My Truths About Suicide & Depression

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On October 4, 2014 my world was shaken, broken.  We went to pick my dad up to take him with us to our son’s soccer game, but my dad didn’t come to the door.  Fear filled my body and I rushed to the car to tell my husband he had to go in and check on him.  As I waited outside I will never forget the anxious, awful feelings I felt, but they can’t even compare to the feelings that came next when my sweet husband had to tell me that my dad had passed away.  In the split second before I knew how, I thought heart attack? It had to be a heart attack! It wasn’t.  My dad chose to end his own life.  The heartbreak, confusion, anxiety, the questions, it all came flooding in.  Like a rush of lies at first.  I laid on the grass making noise but not sure I made sense.  I was in disbelief and shock.  I wanted to cry but no tears came because my body hadn’t processed the fact that this was real.  The days that followed were full of tears.  Planning a funeral, cleaning out an apartment, and visiting with an overwhelming number of people was truly an emotional experience. 

I love to write and share my life.  It is a great joy of mine.  I have wrestled multiple times in the last 11 months about writing this but could never bring myself to do it.  See suicide is a touchy subject.  Not everyone can talk about it.  Not everyone wants to talk about it.  It is difficult to know what to say.  How much is too much?  Will I offend anyone?  Will I offend my family by telling this story?  But I feel now, more than ever that now is the time to share this story.  You see, in the last week I have learned of 4 suicides in our community.  One of which was the 2nd student in our town to take their life this year.  To add to this, in the past year, 2 students have taken their lives in the very tiny community where I grew up.  I am devastated, heartbroken, and just plain sad over this.  The day my dad died I was praying and telling God I wanted to wake up from this.  I did not want this to be part of my story.  I wanted nothing to do with suicide.  I wanted it to just go away.  But I felt peace after I was done praying and I felt as though God said to me “You will be better equipped for the purpose I have for you on the other side of this.  I will not waste an ounce of this pain.”

In the midst of all this tragedy, I want to share a few truths.  They are truths to me anyway.  I am not an expert on suicide or depression, in fact until my dad died I knew very little about suicide.  All I really knew was it seemed very sad and confusing.  My prayer is that these words, this story, could at least touch a few lives and help people see things a little different. 

Depression is real. It may not always look “text book”.  It doesn’t always play out like you see in a movie. People who are depressed often continue to live life normally on the outside.  A lot of times, depression is  an inward struggle. I have experienced it, felt it, endured it.  It is not fun and there were times where it felt like the world was just caving in around me. I wondered if I could go on.  I wondered if I just left if the people in my life would be better off.  I was in darkness.  It was all I could do to just take care of the absolute things.  I was not functioning like I use to or knew I could.  I battled hard everyday.  I cried a lot.  But everyone else outside of my house, they thought I was fine.  I smiled, I kept my responsibilities, I tried to be happy.  I even told several friends I wasn’t ok but they dismissed it.  “You are fine, you are just in a rough season” but it was more then that.  I was hurting, in darkness.  Sometimes when you are there in the darkness you can’t see any hope for the light. 

If someone asks for your help, please offer it.  Don’t try to down play their feelings or tell them they are not valid or real.  I promise, even if you can see the truth, they might not be able to.  Be supportive and loving.  Don’t stop letting them know how much they are cared for and needed.

If you need help, set your pride aside and get it.  I have been in counseling since my dad died and it has been a huge help.  I did a year at Celebrate Recovery to overcome self esteem issues, codependency, and lots of other things.  (Learn more about my Celebrate Recovery journey here) Getting help is hard.  Going to the difficult places it takes to get better are emotionally are hard, but you know what?  Hurting is just as hard.  The difference is  the outcome!  You CAN be healthy.  You CAN overcome things.  It won’t happen over night, but you can do it! 

Suicide is the most painful thing I have ever had to deal with.  I don’t understand why my dad chose to leave us and I never will.  If you are reading this and feel like suicide is an option for you, I beg you to please take that option off the table.  Check yourself into a rehabilitation facility.  Go see a counselor.  Just get help.  I promise that leaving those in your life behind will hurt them deeply.  It will create a hole in their soul.  It will leave them with guilt.  They will never stop questioning why.  Your loved ones need you. 

This is a plea for everyone to look around you.  This world is full of hurting people.  You may not see it, but the person you pass at the grocery store may be living in darkness even though no one knows.  The lady who greeted you at church on Sunday, may be dealing with struggles that she keeps to herself.  Your boss at work, his life may be a mess on the inside.  We are all human.  We all need to feel loved, wanted, needed.  Start looking around and seeing people.  Start giving out hugs, high fives, or even just flashing a smile.  Slow down, look people in the eyes, and be genuine.  I don’t know how to end this tragic thing called suicide, but all I know is, I want to do whatever I can to help and I ask that you join me.   

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14 thoughts on “My Truths About Suicide & Depression

  1. I was in those same shoes last year and I fight everyday to try and stay out of the darkness. The reason I went into that aweful stage in my life was because I have become 100% disabled and I’m no longer able to work. After working for 28 years and having a excellent career making a great amount of money and climbing the ladder to become a manager it all ended 2 years ago due to my back I thought I would be happy getting to stay home. I thought how great it would be to clean my house everyday, to have dinner ready when my family walked in the door after a busy day at school, to finally be that perfect Suzy home maker the perfect wife and mom. But instead I felt worthless. I got to the point of being mad at my family. They came home everyday with great stories of their day and all I could tell them was how much pain I was in with my back. So finally one day I locked myself in my bedroom with bottles and bottles of medication that had been subscribed to me to help control my back pain and my depression and cried all day knowing all I had to do was open those bottles and I could end all of the hurt. The new puppy that we had bought for our twins was there with me licking my tears away as they fell down my face and everytime I would look at that puppy I would think how could I be so selfish and do this to my daughters. I knew or at least thought my husband would be ok and could move on but what about my daughters? My phone kept ringing and it was my husband calling. I guess he had a sense something wasn’t right and hurried home to find me with all the pills and that puppy that I’m sure helped save me that day. He called the dr and took me straight in. I finally got the help I needed. It’s still a struggle everyday to deal with my new life but it’s easier to deal with it this year then it was last year and I’m sure next year will be even easier. Suicide is not the answer. Getting help is the answer. My pain would have been over but my husband and daughters pain would still be here. So please don’t be selfish get help and learn to love the season of life that you’re in. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve never told my story and you’re right everyone on the outside thought I was doing fine and thought how lucky I was to get to stay home and be Miss Suzy Homemaker!! Learn to love yourself and the life God has given you. Be the best you can be

  2. Beautifully and profoundly written ♡ Thank you for sharing your broken moments so that others may find healing and someday share theirs to help others. You are right…most people don’t and can’t find the words to address this issue but it is a growing attack and must be discussed. Thank you for your obedience to do so. Blessings ♡

  3. I also lived through your nightmare on May 13, 2013. I lost my best friend, soul-mate, love of my life…..he was and still is my everything. I refuse to say I lost my precious love to “suicide”. He fought a battle of clinical depression for 8 long years: numerous medications, counseling, shock treatments, and lots of prayers. But just as some people lose the battle to heart disease or cancer, my love lost his battle to clinical depression. Knowing Ronny from inside to out, I know he fought as long as he possibly could…he wasn’t a quitter and he wasn’t weak. He was one of the strongest, most determined, full of life men I’ve ever known. He didn’t give up; he wasn’t being selfish; nor any of the other remarks society has placed on “suicide”………he fought the hardest fight of life till the clinical depression took him. I’m so sorry for your loss…may God’s love carry you through.

    • Oh Glenda! I am so sorry! I know that must be so hard. I understand completely what you are saying and even debated trying to express every angle of depression and suicide because I really wanted to. But I decided I couldn’t do that in one post. You are right though, mental illness of any kind is just like a physical illness. That is one thing I hope to bring awareness too as well. Just the fact that depression or anxiety (or any other mental illness) shouldn’t be something people feel they need to be embarrassed about and I hope that others will stop judging those who do struggle with those things. I am so sorry for you loss. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thank you for your honesty. Too many people want to hid from the truth. Your father’s death has hurt and troubled me. After he died, I found a phone call that I had missed from him and I was filled with guilt. I thought if only I had answered or gone to see him maybe he would still be alive. Of course those thoughts are wrong and not healthy for me but those kinds of thoughts just happen. I miss my dear friend and have struggled with the idea that I never knew that he was depressed or that he would ever do such a thing. I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss.
    I hope you will continue to heal and make it through this for you have such a beautiful family. Your father loved you and your family very much as he loved all his children.
    May God continue to protect you from depression and keep you in his loving light far away from the darkness.

  5. I started following you because you’re a fellow photographer in the area, and I love reading your encouraging posts and seeing your adorable family. Thank you for sharing your story, and know that your words have been a blessing to me. My brother ended his life 5 years ago almost to this day, and it is still a hard thing for me to talk about. I still don’t even share how he passed to anyone who asks, but suicide is something that should be talked about in order to prevent more tragedy.

  6. I went through the same thing on 9-26-04. I was 25 at the time. My dad had suffered depression his entire life but was one that lived a successful life from the outside. Definitely the hardest thing I have ever done. I had him in out of hospitals at the end and even did shock treatments (I don’t recommend). In my heart I know I did a lot to try to help but it will never feel like I did enough. I couldn’t get a hold of him that day. I called all day long. He lived 3 hours from me. I knew when my brother called it had happened. Now anytime I can’t get a hold of someone I think the worse. I don’t think that will ever go away. In the weeks and months after it happened many people disappeared for a while. I felt like the elephant in the room. Some friends never even mentioned it happened. It is the most awkward thing to be around people after this. They have no idea what to say to you and I can’t really blame them. It is an experienced that has definitely hardened me as a person but I am good now. I am happier then I have ever been. Time will heal and it will get easier but you will always miss him and wish he was here like he should be.

  7. My husband committed suicide 24 years ago. Both my son’s never got past blaming themselves. Neither one was to blame one was I. I went for some counseling and it helped. The not started doing drugs and drinking, they were in their late 30’s when this happened. Never in any sort of trouble in their lives. Two years ago one died in a car wreck and another with a heart attack, brought on by alcohol 42 days later. My only children. I so wish there was better help. it totally ruined my son’s and my life. I fight my depression every day. Thank you for helping.

  8. Jessica, I love you!! Thank you for sharing this again. I remember watching you hurt and trying to imagine that deep of a pain; I couldn’t then and I can’t know. Your advice of taking suicide off the list of possibilities is huge! Once you consider it as an option you increase the likelihood of it being your choice. There is always hope, always another option but it almost always takes you asking another person to help you see it.

  9. I know lots of people think suicide is an act of selfishness or cowardness. I do agree you leave a lot of loved ones behind wondering why, carrying guilt, and your children are ten times more likely to follow that path. As a law enforcement officer i have seen and dealt with this many times. I was injured in line of duty after working as an officer for 12 years. I then decided to take my life. I took alot of my prescribed medications and went to bed thinking how much better off they would be. I went from the main source to not bringing in anything but more bills from surgery after surgery. And need prescriptions. I woke up couple days later on life support. I was released and sent to a rehab facility where i felt i was an inmate. That only made it worse. I think everyday about suicide im not going to lie. I have ptsd along with a bunch of other crap. I realize how much it would hurt my wife and kids but i figure at some point im going to give in to the pain both mental and physical. I try to show positive side but they know they at least see the physical pain. Only my wife knows the mental pain i suffer from everyday. I often wish i could donate my life to a cancer child or someone who wants to live. Ive been and seen both sides. Ive lost a couple of my loved ones to suicide. I know lota of people will disagree or want to argue and thays fine and some will secretly know what i mean. I guess what im getting at is everyone wants to say its selfish to want to die but you have no idea how much pain or mental anguish they are going through when they make that descion. Our life is are own and its are own choice. Ive ranted enough but no matyer how hard it is you dont need to have guilt when someone makes their own choice to do as they will.

    • I am so sorry Chad. I can’t imagine what you are going through. I do not think suicide is selfish. I know that there is so much more to suicide than what most people see.

  10. Pingback: When God fulfills His promises | The Marvelous Meinardi

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