It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so it’s gonna be off the cuff and pretty raw. I was reading about the death of Fashion designer Kate Spade yesterday and her completion of suicide; I noticed the more that I read, the more triggered I became. One article I came across stated “Kate Spade struggled with a long history of mental illness, suicide was not uncommon”. Wow, talk about insensitivity. I couldn’t even read the entire thing. There were also several posts that people shared via social media that pretty much stated the same, no empathy at all, just speculation. I became even more upset. You know why? Because people always have very strong opinions about things that do not concern them. And that they care not to understand or educate themselves on. Albeit very tragic that suicide was her choice, I wondered how many people genuinely asked her how she was doing?And really cared to know the answer.
I honestly didn’t know much about her or her life, outside of the fact that some of the people I know carry her bags, and that she was a Kansas City native. I did not follow her, but what I do know is that she had a struggle, apparently. A war raging in her mind, her heart, her spirit. That’s not hard to infer, at all. Most people with mental health disorders do, I do. How many times did she almost tell someone what she really felt? and didn’t? How many times did she almost tell someone what she really thought about how her life was playing out? Or what was REALLY happening in it? What she really thought about how others would treat her if she spoke about those things? Or how fame really affected her daily life? I wonder. How many unspoken things were signs that she was really struggling, that no one cared to pay attention to?
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I have Major depressive disorder & anxiety. I have spoken candidly about it, in daily conversation, conferences, on the radio, social media, at speaking engagements, right prior to singing a worship song on stage, and before my paint events. But guess what? Every. Single. Time, I get a knot in my stomach before I speak, because: Stigma. It is very hard sharing something so personal with people that you know, let alone strangers. How many times have I written a blog post, a FB/IG post, pressed publish and then locked it for my own view… or even sometimes deleted it? Countless. How many times have I shared about my struggle with depression before singing a song and the congregation immediately became quiet, because I didn’t believe GOD enough to heal me. Apparently.
Sometimes the only thing that keeps me sharing about my own journey with depression, are the people that share with me of how it helped them when they needed it. Because essentially, that’s the reason that I chose to share in the first place, right? Right. Nikki you’ve gotta remember that. But sometimes, sometimes, I wanna quit this being a mental health advocate thing, honestly. Because it is so hard to share and NOT feel vulnerable. Transparency is so very daunting. And very scary, honestly. SO instead, if I need a break, I do some good self care, jump off social media for a few days, speak to my therapist… and not say anything to anyone. There are many things that I could say, but I choose not to because: being misunderstood is one of the worst feelings one could encounter.
I say all of this to say, that Kate Spade had unspoken things that were clues that she was struggling, I’m sure of it. Because: fear. I don’t have to know her to know that. Some of your loved ones do too, maybe you do?
“If only people would truly handle things that they struggle with privately, instead of publicly shaming others for, the world would be a better place.”
Have more compassion, and less judgment. You may save someone’s life today.
Love & hugs,