What got me started on this tirade? The other day, of all weird coincidences, I happened to have a long conversation with [redacted], who was close to Bianca Reyes.
There have been several deaths of ADMU students that I’ve been aware of in the past years, all of them under dark circumstances (three suicides and one murder, by my count) but Bianca Reyes’ suicide late last year has been the most publicized. Type “Bianca Reyes” in a Google search, and it auto-completes to “death” and “suicide”.
She and I moved within roughly the same social circle, a bunch of intense artist types known for self-destructive behavior including, but not limited to: irresponsible sex, teenage pregnancies, abortions, regular drug use, cheating on their boyfriends and girlfriends, and general stupid fuckery. I say I moved within it – they never really accepted me because I was too awkward and not self-destructive enough. I was close to a few people in that circle, but was never completely absorbed, which is one of the most fortunate things that’s ever happened to me.
Here’s the thing – they helped to kill her.
I suspected this at first when I saw photos of people from this group, out drinking shortly after Bianca’s burial. They were in a bar holding up signs saying things like, “Bianca, this is for you.” It disturbed in a way I couldn’t articulate nor confirm.
Talking with [redacted] confirmed my suspicions. I didn’t go to her wake, so I didn’t know about this:
A lot of her friends – those people – gave speeches, and almost all of them said things like, “I’m glad you’re in a better place,” and “We’re happy that you’ve finally found the peace you’re looking for.”
The family was outraged. One of Bianca’s cousins had to state the obvious to make them stop; that Bianca’s death was not a good thing and nothing to be glad for. It was clear how deranged those people’s view on suicide was. Furthermore, [redacted] said, “They were so loud, it was confusing. They were singing… They almost seemed happy.”
They killed her. They’re killing each other because they create and propagate an environment in which darkness is celebrated. They validate and glorify insanity in each other. This way of thinking is exemplified in the work of musicians like Halsey:
In this environment, depression isn’t an illness to be treated, but a defining characteristic. Same with addictions. The inability to build happy, healthy relationships isn’t pathetic, it’s poetic.
These are fucking lies. Sure, every creative, intelligent kid is bound to pass through a phase of existential angst; that’s part of growing up, and something that, if handled properly, will absolutely give you more grit and compassion. But prolonging and glorifying that angst without an end in sight is a sure way to remain an adolescent forever. You face the pain of knowing the problems that are in the world so that you have more drive to solve them. You don’t keep dwelling in that pain to the point where it incapacitates you.
One of the main lies of these artist-types (mostly found on Tumblr, I think) is that depression is the only real thing and happiness is fake and for stupid people who refuse to open their eyes to the misery of the world. There’s misery in the world, and there is also joy – seeing only one or the other is blindness.
Another lie that they tell each other is that self-love comes from mantras that you tell yourself over and over again. “You are enough.” “You are worth it.” If you are, why do you feel this way? You wouldn’t have to convince yourself so hard of the existence of something that is obviously true. Self-love, like all love, is made true by actions – not words. Want to love yourself? Then take care of yourself. See a doctor for your depression. Eat better. Get more sleep. Spend time with people who bring out the best in you, instead of encouraging your neuroticisms.
The most dangerous lie of all, and the one that killed Bianca, is that suicide is ever an option. To react to an expression of suicidal thoughts with anything less than outrage provides an amount of validation of the thoughts, however small. And once those thoughts take hold, they become terrifyingly attractive. They begin to seem logical. You’re in pain, the world is terrible, you just make trouble for everyone – why not have it all over with? But the thing is, life runs on love, which is the opposite of logic. If you want to be logical about saving the environment, aren’t natural disasters great? They kill a lot of people, which alleviates overpopulation. Logical – and insane, and evil. Suicide is as insane and evil as the murder of another person. Love is the only thing that will save you. Love for yourself, love for the people in your life and the people who are to come into your life in the future.
They did not love her. Encouraging darkness and inadequacy in a person is not love, even though it may seem like it. If that has become your instinct, fight it. Before you help to kill someone else.