Thursday, 14 August 2014
Let's Talk About Suicide
The last post I threw up here about not co-signing the b.s. of others sucked. That is to say, I thought it was pretty bad. I realized that what I really want to talk about is suicide in the rooms of recovery.
Those of you 17 readers or so who don't live in a cave know by now that Robin Williams died. He committed suicide by hanging [with a belt]. Some people who are in recovery locally are claiming that his presence in the continuing sobriety program at Hazelden this summer indicates that (a). Robin Williams was in A.A. and (b). he relapsed.
To the first assumption, Robin Williams was addicted to alcohol and to cocaine. He could have been attending Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Secular Sobriety-- Save Our Selves [non 12-step program], or a number of other meetings where recovering people gather or none of those things. He had twenty years of abstinence before checking into rehab in 2006 in order to become free again of active addiction to alcohol.
To the second assumption, Robin Williams checked into the continuing sobriety program at Hazelden earlier this summer in order to reinforce his sobriety and not because he relapsed in the year 2014. There is no indication that he relapsed in the year 2014.
Please see http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/gossip/la-et-mg-robin-williams-rehab-treatment-tune-up-20140701-story.html if you are interested.
Some percentage of people in recovery have other medical problems besides addiction. Those who have asthma [ought to] take asthma medication in order to achieve and maintain non-constricted breathing. Those who have diabetes or high blood pressure have certain lifestyle changes along with meds that are required in order to continue living well. Those who have been diagnosed with clinical depression also should be followed by a healthcare professional so that way they don't kill themselves even though they are abstinent and working a program. Period.
I don't know whether or not Robin Williams was being followed for his mental health stuff. I don't know what his diagnosis was. That is none of my business.
Many years ago, a friend of mine with six years clean killed herself by jumping off of a bridge. She did not take a drink or other drugs or overdose on meds or anything in order to "give her the courage" to take her own life. She simply did it.
Just before she suicided, she was calling some of her friends and telling them that she wanted to kill herself. Her lover attended a counseling session with her the day before she jumped off that bridge. The therapist-- I wasn't there so I don't really know what happened there. But the very next day she was gone. I suppose she was eligible for an eternity coin. [Some groups in some places give them to a dead person who died clean]. The bottom line is that she was dead. Not among the living. Kaput. Her ashes showed up at a [now former] friend's house. We went to the memorial. Life went on.
I was glad that folks in recovery where I live didn't know my friend. [She was from another area]. I was glad that I didn't have to listen to people supposing that her program wasn't good enough or at fault somehow. Some folks in recovery did that to the two fellows here that committed suicide the same year that my friend did. None of the three people who killed themselves were failures. The fault was not in the way they "worked the program." I lay the fault at the feet of the mental health treatment industry. Period. All three of them-- my friend and the two guys-- were diagnosed with major depression. All three of them were being followed by mental health professionals. The two fellows got drunk [and one of them took too many of his diabetes meds as well] before shooting themselves with their guns. My friend jumped off the bridge sober.
The common bond between the three of them was their major depression, their clinical depression.
sapphoq itching for coffee says: If you want to kill yourself or hurt yourself-- regardless of whether or not you are in recovery-- please tell someone and get help.