A few days ago I saw the same article as many others on social media. Amazon, a popular online shopping website, was selling t-shirts that joke about suicide. I joke about suicide, as a suicide attempt survivor and as someone who jokes to make it hurt less. My jokes are not for everyone and I tend to reserve them for my friends with mental health issues who have a similar dark sense of mental health humour. The t-shirts are being pulled after a great petition and letter writing campaign were launched.
Not all Amazon websites have gotten rid of the t-shirts, though including Amazon.ca, the Amazon I use. I did a quick search and found a t-shirt that reads “SUICIDE. Makes our lives so much easier.” I decided to leave a review. 1 star and a comment that reads
I’m a long time customer of Amazon.ca. I am also a suicide attempt survivor. I cannot imagine how horrible the lives of those who love me would have been if I had been successful. Thoughts of suicide have also made my life very difficult. There is nothing “easy” about suicide. It’s horrible. It’s killing people. I strongly suggest Amazon. ca follows what some of the other Amazon websites have done and get rid of this product.
Amazon aside, when this issue first appears on my Facebook feed via The Globe & Mail, I decided to leave a quick comment. I planned on writing something similar to what I just sent to Amazon and decided against it when I saw the 3 other comments. These commenters went on about how people are too sensitive and cannot take a joke and one claimed that people need to suck it up and accept that life is hard. The unsafe space they had created made me change my plan. I left a comment stating simply, “This is bad.” I was very upset at what the other commenters had said. Comments like those would lead me to believe that they have never known (or think they do not know) someone who has had suicidal thoughts, has attempted suicide or has completed a suicide. When you know someone who has been or is suicidal it is a little more difficult to say that the person should just suck it up and accept that life is hard. When someone has died….how can you say that? That is the discrimination faced by suicidal people.
This is a huge reminder for me that discrimination is still alive and well. Suicide is not funny. The only answer I know is to keep talking. I don’t like talking about my attempt or my thoughts and if it means that by doing so I can educate someone then I will do so, safely. I have always been so proud of the mental health blogging community here on WordPress (and other blogging sites). We make a huge difference in the lives of each other and the others out there who read our blogs. Many of you have taught me and from you feedback, many of you have learned from me. Let’s keep ourselves safe and let’s keep educating others! ❤