Sometimes suicide is like a plane crash; sometimes it’s like being black-out drunk. Sometimes humans do things they don’t mean to do, but there’s just no way to ever take it back. Because sometimes suicide is like a murder where the killer & the victim look like the same person, but they’re not.
It is time to start demanding to know what medications mass-murderers and suicide victims were on at the time of their death and/or shooting spree.
It’s time to find out how big a role prescription drugs play in these mental breaks.
No two suicides are the same because no two brains are the same. So maybe it’s time to stop lumping all suicide victims together by flooding social media with suicide prevention hotline numbers, and reminders that people will listen. Suicide isn’t always about a need to reach out. Sometimes suicide is like a plane crash. The flight takes off that day and all systems seem normal. The gauges seems to be functioning properly. The fuel tank is at an appropriate level. The seat are comfy. Nothing is blocking the isles. Visibility is clear. Seat backs & tray tables are in their upright position. The passengers are pleasant, the crew is delightful, and the pilots are sober.
And then out of nowhere, with no warning, and for no apparent reason there’s a catastrophic power failure.
There’s nothing anyone can do. No one is in control. Nothing can stop what’s about to happen. There’s no one to call and no time to dial the phone. Everything is noise and confusion and panic and fear. There’s a hurricane of thoughts spinning in the rush of anguish, knowing what’s happening but want to believe that it’s not. It’s not. It’s not. It’s not. I’m not doing this. This is not happening. What is happening?
And then it’s over. It ends so fucking quickly. It’s hard to believe the curtain between life and death is that sheer and that thin, but it is. No takesies-backsies.
Meanwhile, thousands of other planes take off an land with no problem. Same kind of plane, same kind of day, same kind of passengers. No one loses any luggage, no one misses a connection, no one over-indulges, the bathroom rooms are always unoccupied, and no one stunk things up right before the next person walked in. There’s no layovers, no turbulence, no seatmates hogging the arms of the seats. They come & go without so much as a spilled beverage; like there’s no such thing as planes just falling out of the sky killing the loved ones of people who will be stricken with unbearable grief. They just go right on and fly… like flying is the most normal thing in the world.
That’s what suicide is like sometimes.
Sometimes suicide is just a momentary lapse of reason; like being black-out drunk without even having any alcohol. if you’ve ever been black-out drunk, you know how it’s possible to do the most unthinkable things without even knowing you’re doing them. News headlines and church gossip is full of stories about the things people have done when they’re black-out drunk. Or out-of-their-minds on drugs.
That’s what suicide is like sometimes, too. A blackout that’s gone horribly wrong.
I wonder what role prescription drugs are playing in the increasing wave of suicides and mass shootings over the last 30 years. We are now a generation deep into the opioid epidemic. And yesterday, another friend was taken by suicide. Only last year, friends in the City of Salisbury, Maryland lost a beloved police officer and member of the community to suicide. And just like when I see the stories about mass shootings, my first thought is always, “I wonder if they were on medication – and if so, I wonder what it was, and when was the last time they saw they’re doctor?” I always think that right after I scream at the TV, “WHAT. * ME D I C A T I O N * WERE THEY ONNNN???” which has gotten increasingly louder with every story I see about this. I think it goes without saying that I am not very much fun to sit with during the evening news.
In managing my own mania, one of the things I find works for me is understanding how the mind and the brain work, especially relative to chemical roller-coastering — especially that due to prescription medication and processed foods. I take no prescription medication because the side-effects scare the ever-loving fuck out of me. There are a disturbing number of medications listing suicidal and or homicidal thoughts and tendencies as a side-effect. It says so right in the commercials… but it’s dawned on me that no one watches commercials anymore (except during the “Big Game” I guess, and only if they’re funny, or a puppy & a horse make everyone cry). And the pharmacist isn’t going to tel you. It’s up to us to read the small print on the folded up piece of paper stapled to to outside of the bag to find out that Motrin can make your skin itchy, or your migraine cure might make your forehead lifeless & wrinkle-free, or that risk of suicide is a side effect in more that 200 common drugs.
I don’t hear anyone talking about this. And the one time I brought it up to some liberal acquaintances in a conversation about gun control, I was told, “Stop blaming other people!” as if my saying pharmaceuticals might very well play a roll in mass shootings is somehow saying there’s no need for responsible gun legislature. FOH with that extreme left bullshit. I am in full support of responsible gun-ownership; training, back-ground checks, de-escalation classes or something to teach people how to keep from panicking and firing their fucking weapon. But none of that means drugs haven’t also been a contributing factor.
I think it’s time to create some sort of legislation that states if ANYONE commits a mass-shooting, or mass killing in any way, be it vehicular, or some sort of bombing, et al, if you are caught and or killed in any mass killing, you automatically give up any rights to privacy and your brain is autopsied, and your tissue & blood have pharmacological tests run. And the result of all of those things are made public. We should be allowed to know if there is any correlation or pattern, if for no other reason than that of public safety. It was just recently that more than 60 doctors, pharmacists, medical professionals and others were charged in connection with alleged opioid pushing and health care fraud. Is there really anyone who can honestly admit to thinking that one case is the only time this has ever or will ever happened? Just those 60 people and that’s it? Just these 60 unassuming people who look like your neighbors, or the people at church? Only these people? With the good jobs, and the nice houses, and the cars & boats & vacations & stuff? They’re the only ones working this kind of drug ring in America? And I’m not saying all doctors, pharmacists, nurses, or chemists are bad. I’m not saying medicine does not have its place or that drugs serve no purpose. It’s not about one or the other. It’s about stopping the corruption and protecting the public’s health and welfare.
How many people do you think are out there cursing a loved one for being a coward and taking the easy way out – who are feeling broken and lost because their father, or brother, or local hero, or aspiring student, or grandparent, bullied child, cop, veteran, soccer mom, rock star, movie star, always smiling person suddenly just killed themselves for no apparent reason? I don’t think my brother meant to kill himself. I don’t think Robin Williams meant to kill himself. I don’t think Anthony Bourdain meant to kill himself. I don’t think Chris Cornell meant to kill himself. In fact, Chris Cornell’s wife, Vicki, is suing her husband’s doctor for malpractice.
It’s disappointing to see the news cycles droning along in pointless debates over semantics. How many more political un-news stories will be manufactured and maligned by babbling pundits instead being focused on what might be the root cause or common denominator in the uptick of mass-killings and sudden suicides other than how they can be disguised as bait and set in big traps and on shiny hooks the feral hogs & blood-thirsty sharks?
Like the Mueller Report, with suicide & mass murder, people cry out for an answer, a why, a how; something definitive. Something clear and concise and easy to demonize. Something that fits conveniently into this instant-gratification existence because nobody has time for all this. But life is chaos, and chaos doesn’t necessarily work in succinct or supposable ways. Details matter. So, while it’s all well and good to circulate the suicide prevention hotline, not all suicides work like that. Not every suicide is someone who simply didn’t reach out. Not all suicide is an inevitable end to depression. Not all medications effect everyone the same way. No two brains are alike. And those who are accountable should be held to it. People are living their best lives on the backs of dead children and it needs to stop.
And if you think suicidal side-effects to medication are bad, wait ’til you find out what malnutrition and lead exposure can do to the brain.