I went to a funeral once for someone I had recently met. it was unfortunate and I barely knew him. At the ceremony his father got up and said:
to the young people in the room, my son was a great kid he was happy and healthy and then one day he tried drugs, and he was never the same. He got very sad and turned very dark and then one day he took his own life.
Don’t take drugs.
Not bad advice, stay away from X, because it caused my son’s death.
Today I was reconsidering this advice. In the context of drugs. What we know generally of people who are living on the streets and taking drugs, they often have mental health troubles, but along with that they will often take the drug that is the street version of the prescription drug designed to help the mental health condition that they have. Almost in the self-prescription form. As far as we know – they do this because it feels better. Treating the underlying mental health condition is a big and important effect of drug-taking. (Some people just take drugs. Let’s not talk about them right now)
In light of this concept of self-treating drug treatment I have to consider, which came first. Was it the drugs or was it the condition that caused him to reach out to drugs. I can’t credit a father to know everything about his son, there might have been more drugs, there might have been more conditions and more stress. I don’t want to speak of his memory in vain. Maybe there was more going on.
I have always asked myself – can I do more? Could I have done more? Could I have known. (not in the beat-myself-up eternally way, but in the can-I-be-ready-for-next-time), in order to be prepared, I ask the question – What came before?
(a post for another day) I ask the same question for any breaking-down argument. What came before?
But what’s the moral of the story? People die. That guy is still gone. I don’t know what to do. But I have one idea. It takes a 10 minute commitment:
- Go to your list of facebook friends
- Look for the people who you think of as most unhappy, most miserable, most angry, most misunderstood, most lost, most alone…
- Send them a message. Talk about it.
No one has to be alone.
Meta: this took 30mins to write.