Posts Tagged 'family'

Thoughts on Depression and the Recent Celebrity Suicides

[This isn’t one of those fun posts.  Trigger warning if you struggle with suicidal ideation.]

Celebrity suicides are always sad but when you struggle with depression yourself it takes on a whole new layer. It’s hard to hear the news.  It’s hard to process.  That person was one of us, they were fighting the same fight we are and they lost. They didn’t make it.  Even if they were successful and wealthy and had all the things we think we want, they still lost that fight.

It reminds us that depression as a disease that can me fatal.  It’s hard to look at it that way.  It’s hard to look at yourself and say, “I have a disease that has no cure and it can kill me.” It’s terrifying.

People who don’t have severe depression don’t really understand.  As The Bloggess is fond of saying, DEPRESSION LIES. Those lies are deep and they are painful and when you are struggling you can’t tell the difference between the lies your depression tells you and the truth. Its hard to understand how difficult this is if you’ve never experienced it. Depression tells you that you are a burden, that you are worthless, that the people who love you do it only out of pity or stupidity, that they’d be better off without you.

Celebrity suicides also expose another side of depression’s lies.  The part that tells you it isn’t a disease, that you just haven’t done enough.  If only you just get that book published or make that film or start that charity or get that promotion you would feel better.  You aren’t unhappy because you are sick, you are unhappy because you aren’t good enough.  You don’t need to get help, you need to work harder.  So instead of going to therapy you spend your time writing or drawing or staying late at the office. And you get sicker.  And even if you do accomplish the thing, your one dream, you discover that it isn’t good enough.  Not enough people buy your book or watch your show and those people on the internet may be right.  WHAT IF I AM STILL WORTHLESS?

Right now I’m ok.  I’m very lucky.  I have a strong group of friends and family to support me and from what I’ve learned in therapy I am usually able to see the lies for what they are.  It’s hard. It’s a struggle. Every day.  And I hate to hear about someone who lost the fight.  Because I get it.  I understand it, way WAY more than I’m comfortable with.

 


If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Call 1-800-273-8255 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org to chat live.

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The Grandma Express

In my family information travels fast. I mean really fast. FTL fast. People say that in modern times Facebook has accelerated the speed at which we get information about our friends and loved ones but Facebook has NOTHING on my Grandma.  I’ve tried to explain this to people who are not related to me and most of the time they don’t understand. So instead of explaining I’ll just give an example.  

My birthday was last Wednesday. I got a call that afternoon from my Grandma Bev who, as is her tradition, sang me “Happy Birthday” over the phone.  I chatted with her and my Grandpa for a few minutes and then went on about my day. (And by that I mean I went back to sitting on the couch reading while wearing my best pair of yoga pants because it was my birthday and sometimes a girl’s gotta party.) Not five minutes after I had hung up the phone it rang again. This time it was my mom. Now it’s important to note that at this point that my mom had already called me to say happy birthday earlier in the day. I answered the phone and she told me that she had just gotten off the phone with my Grandma who had called her to tell her that she had just called me. Now my mom was calling me to tell me that my Grandma had called her to tell her that she had just called me. 

This is just a small example and since it was only my birthday only three people were involved in the phone cycle but if something BIG happens it gets much larger.  If there’s news, good or bad, you can always count on my family to make sure everyone knows in under an hour. So If you’re a friend of mine and I’ve ever told you to keep something on the down low for a few days because I wasn’t ready for EVERYONE to know yet, now you get why.


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