It’s not always fun and games over here at on-account-of.com, or, in my offline existence either. But you know that, I’ve talked about it plenty before and for the most part, I am an open book, take it or leave it.
That said, I want to talk about something important, something serious. And it’s about a TV show. Glee, to be exact.
Now bear with me.
Before you roll your eyes, know that for all its corniness and campiness and sometimes ridiculous storylines, it also tends to confront real-life issues in a pretty serious way.
Part of Tuesday night’s episode focused on a character who in the past three seasons of the show has struggled with his sexuality and with who he is, going from a bully to bullied himself.
And in the episode, when he could think of no other way to deal, no other way to confront what was going on in his life and around him, he attempted suicide.
This hit me hard for several reasons, not all of which I’ll share.
I work with teenagers at my church. They’re middle-schoolers and high-schoolers and they’re at a time in their lives when something you or I might see as a silly worry is the worst possible thing that could happen to them.
There have been so many stories in the news recently about teens committing suicide. Because they’re being bullied. Because they’re being mistreated by other students for being who they are and trying to be proud of it.
It scares the shit out of me to think that any of those teenagers I care about so much could one day feel like this.
And it’s even scarier that it’s something that doesn’t go away, even as you get older.
There are people in my life that have been touched by suicide in some way.
There are people who’ve thought about it and then thought again. Or reached out and somehow asked for help.
Let me make one thing clear right now though – I have never been and am not suicidal. Period.
But I do know what it’s like to feel as if nothing – not work, not school, not the situation I’m in with the guy I care about – will get better. I know what it feels like to think (even if you’re completely wrong) that no one cares. I know what it’s like to hate yourself. And it’s a lonely place.
Psychological problems are just as real and just as damaging as any physical, medical problem you can get. Often it’s worse, because you can’t just put a cast or an Ace bandage on your brain or your heart for eight or nine weeks and get all better.
I saw this episode after a particularly bad day in my personal life, but the difference there is, I knew the next day would be better. It had to be.
Some people can’t think like that. Some people don’t believe it will get better. They don’t believe it will get easier. And that breaks my heart.
One of the things in life that scares me the most is the thought that someone I care about would feel this way and not talk to me, not talk to anyone. That they would not somehow, even if they’re not saying the exact words, ask for help.
I felt so many things last night watching it all play out on the show, knowing that they were just putting a face on something that’s happening all over the place. And often to people who aren’t as lucky as the character on the show. Not everyone gets a second chance.
I make sure people in my life know that I care. I tell my family and friends I love them. Because I do love them and because I will be there to catch them when they fall and help them see that things will be OK. I no longer apologize to myself or anyone else for being who I am – that girl that wears her heart on her sleeve in person and on her blog and who also posts lots of Glee songs and videos with Muppets in them.
Bullying is a terrible thing, whether it’s someone else doing it or your own mean thoughts about yourself. I could rattle off a bunch of cliches about how there will be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and whatnot, but I won’t. I’ll simply say that you will go through things that will suck. They will suck beyond belief. But there will be good times too. And there is – or there SHOULD BE – someone(s) in your life who will make sure of it.
And if you don’t have anyone else? Well, you know right where to find me.