In light of the news of the amazing Robin Williams passing away to apparently suicide caused by depression, it really got me thinking hard. And the more I thought about it, the more it was shaping into a new blog. So here it goes.
I already told you that I fight the darkness. There was a time in my life when it took every ounce of energy just to get out of bed. I was a zombie on the inside with a mask of “Everything is OK” on the outside – or so I thought. I remember sitting on the couch, feeling nothing, feeling as though I was detached from my body. My arms we tingling. I had horrible thoughts, and I knew I needed help. I just needed the courage and the right person to talk to. And that was a whole new issue.
Mental health seems to still be a taboo topic. People don’t believe others have it. People who have it think it’s normal to live, stuck in the horrible dark cave with no way out. If someone detects that a person has it and reaches out, that person will lie saying they are fine. More importantly they will lie to themselves saying they are fine. My instructor at college had me write three papers about depression, and then I had that moment on the couch. When I went to her to tell her, she was like “why do you think I kept giving you that topic. You were not in a place to hear it before, you had to come to your own conclusion”. When I thought my mask was showing everyone I was OK, there were cracks that did show signs. Being told straight out that I was depressed, I would have denied it. She planted the seed and let me process. And in turn I sought out help.
I think the awareness needs to start happening in school. I know we learned all about the body physically, but what about the mind. We need to be educated to not only see warning signs in others, but in ourselves as well. Then, and only then, would intervention start to work. When I was in high school, another high-school that my really close friend went to had four suicides in one year. FOUR!!! are you kidding me?!? There had to be signs. Did no one see them? Did no one reach out? Did no one plant the seed to say “Hey, there is a light in this cave of darkness. Don’t give up. It’s just around this corner. I know you’re tired. I know you do not have any energy left. Go around this corner, and you will finally see some hope. Please oh please do not stay in the darkness, because if you do, you will become it and there will be nothing left. ”
I have lived with it. I have family members fighting this battle everyday. If you are reading this and you think you might have depression, or feelings that you know are not right for you… Thoughts that you are ashamed of and you’re scared to tell anyone, please after reading this, go to your doctor and ask for help. Go to a professional, who is bound by confidentiality, and talk freely. They will not lock you up and throw away the key, they will work with you everyday using medication and therapy. The light gets bigger. You are a little further out of the darkness. And someday, you will be free.
I hope this helps people start to process. Please reach out. You are important. You are meant for something big.