Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Faith & doubt in humanity

I don't follow her blog, but yesterday, Summer Minor of Austin, TX posted her self-written eulogy after her spiraling depression and battle with bipolar disorder seemed to have put her in the darkest of dark places.

What was to be her final post and her unresponsiveness afterward had the online blogging and other social media communities abuzz.

There are two things about the situation that have me in awe.

The first being that Summer's online community of friends and supporters likely saved her life. THEY were keeping an eye on her through her posts and THEY were the ones that contacted the authorities, who then searched for Summer and, thankfully, found her. Alive.  Summer is safe, hospitalized and is getting the help she needed. When you say your prayers today, remember to include Summer, her family and those like her who seem to be so lost that they feel there is no other way out.

Lately, the media has put much focus on what Twitter and other social media outlets have been able to do. To all of social media's critics, criticize away... because it is amazing that social media saved a life yesterday in the most direct and raw way.

The second thing about Summer's post that has me somewhat speechless, is that there were many in the online community that criticized Summer, calling her selfish for abandoning her three young children and for inciting panic online. They also blasted her on her own blog for posting the eulogy as a hoax, because in the end, she did not commit suicide.


I am not going to pretend to know anything about crippling depression or other disorders and pain that may create suicidal tendencies or thoughts. But what I do know is that thoughts of suicide are not selfish or painless or controllable.  Feelings of and suicide itself happens to real people who believe that is the only way out - for them and for their family. It isn't something that can be snapped out of or controlled alone by medication. While it is an illness, there is not a quick fix.

If you or someone you know appears to be heading down a dark road, please click here for a resource

Um, if you are one that has criticized Summer (or anyone like Summer), you should also click the link. It was written by someone who has been there.

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