I have been one of the moderators of this blog for several years now. I think it’s a great place to give and receive support. During this time on the blog and working as a therapist, I’ve talked to and read about a lot of people who feel extremely depressed and suicidal. And I guess it’s those people I wanted to talk to now.
Depression is a very real and terrible disease. When you’re in the middle of depression it may seem like it will never end…like there is no hope of any change. You may feel stuck in your life, in your situation, and feel like nobody is there for you. You may wonder who would even care if you were to die. You think there is no way out and you may not want to bother people with your troubles. All of these things – ALL OF THEM – are lies though.
Today, my family received some terrible news. A distant relative of mine, who lived practically across the country and who I only met when he was a little boy, killed himself. He was 16 and very depressed. I didn’t know him, and yet, it’s impacted my life. He probably thought nobody would care if he was gone, he didn’t think he impacted anyone’s life……and yet my whole extended family is feeling the effect today. I am heartbroken over this. I picture his mother and father, who saw him. His siblings. His best friend who called the police after hearing him on the phone. His dear grandparents and cousins, his classmates at school….. The list could go on and on. All of these people will NEVER be the same for having lost him in such a terrible way. He probably couldn’t have told you my name and didn’t know me – but I still care about him. Had I known the pain he was in, I’d have dropped everything to try and help him, rather than have him gone. And I know I’m not the only one who truly, sincerely feels and means that.
Suicide is PERMANENT. Depression and problems are TEMPORARY. You may feel terrible right now, worse than ever before. You may be in the worst pain imaginable, but I PROMISE you – there IS help. You have no idea what’s around the next corner in your life. If you are younger – you won’t be in school forever. You’ll move on and away from the people who are hurting you now. If you are older and feel trapped and stuck in a job, as well as other parts of your life, you will not have that job/situation forever.
ASK FOR HELP. Reach out – maybe to a cousin several states away from you. I can’t do anything to ease the pain of my family, of his family – but I can do my best to stop it from happening again. Nobody can read your mind, they don’t know how much pain you are in. Please tell someone, anyone. A teacher at school, a janitor or bus driver you trust, someone at your church/temple/religious organization, the parent of a friend, your co-worker, someone at a support group meeting, a family member, or if there is nobody else – call one of the crisis lines below and tell one of those people. You are not alone, you just have to reach out and ask for help and support. It’s so much better than losing even one more person to suicide. Because believe me, people you don’t even know will be devastated at losing Y O U.
24 Hour National Crisis Lines
800-273-TALK (8255) www.nmha.org
800-799-SAFE (7233) Domestic Violence Hotline
866-4-U-Trevor – for GLBTQ youth (www.thetrevorproject.org)
877-332-7333 Teen Hotline
800-799-4889 Deaf Hotline
Thanks for reading.