lunes, 10 de octubre de 2016

Death and I : Strike 3 - Suicide

I decided to write this, this time in English, cause I'm overwhelmed with the response I got with the version of this in Spanish. The truth is I have this blog to write about everything that goes through my head that I would like to share. It's sometimes just an escape, but most of the time a place where I can at least intend to change the world through thinking, through faith, love and sympathy. Cause I've never lost faith in humanity, never!, and I don't think I ever will. 

I truly believe there's no such thing as a bad person. This is controversial because even my faith says so sometimes, but I just can't agree to that. What I do believe, is that people act based on what they are taught, what they have experienced, their history, growing up context, AND MENTAL ILLNESESS among a lot of other factors. 

I also believe God never intended us to think the same way. I don't believe we have to. I believe we do have to get along, to respect each other, to SHARE!, to be able to share opinions, not always having to agree on them, bus sharing them respectfully, hearing each other instead of attacking each other. That, I think is the only way to truly construct a better world, and in the words of the kid who inspired this post, a 19 year old boy who cometed suicide this past weekend, "the only way to truly change the world is through thinking", he had decided to be a philosophy teacher because he wanted to teach people how to think "the right way" in order to construct a better society, cause he believed that was the only way it could be done.

I'm not going to do a word by word translation of the entry, cause what I wrote 2 days ago, which has had more than 5.500 visits, which is like 5 times the amount of visits my blog had summing up everything I posted since I created it on 2014 , and to that date the most popular post (the first strike of Death: Cancer), written more than a year ago had 379 views, and I felt very proud of that. So when the last post was viewed over 4.500 times on just one day I knew It was special, and it's super humbling cause it a really personal point of view and I just could not not try to share with even more people. 

Thankfully I learnt English well on school and now I'm using this tool to get this thoughts on Death, not just to people in my country, or who speak my language, but for everyone who fights for a better world, and specially to those who suffer mental disorders; cause I'm a bipolar so I know...

The 3 Strikes: Rock Stars on Heaven

I'll start. 

The truth is Death never approached me in a different way than old age or natural causes. Till this day, and I'm 24, so I'm old enough to realize how privileged I am just for this fact, I have alive, my two grandmas and two grandpas, both pairs, with more than 50 years of marriage. They are not even that old. They are still healthy, they all drive, the oldest of them runs his own company. It's almost unfair how lucky we got to be.

So until I was 23, I has never lost anyone. Never I had lost a relative, a friend, a teacher, NOTHING, but just for example, my great- grandma, on 2003 or 01, when I was 8 or 9, and she was supposed to die...

So when I found out a dear friend had cancer I didn't know what to do. "He is a saint", I thought, "he's a VERY good guy, he can't die. He's an amazing contribution to humanity...God cannot take him, it doesn't make any sense". So I spread the news everywhere, cause I just didn't know how to handle this. And I screwed up. All I wanted was for people to pray for him, but a lot of people didn't even knew he was sick, and the day after I had to take the phone call of his girlfriend, and embarrassed I had to listen how she told me how that impulsive reaction had had a very stressing outcome for my friend, because everyone started texting him and calling him, and I can imagine how hard that must have been on him. 

As I said, he is a Saint, I truly believe he is. I pray to him, and ask him for miracles, so it wasn't a shocker when i apologized and he just responded "don't worry, I know you ment well, and I appreciate it"

Well, my Saint friend died. If you want to know his name he's JULIO ESTEBAN TORREJON URRUTIA, look him up, I'm not the only one who wrote about him.

This bring us to the first lesson Mrs. Death taught me: STRIKE ONE - CANCER

My friend was only 26 when he died, as I repeatedly said, he was a Saint. A "regular" guy. Easy on jokes, good as a saint, had lived in 26 years what most of the world can't live in 90. He got married a month before he died, an in a wheelchair, with a bold head, he was the happiest man on Earth. 

That tought me that life is not a full life depending on how old or young you die. The fullfillness of it realies on how thoroughly you lived it, and that's the reasonwhy the good ones go first, cause they lived full lives. They tought what they had to and they left us with these teachings to continue constructing a better world.

Julio on his Wedding Day

8 Month passed and Mrs. Death decided to strike again. This time with a car accident. The victim, my friend since the first grade. A drunk guy hit him, crush him and escaped (to only leave his truck a few meters away cause of his state) I couldn't believe it. I run to the ICU, as soon as I could and it was full of people. I didn't want him to die, so I prayed hard. I prayed, and I sent him a WhatsApp video showing him how packed was the hospital waiting room just for him. I showed him that it was full ON the room, in the hallways, and outside of the hospital, where smokers got together to support each other and specially his mom. I couldn't give in to the idea of him dying. He was just 24, a ver ver really very smart guy. A good guy, a good friend, a good person. A responsable person, "why?"  I thought "why?". I went inside the ICU room to see him, supposedly to say goodbye; but I couldn't, he didn't look that bad, I really thought he was going to be a miracle, so I told him "I know we'll look back and laugh at this, you are not going anywhere. There's too many of us outside waiting for you to recover. I know you'll recover, I really do. See you!(in the near future)"
So I didn't say goodbye, I just couldn't. And so he died, and that's when it stroke me: STRIKE TWO: AN ACCIDENT

That taught me, besides reinforcing what strike one taught me, the following

  • My friend was a rock star, he rocked, literally. He left us a cover that surprised us all. He played the guitar but never sang lead. A week, or days before his accident, this cover was up on youtube. You'll see he IS truly talented. And it was an amazing gift for us here on earth. So, what I mean,  rock stars die young, most of them choose to, but my friend was that special. He was so good, that he had to be rocking up there in heaven.
  • We HAVE to do something to raise awareness about the effects of driving with alcohol. (More) Cause it is still to often a cause of "accidental" death. Thankfully there's now a foundation on behave of his case who tries to create consciousness about drunk driving and it's devastating effects.
Left: Fundación No Más Benjas LOGO:  

And so death had taught me in a year what it hadn't in 23, and now it stroke again. This time, not that directly, but in the worst and hardest way. A kid from my school, who was in the same Drama Club as my 15 year old sister. The one who has played her father in her first play, and the one who played masterfully Disney's Genie, in their adaptation of Aladdin. This kid, who my sister talked about not because he liked him ,because I know who was her crush then, so it was not a biased opinion, but because he was so good at it. He was one of the founders of the Drama Club, he was one of the three I told my sister "I loved loved loved the play! You were all so profesional, but there are some characters who ment it all for the play. Without them this would have NEVER been this good. " The Genie was one of those three,he even had played two parts on the thing. He was truly masterful. 

So It was very hard for me to understand how? how did this happen? what happened? He was very cool, had lots of friends, everyone loved him. Why would he (and also, of all of the options, why that one?) hung himself. It didn't make any sense. It doesn't. But that's how mental illness work. They don't make sense, just like it doesn't make sense that your cornea changes when you have to wear glasses. It doesn't make sense, but it doesn't have to. It's a failure in the brain, it's something chemical, that no one, but treatment, NO ONE, hear me out, NO ONE, can control just with will power. Because it does not have to do with reason. At all. And for someone who doesn't live with a mental disorder this is very hard if not imposible to understand, and that lack of empathy due to not being able to understand mental illness as diseases, is what leads the most part of society, to look at mental illness as something controllable. And that's where prejudices are born. And there's where people like me get to be called unfairly "crazy", "weird", even "creepy" or "psycho". 

So coming back to the strikes of Mrs. Death on my life, this last one translated to these lessons: STRIKE THREE : SUICIDE

  • I know Joaquín is now also on Heaven, making everybody laugh with his jokes and acting skills. God received him with arms wide open, because he LOVES HIM, other way he wouldn't have taken him, and he was just sick. He wasn't selfish or mean, or nothing wrong.
  • WE HAVE TO STOP TREATING MENTAL ILLNESS LIKE THEY WERE INVENTIONS OF CRAZY WEAK PEOPLE, because no one, ever, tells a person with Cancer, "Just get up! It's all on your head! If you want it you CAN do it! You have nothing! Everybody has rough days, ad we all have to cope with them! Just try..." All of the above, ALL OF THEM, I've been told when I'm down, every single one of those frases, a hundred more, and if you don't have something like me, you won't be able to understand how frustrating it is for us to feel that not even our families can empathize with our pain, because we are told time after time "It's all on you" AND IT IS NOT.
Some data: illustrated by Pictoline

I truly, from the bottom of my heart, hope this reaches as many people as my last post did in Spanish. I believe I'm working for that world Joaquín wanted to teach, I think (not because I feel superior, but because it humbles me how people have responded to my writing) I'm doing something to change that that bothers me in this World I live, and it might be escalating, cause if there is one thing Mrs. Death will never let me forget, is the fact that WE CAN'T CONTINUE JUST BEING EXPECTATORS...

This is pretty much me...

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