Trigger warning: this post deals with depression and suicide. If you are sensitive to such topics, please read at your own risk.
If you or someone you know is struggling and needs help, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Depression shows no mercy and makes no distinctions in who it takes prisoner. It doesn’t care if you are a housewife, a student, or a beloved television host. For those of us who manage to escape the its dark cloak enough to see the light, we are the lucky ones.
As someone who suffered from chronic depression for years, I can attest to the intensity of the feelings of confusion, hurt, anger, and fear. The apathy. And while I was terrible at hiding it, many are not. Depression doesn’t have one face, one feeling. It encompasses such a spectrum of feelings that you can’t categorize it so easily as the trope would have you believe.
My depression is etched into my skin in pale thin scars that nobody else seems to see. My depression is etched into years of my life that I tried to escape from. Depression didn’t care who I was and suffered no fools. It doesn’t care who you are or who loves you. You are the only person who can pull out of it… and some folks cannot.
What makes me the saddest is trying to grasp how acutely someone must feel pain, the depths of their pain, if they actually take their own life. It causes something inside me to break. Thinking of the hole they leave behind, the life and the possibilities that will never have a chance to be. It’s like the weeping angels from Doctor Who which snap people out of their timeline and send them some place/ some time else, to feed off of their potential energy.
That light is now gone out.
The stigma around mental health especially in the US is completely absurd and devastating. Suicide rates have gone up something like 30% in the last 20 years. We can be the change. So let’s be a little more empathetic. Hell, let’s be a LOT more empathetic. Let’s love harder and listen more. Ask someone how they’re doing. Don’t diminish someone’s worry. When they tell you how they are, really LISTEN. Be present.
Let’s help more lights stay on.