I am lucky. Suicide hasn’t touched my family personally. However, I do know several people over the years who have had family members take their own lives and years later, my acquaintances are still dealing with the family trauma.
With two celebrities taking their own lives this week, discussions of suicide and depression have been on the constant news cycle. We’re being reminded on radio and TV that, if you know someone who is sad or depressed, be sure to contact them. Say hello, take them for coffee, let them know you’re thinking about them.
Many of my friends and acquaintances suffer from some form of depression. Me too. I wasn’t even aware of it until one day Leslie suggested I ask my doctor for some anti-anxiety medication. The medication, coupled with my months off work on stress leave, gave me a different outlook on things. I wasn’t as grumpy or angry at stupid things (“Dammit, I can’t get the stupid white ring out of the milk carton!”) and I could tell that the sun was just a little brighter.
I have a Word document full of inspirational quotes. I post one every day on Facebook. Some are funny, some are stupid, and some are spot-on. I read through that list of quotes every day and at least one will hit me every time.
This is one I repeat often:
You are enough. You are so enough. It is unbelievable how enough you are.
You are. Who’s to say what’s enough anyway? And when you’re doubting yourself, wondering if you’re going to fit in the right spot, tell yourself this:
Don’t let anyone treat you like free salsa. You are guac, baby girl. Guac.
The internet is full of advice today. Here’s a post from someone I follow on Twitter, a complete stranger quoting another complete stranger:
Brian: Take care of those close to you. Be there. Check in. Move ‘em in. Move ‘em out. Raise ‘em up.
Sheila: The year after my dad died was so bad I don’t remember 90% of it. I moved to a new apartment and was unable to unpack. For MONTHS. I was ashamed I couldn’t unpack. How can you be UNABLE to unpack? Just open the g.d. boxes. That was the year I cried for 19 days straight.
I read other blogs during the week to get ideas and to nudge some ideas from my again cells. Alison Pierman is a brilliant writer and I’m going to share some of today’s blog with you. Alison suffered from chronic and clinical insomnia. About six months ago, she was feeling suicidal because of her chronic conditions and finally found a medical treatment that worked for her. My problem was chronic lack of sleep which induced depression. In the recent wake of the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I thought I would post what was originally meant to be private. I wish Kate and Anthony had had someone to have led them out of their darkness.In six months I went from suicidal to celebratory. Please hit the pause button and ask for help if you are depressed. My lifelong problem with sleep was cured. Whatever ails you has a cure. Just keep seeking. When Death Seems The Only Way Out
So do what you can and help your friends and neighbors. And if you’re in need of help, don’t be afraid to ask. Or tell someone. Don’t be polite, just say “help.” I’m here.