I know a lot of people write posts on depression. I try not to. I try to avoid thinking about it because then I might get caught up in all the bad thoughts again, and I’ve done a pretty good job the last… I don’t know, ten years, maybe? Of not sinking down into them as far as I used to.
But I’ve been thinking about it today and last night. Yesterday afternoon I got an email from a friend telling me that a mutual friend of ours died. She didn’t know how at the time, but we both assumed suicide.
We were right.
How horrible is it that I spent eight hours yesterday hoping it had been some terrible accident instead? She’d stopped answering my emails. I sent them anyway, but I’d been miserable in July and forgot.
She was one of the kindest people I have ever met. She was an artist, photographer, writer, baker and geek. She would do anything for anyone.
She was also an abuse survivor, first by her father, then her husband. Her family refused to believe her, so she moved far away and had no support network. She had PTSD and was in therapy, but her (our) co-workers were horrible to her. They were the kind of people who thought therapy was for sissies, etc. She was at the point where she couldn’t see an alternative to anything. Any option I or anyone else put forth was somehow impossible.
I remember being like that. I never made her final choice because I always thought of my niece and nephew. Her family abandoning her took that away from her, and I am SO angry, at all of them.
I’m angry at her for not reaching out, if not to her therapist, to me, to someone. I’m angry at her family, myself for not remembering to check up on her even though she stopped writing back. I’m angry at the horrific ableist workplace culture that ostracized her.
And, in retrospect, I’m angry at the fact that I grew up in a culture where depression was looked at as weak and pathetic. I spent over thirty years doing my best to hide it. Now, thanks to writing, my family, and copious amounts of tea and chocolate, I don’t get those dark moments anymore.
I just wish she could have let someone in.
My niece and nephew pretty much saved my life. When they were younger, I knew I could never die because they wouldn’t understand, and I could never hurt them like that. When they got older, we had more in common, and I realized I absolutely had to see the adults they would grow into. They’re in college now, and they just get more amazing all the time.
I wish my friend could see her niece grow up.
I have a storyline in the book I’m querying about a starship named Chuck. In the book, there is a series of ships named for spies in 20th/21st century TV shows. I never would have come up with that if it hadn’t been for watching Chuck marathons with my nephew. It’s still our favorite show.
Please, if you’re considering ending your life, call someone. Or text, or email.
Or, there are hotlines:
741741 is a text hotline from crisistextline.org
Spsamerica.org – national suicide prevention hotline number – 1-800-273-8255
And, when I googled that, I found tweets about a song by Logic that has the above number in the lyrics. Hopefully it proves to be as catchy as Jenny’s number.
(867-5309, for those of you who don’t know Tommy Tutone)