Please welcome Sara to the blog. I so appreciate her courage and honesty in sharing this story. If you or anyone you know is battling depression or contemplating suicide, there is help: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline .
On St. Patrick’s Day, I sat with my best friend as she got a new tattoo. We remanence about a memory of doing to same thing in Chicago and the fun we had 10 years prior. It was lively, lighthearted, jovial. The way friends should be. But not this time. This had a different vibe. My friend was getting a memorial tattoo for her husband that died of suicide.
He left the world, painfully, because life was too much. He left small children. My best friend had to tell her children about how they don’t get to see daddy anymore. His own parents had their worst nightmare come true. There is a huge, deep void in life without him that will never be filled. We will never fully heal from this. And although I really want to say that I can’t relate and I can’t picture a mind prepared to do something like he did, I can’t. In fact, at the exact same time he was ending his life, I was battling the same thoughts.
Hi, have we met? My name is Sara and I am diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder AND PTSD. I am a single mother and I have two amazing children, one of which has already told me she had thought about suicide and the tender age of nine. Nine. My baby was done by age 9. So, in other words, it’s a family affair.
During these battles, my brain is really good at convincing me that I am terrible at my job and they will fire me. My life is miserable and I will always need someone to take care of me. I can’t raise these kids own my own. My children will be better off without me. No one loves me. I am a burden. My life is too painful and I should just end the pain. I imagine his brain was telling him the same thing. The behavioral difference between him and me, however, is one that saves my life.
I have to be louder than my depression.
Go back and read that again. Seems simple, right? It is, actually, but it is really hard. Social stigma has made it hard. At the same time I was fighting off those words and deep pain, I was talking to someone about it. I was crying. I was shouting. I prayed to God. A friend listened to it and talked with me. It may seem small or huge, but it is the one thing, I believe, that helped….and saved my life. I’m alive by being louder than my depression.
Some weeks are amazing and others are not. My life is wonderful and outsiders would think I have it together. The truth is I am beautifully broken, imperfectly brave. I am a face of depression. I have to stare down my disorder and tell it that it doesn’t get to win. EVERY DAY.
Is depression that uninvited friend in your life? Does it tell you some of the same things it tells me? Tell someone, anyone. A friend, a parent, a mental health worker, a nurse, a doctor. If the first one doesn’t listen, find someone else. Keep saying it. Keep shouting it. Bang a pot with a wooden spoon. BE LOUD! Do everything it takes to save your life. Because no matter what your brain may say, you are worth the noise.
**Love Will Voices is a new blog series featuring those who are or who have struggled with mental health. It is meant to bring awareness, understanding and support. If you would like to share your story with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. or email@example.com**