By Kimberly Zapata
I have never been much of Sinead O’Connor fan. Of course, I have nothing against O’Connor — she is beautiful woman, a beautiful person, a beautiful performer, and her voice is beyond compare — it is just that her rise to stardom was a bit before my time.
She was (and is) the voice of a different generation.
But lately, I have been watching O’Connor closely. So closely, I cannot turn away. Why? Well, because she is hurting. Because she is struggling — and doing so very personally and very publicly.
She is showing us not only the tears in her eyes and the pain in her heart, but the difficult reality of life with mental illness.
Specifically, she used Facebook Live to talk about the suicidal thoughts, feelings, and ideations she was experiencing. And while the support she has received appears to be overwhelmingly positive (at least initially, at least at first glance) many have questioned the singer’s intentions.
“She is sick.”
“She is dramatic.”
“She is an attention whore and an emotional manipulator…she is a drama queen.”
And make no mistake: These comments suck. Plain and simple, they suck. They are cold, cruel, and full of both judgment and hate. But despite the malice behind them and the ill-intentions with which they were made, these commenters did get one thing right: O’Connor does want attention. Your attention. But she also wants your help. She just doesn’t know where to turn.
She doesn’t know how to ask — and I would know. As someone who has survived suicide (and who still struggles with occasional ideations) I understand.
Image Source: Flickr/Phil King, Sinéad O’Connor performing at the Ramsbottom Music Festival on Sunday 15th September 2013.