I was going to write/ post this last week, but since the world was ending, I decided to post about THAT instead.
As a result, THIS post is late, but after talking to Curiosity and Andrea about the correlation between money and happiness, I decided that I did not want to scrap the idea for this post. Having known about the below, I did not want to get into too much detail while talking to them, so as not to spoil my upcoming post. Without further ado, here it is:
Last week, we heard about deaths of two famous people – Tim Bergling (better known as Avicii – the DJ) and Verne Troyer (better known as Mini-Me from the Austin Powers series). Both deaths were ruled a suicide.
“He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness” – said Avicii’s family member. Meaning, Life, Happiness. Quite an interesting statement. A couple of years ago, when his popularity was peaking, he decided to withdraw from the limelight. It was all too much for him. He wanted a more normal life. Even though he loved making music, and he loved that others enjoyed his work, he could not adapt to the new lifestyle of the rich and famous. His family also described him as an over-achiever and a perfectionist, which led him to great stress.
Verne was 2 feet, 8 inches tall – making him one of the shortest people on Earth. But that is the kind of statement that probably gnawed at him during his whole life, and might have led to his issues and finally his death. His family confirmed that Verne had numerous ups and downs throughout the years, and that this time he lost the battle. He was struggling with an alcohol addiction for a long time, even just a month before his final departure, his family had him committed for a 72h long suicidal watch after finding him drunk and depressed.
I often think that if I was rich and famous, I would not squander the opportunity.
I would do great things with it.
I would remain reasonable.
I would not let the fame get to my head.
But I am not. So I cannot say for sure what I would or would not do.
I have to admit, that sometimes I am appalled when I hear about celebrity suicides. It is because those are people who have so many more resources at their disposal, and yet, they choose to end their lives. I am not heartless, and I feel sorry for their families, and even for myself if it is someone whom I liked. But above all, I wonder what went wrong. I wish I could talk to them and find out how it unfolded. To see what was the final straw. To see if there was anything that could have been done. To see if their family/ friends knew what was going on and if so, what did they try to do about it.
These stars have money to live comfortably, not struggle or worry about the roof over their heads or what they are going to eat next. They have people to do almost everything for them, so they do not have to be bothered with the mundane stuff (their choice). They have fans. They have people that adore them. People who look up to them. People who want to be them. And when something goes wrong, they have the ability to fly to the top of a mountain, on a remote island and talk things out with a therapist.
I struggle to grasp what else it is that they need. Is it as simple as: “They are used to getting everything they want, but once they do not get something (material or immaterial), or something does not go their way, they do not know how to handle it”? That cannot be the truth for all of them, can it? I am sure someone will make the argument of it being a mental illness, and that there might not be a reasonable response. I know. But should these people not have the access to the best care? Should they not be on medication?
What I do think makes a big difference is the people around you. And when it comes to being a celebrity, sometimes you do not know whom you can trust. Who really is your friend and who is just pretending for the money. Sometimes, in the world of paparazzi flash, there is not much room for deep conversations during which one asks for help and the other tries to offer some advice. I do understand that it can be lonely at the top. That sometimes you have an image to uphold.
However, if these people end up committing suicide, what hope is there for average people? People who do not have the money to go see a psychiatrist. People who cannot afford their medication. People who cannot drop their job, get on a private jet and fly to a far away land to clear their head.
Naturally, not only rich and famous people commit suicide, but we surely hear about it louder. It is not that they are more important than others. It is because we are more disillusioned by the demise of someone “who had it all” than by someone who struggled throughout their whole life. Some of those celebrities are role models for other “regular” people. And if you see your idol take their own life, it might shake your own existence up a bit.
To the dismay of some, I think that we are our biggest cheerleaders and enemies at the same time. I believe that YOU need to help yourself. No matter what other people do to help, you will not get better if you do not want to. Not everyone has a great support system. Those who do are lucky and should really cherish it. Some of us seem to have a lot of people around us, but when push comes to shove, they are more interested in telling you how you are going to fail than helping you succeed. Sometimes it is not even about helping you, but not clipping our wings.
Statistics show May to be a month with the greatest numbers of suicides, so please make sure that you keep your eyes open for those around you. And for yourself as well. I am here to listen, if you need to talk.
And remember, it is OK not to help (if you do not agree), but at least do not make things worse. Your bad word just might push someone over the edge.
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