I know it’s been an million years since I posted, but when I woke up this morning and heard about Anthony Bourdain, I cried. No, I sobbed. I know…what the hell? Why are you crying over someone you never met? Over some famous kind-of-a-dbag-but-not-really? Because I know the feeling.
Kate Spade. Robin Williams. Anthony Bourdain. Chris Cornell. As someone who suffers from depression, it’s like a punch in the face.
I’ve suffered from chronic depression, at differing levels, since I was a little kid. Ive had suicidal thoughts in my life. More than once. I’ve nearly lost EVERYTHING when it’s reared its ugly head. And most people had NO IDEA. Only those very close to me had a clue what was going on.
Depression is hard. And exhausting. Trying to keep it hidden from everyone is work. My co-workers had no idea I was homeless, let alone that it was a result of my depression. There were times when I thought the world would be a better place without me in it. There were times I thought, fleetingly, that my girls, my parents, everyone, would be better off if I were gone.
It’s also made my weight loss a greater struggle. There are reasons people develop eating disorders. Depression is fighting to keep me trapped in the shell I’ve worn, to protect myself, since middle school. My protective barrier to keep others from getting too close, that they might see I’m a fraud. That I’m not funny or smart or pretty. That it’s all just a front so nobody can see the useless loser I am on the inside.
Chronic Depression isn’t about being sad. Its a monster. It tells you you’re worth nothing. It eats away at your soul, telling you you’re alone and nobody cares. It’s not something you can snap your fingers or even just take a pill and POOF it’s all better. You can’t positively affirm away. It’s an asshole.
The depression demon talks a good game, but like most used car dealers, it’s full of shit. I need to be here. For my Mom, my daughters, for my GRANDSON I have yet to meet. Someone I love (my sister) recognized I needed to talk to someone and pushed me to go. I almost didn’t because of the cost of my co-pays. Can you imagine?? Using the copay as an excuse to not get help? A copay being the reason you lived or died? I look back now and shake my head, but at the time, the struggle was real.
The point is not everyone has that person to tell them “hey! You need help! And I’ll help you find it.” So be their person. Ask your friends and family “Are you okay? Do you need to talk?” I now understand that I have a chemical imbalance in my brain. That sometimes, when life is a little easier, I don’t need medication. I also understand that there will be times throughout the rest of my life that the stress is too much and I need to be on medication. I’m currently on that medication.
The suicide contagion is a real thing. Suicides increase after a celebrity ends their life. The sensationalizing of recent suicides could be the thing that pushes someone to do something they may have only had fleeting thoughts about before. This is the time when we need to be vocal. This is when your friends need you the most, whether they realize it or not.
You’ll see this number a lot on social media, but it needs to be seen. It needs to be written down. And if you need it, it needs to be called.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255