can anyone Hear Me?

Old pain swirled up within me upon the news of Robin Williams death. Learning about his depression and suicide swiftly transported me back to my former dark times. The time when I left home to study abroad at the tender age of fifteen, divorce, heartbreaks and other life events that put me in the throes of depression. And suicidal thoughts.

I fail to recognize myself while perusing social media posts from these painful years. I see someone happy and living life to the fullest. But outside those fleeting moments “worthy” of posting on social media, on the inside, there was deep pain and anguish. Like fish out of water.

On the surface you look so normal and put together. Seemingly you have it all. Friends, family and colleagues even comment as such. But there are two sides to this coin. We show what we want to show. And on the receiving end, we see what we want to see. In the end, what you see is not what is.

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Robin Williams

When was the last time you showed up as your true self or in your true state of heart and mind? On the other hand, when did you ask someone, “How are you really feeling?” or “Are you truly happy?” And when was the last time you truly listened to someone with your heart?

When I found myself in these deep dark times, I felt like I was isolated on an island. And when I made the tough choice to eventually confide in someone, it quickly proved to be a mistake. They never fully listened, hurled judgments, made accusations, used what you shared with them as weapons against you, or even, just walked away. And you found yourself back on that island, isolated.

Only this time, flailing even more desperately for oxygen.

When people commit suicide, society’s commentary is painfully perplexing. And heartbreaking. They seem perplexed as to why someone would take their own life. What would drive them to do so? Why didn’t they speak up? Why didn’t they say something? They convince themselves that if only they had reached out, they could have and would have helped them.

But perhaps they did.

Perhaps they did reach out! And perhaps, no one listened.


It’s easy to say how much we loved and cared for someone after they’re gone. If only they knew! But what did we do and say while they were alive?

If we pause and reflect within, with brutal honesty, we may discover some piercing truths. We may discover that when they were alive, perhaps we were not as present for them. We were not really listening. We didn’t support them. We were not kind. We did not have, or rather, we did not make time for them.

On the more extreme side, we knock others down at every turn. We tear them apart, almost with a competitive spirit. We criticize, constantly. We hurt others routinely and with causal ease. We cast judgments to the highest order. We spew hatred with righteous passion and intensity.

We bestow immense pain upon others. Sometimes, it’s insurmountable. We make living so unbearable that they feel it’s better not be alive. And upon news of their suicide, we seem shocked.

Then, we accuse them of being selfish. And therein lies an even greater tragedy.

Even after their death, we fail to hear their cries. Even after their death, we fall short and do the only thing we know best — judge. We judge their final act.

Now that’s comedic, no pun intended.

 .  .  .

When in the dark abyss, you find yourself screaming at the top of your lungs on the inside!!! And yet, no one in this entire world seem to hear you. Or want to hear you.

We don’t listen with our hearts.


Dr. Jen Ashton on healing herself and her family after her ex-husband’s suicide
Suicide Prevention 

Published: August 12, 2014

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Twizted Myrtle is sustained by readers like you. As a solo creator, crafting each piece demands significant time, money and resources. Your ongoing support, big or small, makes a real difference. If the content here enriches your life in any way, please consider becoming an ally as a  sustaining patron.

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Asha was born in India, raised in Oman, and lived in London before settling in the U.S. Her multi-continent, multi-cultural, global experience was a clear predecessor that fed her insatiable curiosity – and the inspiration for her defining Twizted voice.

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Ironically, during this time, her depression revealed spiritual clarity; it connected her to the struggles of others who face the same suffocating walls of relenting darkness. Photography became a sacred respite that unleashed a strident voice; like a caged tiger set free, she could never again return to the confined existence dictated by society.

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