Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spam that link!

Last weekend, a group of Eve streamers put on a 72 hour live stream in order to raise money for a charity. The event was called "EVEathon" and the charity was the newly created Spam4Heals non-profit focused on suicide prevention and mental health out reach to the gaming community. Any of my twitter followers probably noticed that I was very vocal about the event.

I don't really have any kind of super personal connection to suicide prevention. The only person I've known who has taken their own life is a friend of my mother who killed himself when I was ten years old. After that, as I got more and more into the metal scene, suicide was always one of those things that just sort of came with the territory. Me and everyone I knew was accused of being suicidal just because we wore dark clothes and listened to angry music. Outside of those two experiences, I have no real realm of consciousness when it comes to the act of taking your own life. But, that doesn't prevent me from having an opinion on it.

I do not judge anyone for killing themself. Whatever the reason is, I can fully understand the idea of feeling so helpless and out of control that you decide to take control of the one thing you actually can in your life, namely your time and method of death. Every other aspect of your life is either dependent on the consequences of you previous actions or upon things outside of your control. The one thing a person can absolutely decide about their life is when to end it and how, and I can understand the appeal of that. I don't think less of people who do kill themselves, and I do not think a person is "weak" if they end their own life.

However, I am a big believer in life. The one thing I can tell you for certain is that as long as you wake up, you've got a chance worth taking. There may be thousands of reasons you can think of to end your own life, be it illness or debt or depression or whatever other hardship you can come up with. I say this as someone who at one point was homeless and jobless: tomorrow gives you a chance, take it. The only other alternative is to legitimately have no chance. Yes, you can control the time and method of your death, but the cost of that is absolutely everything else that is even possible. Given the two options, I'll choose "tomorrow" every day.

So when Spam4Heals, an offshoot of the Broadcast4Reps, Best of us, and Care4Kids communities in Eve, became a thing, I had no problem latching onto it. My own optimism for day to day life is my driving factor for supporting it. After the Twitch marathon raised over $6,700 for it, I announced that all sales of my newly released album would be donated towards it. I love life and I want everyone else to love living as much as I do. Adding to that, I love video games and I love having people to discuss those games with, so the ultimate goal of the organization just clicks with me. Yes, things can get to the point that you feel the only option is to kill yourself, and yes, people need to be convinced otherwise. Suicide doesn't end pain and suffering, it just transfers it to folks you know. Tomorrow is an option, albeit a tough one, and its the option worth taking. If I can, in some small way, help convince someone of that, then I'm going to do whatever I can to make that happen. Life is rough, let's have fun.

I'll always be looking for ways to promote Spam4Heals, be it through awareness or through fundraising. As a gamer, I know that gaming as an outlet can feel incredibly lonely and its hard to find a group you can open up to. As a person, I know life can kick your ass and the only option might seem to be ending it. In either case, I'm going to take the stance of "fuck that, let's survive and party".

The world is more kick ass with you in it. I promise that, and I will fight for it.


  1. A lovely and heartfelt post, I knew there was a reason I liked you, Ned.

  2. "Suicide doesn't end pain and suffering, it just transfers it to folks you know."

    While this is factually true, and often mentioned, I don't think this is a good argument to make: As you rightly state, people consider suicide when they think that it's the only thing left they have agency over. And now you (and that is a generic 'you') expect a suicidal person to hold off because other people might be mildly inconvenienced - the same other people the suicidal person perceives as non-caring and selfish in the first place. Knowing that a suicide negatively affects other people may sometimes actually be part of the motivation; a final 'fuck you' so to speak.

    But that objection aside, wonderful post.