Shedding Light ...
More and more, people are reporting on the number of returning
veterans committing suicide. I do not know if the same occurred
for Vietnam, Korea or WWII vets. I do know that I was touched
by it once and sought help from the VA.
Following is an excerpt from a reaction paper I wrote for my first
college class in psychology. It was written in March of 1995 and
" 'In creation there is not only a 'Yes' but also a 'No' ... not only value but also worthlessness ... ' ( Karl Barth)
I learned, today, of the death of Ed Flanders. The actor put a .30 caliber rifle to his right ear and pulled the trigger. He did this on February 22nd, the day after my 49th birthday. It made me, at first, enormously sad. This man of talent, financially secure and respected, had fallen into some hole seemingly too wide, too deep for escape ... and went quietly mad. I feel anger. How dare he! For I once too fell into that selfsame hole and with just a fraction of his resources at my disposable, managed to pull myself up and out. What was the difference between us? While I know that it's not my place to judge him, just the same I feel angry. I feel sad ... ... ...
There are crippling forms of depression which are known to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and while medical science has come up with drugs as treatment for just this problem, not everyone trusts drug therapies. Some will opt to tough it out on their own; afraid of ingesting a chemical concoction designed to work specifically on the brain; afraid that some small part of the self, that which defines the individual, might be irretrievably lost. Perhaps this was the case with Mr. Flanders. After all, this is largely unexplored territory. Doctors are proceeding but use an incomplete map. In the age of the Renaissance, any cartographer of stature would have labeled such uncharted spaces with the legend, 'HERE THERE BE DRAGONS.' "