Ringing in Suicide Prevention Week with a BANG

This only represents how I feel maybe 5% of the time. Used to be 95% some years ago.

It’s National Suicide Prevention week and naturally I rung it in with one of the worst nights I’ve had in awhile. You know, the kind of night where you’re curled up in a ball on the floor screaming your lungs out crying, able to move your body only to reach for the bourbon, Bulleit Rye to be exact. The kind of night where the next day you’re glad there were no prescription or otherwise drugs in the house. The kind of night where you know there’s only a handful of people that you can call but it feels like you’ve run out of options, so you fight it alone until you can’t anymore…

Well maybe you don’t know. I can’t tell you the stats on depression but I know that most people, even those that love me dearly, have no clue how to handle me in that state. And I don’t blame them. How should they know what to do? I often leave out details like, “I want to kill myself,” for fear of them calling the cops and having me put on an involuntary 72 hour psych hold; which it would only make sense for them to do so. You don’t want to be the person who didn’t take someone threatening to kill themselves seriously. I know that person, and it’s not pretty. 

I wish I could tell you what to do to comfort me when I’m in that space. Suggest what you might be able to say to make it better. I’m lucky to say that I now have a handful of people that I can call when the event arises. My gulps for air in-between loud tears a reply to their happy hello upon picking up my call. An immediate shift in their voice and a low-toned, concerned, “What’s wrong??” in exchange. Often these calls do talk me off the ledge. Whether it's a listening ear for my pain or prayers, words of encouragement, and support lent from them as I listen and cry in silence, I usually hang up with at least a glimmer of hope and often feel less alone. Which is life saving to say the least.

My body weak, my mind fried, and my head throbbing, I have finally worn myself out. The tears have dried on my tired face and I’m too tired to fight. Consequently, I’m also too tired to think about the hopelessness of this minute and all the minutes I will need to live and fight tomorrow as well. Tired enough to knock out and sleep like a baby. At least for a few hours. Probably in the fetal position as I crawl into bed, makeup and whatever clothes I managed to put on earlier still on.

Although compelled to write this, I write it in the thought that it will make for a good journal entry. It feels cathartic leaving my fingertips as I type away on my computer and recall the emotions of 12 hours prior. But surely I shouldn’t share it with the world… my peers, my friends, my Facebook friends, potential producers that may hire me, or anyone on the internet that stumbles upon my words… I don’t want anyone to read this and mark me with a capital ‘D’, labeling depression as who I am and worse yet, pity me the next time they look me in the eyes.

Because the truth is, most days I LOVE LIFE more than most people could even dream. I feel beauty in the tiniest of things and I fall in love with strangers. I love those close to me 'til it hurts. I feel God in a sunset and in a sip of an almond milk latte at one of those cute hipster coffee shops. 

But I need it to be ok to be both. Yes, I’m believing that one day I will be completely DEPRESSION FREE. Thank God these episodes have become rare and I go longer and longer without them. But until that day, I need to not hate myself for not being stronger than depression some days. I am strong AND I struggle with depression from time to time. I need people. And I need God even when I don’t want Him. I need to be vulnerable and write this so that even ONE who reads this knows they are not alone and that BETTER DAYS surround you even in the midst of the darkest hours.

Much love, from me to you <3  

*If you or anyone you know is seeking help from depression here are some resources--
One of my favorite non-profits: To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA)
Numbers to hotlines: CLICK HERE