Friday, 13 January 2017

Mental Health

I've had my own challenges and struggles with what could be called "mental health" issues. I've been, in fact, suicidal at various points in my life. Like most Nunavunmiut, I've seen friends and family and fellow Inuit from different communities end their own lives. Oh, such loss, such suffering. Most of them young—somebody's child, somebody's dad, somebody's mom...

I don't think we'll ever figure out suicide. The solutions are not in the terminus of a particular life, but in addressing that which 'caused' that person to do such a thingthe quality of life to which a child is born, the types of experiences they go through in the developmental years, whether the intellectual and moral character and expectations of that person have been cultivated sufficiently by the education they've received (literally, their existential reality from there on out), whether they've been equipped sufficiently to 'make a living', etc. etc.

I've ended up homeless and jobless numerous times in my life, and we all know that it is no way to live. Granted, many of these numerous times have largely been my fault. But the point is that we all go through hard times. Think about it.

What makes some people just give up in the hopeless darkness while others seem to be able to cope and live to see a new day?

In terms of quality of life, most Inuit households would be considered below or barely above the official poverty line. I, myself, grew up in a relatively poor and overcrowded household—many of my generation did. Yet many do not commit suicide.

In terms of types of experiences in my formative years, horrible a lot of it. It wasn't just me. Many went through hell.

My father was a religious man. He tried, of course, to instill Christian values in all of us, his children. I, of course, rebelled against that as a youth but have slowly come to understand him and his faith. I haven't attended church in years. But I'm a believer in the Christ's Gospel. However, I've had to grow old to realize this.

I like to think that I'm a quick study and sufficiently equipped to 'make a living' in most situations.

The point is that if some of our basic needs to become a relatively self-reliant individual are met (even if later than expected), things tend to look and feel a bit more tolerable, I think.

Jay

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