Thursday, October 31, 2013

Considering Death and Considering Others

Sitting face to face with my friend talking about suicide really brought a damper to my night. Firstly because I'm struggling with depression myself and secondly because I really care about this girl.

She told me she had made up her mind. That there was no changing it. She's not forthcoming about anything so of course I had to drag it out of her. I asked her what she had made her mind up about... that she wasn't going to cut anymore, that she was going to stop NOT eating, that she was going to try and get help?  I went through a bunch of possible scenarios. But it was the suicide guess that caught her/my attention.

I reminded her of a conversation we had last week. We sat in my van one night. She was in the drivers seat. I was in the passengers. We talked about how she had come to recognize that she did indeed have a problem and it was not something she could control. It was a pivotal moment. She was finally able to step outside the situation and look in on what was happening. I told her I wanted to remember this moment because surely she would need it sometime soon.

Well tonight is the night. And I reminded her and she said something I believe those of us with mental illness can totally relate to, and that is, "But I'm so tired." YES! That! I'm so tired too. Tired of being tired in so many ways. Mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.

Anyway, I sat there and cried in front of her. So many tears fell down my cheeks because I couldn't bear the thought of her killing herself. I was so angry really. Well sadness in the form of anger. Sad that she would do it and not think of the consequences it would bring to those around her.  It was soon after that Jackson walked in and called her by name and said, "Will you come lay with me?"

I GET depression. As in, I totally understand it. I've struggled with it for many years. There's that wonderful article floating around titled, "Mothering with Mental Illness". It's TOTALLY worth the read. I think it pertains not only to mothers, but anyone really. Please go read it. For my sake.

My message tonight is one of reprimand and also love. I want to put out a reminder that mental illness doesn't just affect you, it affects everyone around you. I'm saying this as much to myself as anyone else. It's sometimes a daily struggle for me. Then I sit back and remember that I have 3 beautiful babies that suffer from my depression if I don't do anything about it. Let's each take the time to practice self-love and do something for ourselves to make it better. There are so many resources available. If you need some, let me know. As Olivia (the author of that lovely article above) stated, "... there is a stigma about mental illness. A stigma that shouldn’t exist. It shouldn’t exist because people with mental illness did nothing wrong. It shouldn’t exist because people with mental illness should be encouraged to seek help." I echo those words. I agree with them.

And like she said, you are not alone because you know about her, and now you know about me too. There's at least 2 people on your side. :-)

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