you "why" either. The brain is a very complex organ.
Jerry Wayne was a fighter. When diagnosed at the age of 18 he worked hard to get the help he needed. 4 years worth. Did everything by the book, listened to every Dr. and Therapist, and tried every drug on the market and every therapy including the very dangerous and memory losing Shock Therapy Treatment. In the end his very complex mind took over.
In the wake of the media surrounding the poor Washignton woman that is choosing to "Die with Dignity." I'm asking myself, what's the difference? No one asks for any of these diseases and for quite a many of the mentally ill, their disease is terminal.
My lil brother's psych Dr said, upon my brothers suicide that he knew couldn't help my brother from the moment he walked into the 1st session. That my brother was terminal.
Can you imagine if we, as a family, were clued into that 4 years earlier when 1st beginning treatment? We would have had the opportunity to help my brother die with dignity instead of walking in on him dead and spending the rest of our lives suffering from flash backs and nightmares of the horrific scene.
We also could have had a chance to say goodbye and be with him at the end and he would have died a more humane pain free death.
Can you imagine if the mentally ill actually had support and love and and fundraising for their treatments like these other diseases? Instead of being shamed and shunned? That alone would be a HUGE BREAKTHROUGH in treatment for the mentally ill!!
Throughout this education process I've heard numerous times how selfish, thoughtless, careless, and cowardly my brother was to take his own life. I challenge this world to STOP THE STIGMA! Be mindful, non-judgmental, supportive, and an advocate to everyone you know that suffers from this deadly disease. Be there for your loved ones. Be there for strangers. Just be there.
If you are someone suffering with mental illness, speak up. Don't be afraid. There are many people like me that can be there for you! I have discovered many additional resources since then that I can point you to.
Supporting Kids with Mental Illness (and their families) (facebook)
Though I miss my brother dearly, I am at peace now because he is at peace. Jerry Wayne's favorite song has no truer words. "I'm not a perfect person, they're many things I wish I didn't do, the reason is you." Sang by Hoobastank
Thank you all for SAYINGITFORWARD! Being brave and giving this silent disease a voice so that all may be treated and a cure may be found!
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