This is My Bag

Jennifer Butler Basile

This is the closest I’ve gotten to Kate Spade.

A purse that may or may not even be an original piece.

I don’t know her.

Yet, when my husband told me yesterday the breaking news about her death, my mood instantly plummeted. I stared at the black and white text and felt the sobs come.

Not because I know her. In a cliched way, I know her pain. In a frightened animalistic way, I see how quickly I could become her.

Facebook friends who know mental illness posted their sadness and support at the news. Some hinted at public posts with ugly comments and sage advice given too late. But I don’t read comments – of the general population anyway – for my own mental health.

And then one of those comments wormed its way into a personal post I saw.

It was easy for me to lament that stigma was still alive and well, that we’ve so much farther to go, and how sad it is that people still think that way – when I hadn’t read the comments. And then I saw how alive and well stigma is, how much farther we’ve to go, and how scary it is how some people think.

To think that suicide is a choice. To think that those who have reached the point of contemplating suicide are doing so as part of a rational decision-making process. That they eschew their many blessings in life purposefully.

Suicide isn’t supposed to make sense. That’s the fucking point. The mind, the psyche is not working properly. Depression is replacing the authentic voice of self with lies.

You would think the fact that it strikes down even people with blessing piled upon blessing would make people realize that there is something more to suicide than horrible circumstance and selfish choice.

May God save us all.

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  1. Mental illness is all too real and when you are in that dark hole, it can be difficult to get out. Hope I never get back there again.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gale Wright

     /  June 9, 2018

    I’m about six years on the other side of choosing not to commit suicide and I still think it’s kind of a miracle. And I often think about how hard life is on this side of that miracle. I didn’t really follow Kate Spade or Anthony Bourdain. I felt like I had nothing in common with either of them. But now I know that is not true. And I think each of them just got tired.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  June 9, 2018

      Even with miracles life is still hard. That’s pretty freaking profound. Thank you, Gale, for sharing your personal experience. I absolutely agree that they got tired.

      Liked by 2 people


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