I know I said I was going to stick to the travel writing, but bear with me.
So yesterday, I was watching a YouTube video summarizing the day’s news when I came across the story of a gamer, Brandon Nance, going off on a rant against one of his followers.
He was livestreaming a game and one viewer donated $5 to the stream with the comment, “I tried killing myself last August, discovered your videos once I was released, and Smite has become a positive outlet for me. Thanks.”
To me, this statement is a testament to the healing process people go through after a suicide attempt, a bad bout of depression, an awful struggle with anxiety. But, to Brandon Nance, I guess it was something different.
Here was his response to the viewer. Apologies for the language, it gets dark:
“There are a lot of streamers out there who would appreciate that message, I’m just going to call you an asshole. It’s a selfish, stupid thing to do…I’m so sick of this constant, ridiculous self-pity bullshit like ‘I have depression I can’t do anything in life.’ Everyone has fucking depression and anxiousness. Everyone has a hard time fucking waking up, and still a lot of us do it without putting the burden on a lot of other people. There is therapy, there are friends and there are people to help you. And if you decide that you’re going to end your own life or let these ridiculous fucking debilitating disease ruin your life because you don’t know how to deal with it, well then fucking good.”
Here is the link to the full story and video: http://kotaku.com/smite-caster-resigns-following-insensitive-suicide-comm-1772091272
I am someone who has struggled greatly with depression and anxiety in the past. I am also a person who has struggled with suicidal thoughts. It has always been a difficult topic for me to wrap my head around, especially after losing a very close friend to suicide two years ago.
Something I want to say to Mr. Nance is that there is a way to have this opinion without making a complete an total ass of yourself, without trying to tear a person down or make their progress in life seem completely irrelevant.
I will admit that I believe that suicide is a selfish choice, except in the case of the extremely terminally ill. There is always a way out, a “light at the end of the tunnel” if you will, even if it is too dark to see it sometimes. It is something that leaves a trail of pain and grief. But, we must also understand that a person’s pain may be so great sometimes that they and no one else and truly understand it. And something we must also realize, even though it is a sad thing to think about, is that not everyone has an immediate support system that is willing to help.
This person latched onto the games that Mr. Nance plays, it helped him through a dark time. If people can find something in this world to help them through tough times, then they should be free to do so without facing the harsh judgement that Mr. Nance decided to give. To me, my things are writing, traveling, music and dance. If anyone else involved in those things with me turned around and told me that my struggles basically equated to nothing, that would just make me even worse than when I began.
The statement that he made regarding depression and anxiety has the potential to deter others going through the same struggles to reach out and talk to someone. Like I said earlier, there is a way to have this opinion without being an asshole. There is a way to have this opinion but to still be supportive to others.
Now I have had similar remarks made to me in the past about these issues, I was actually recently called a “pshyco” and was told to “get a hobby”. But things like that don’t bother me at all because I know that I have a big support system of friends and family who surround me with love every day. And to those of you out there who are also struggling, just know that there will always be someone out there willing to listen to you and willing to talk to you. You just have to look. And, I am always here.
So, Mr. Nance, I want to say that you should be ashamed of yourself. You called this person selfish and yet made the whole thing about you, blaming this person for putting a burden on you, when all he was doing was thanking you for being someone who helped pull him out of a dark time and into a better place. Shame on you, I hope you grow up and have some sympathy.
Mental illness is real. It is not an excuse people use to explain why they are sad sometimes or use to get them out of doing things. It is a real burden that millions of people have to bear. To some, the burden is heavier than it is to others. You do not know the story of someone else’s battle, so try to have some sympathy and always have respect for others.
If you are in need of help, reach out. There are numbers to call and people to message. I am here, your friends are here, your family are here. You are loved. You are wanted. You are important. You matter.
Elizabeth, whatever you write about – depression/suicide/illness, your joys, your pains, your travels, your thoughts – you have this huge gift of expressing yourself lucidly, rationally and in a way which draws people to read on. That in itself is a blessing to others and I am sure many will be helped by what you have just written. Many of them will read and probably benefit, and you will not know what good you have done. But good will indeed have been achieved. Don’t stop speaking your thoughts: never turn your back on this precious gift.