I’m not gonna go into the long, bleak realities of the depressed. (Or manic depressed, where I have not walked, but many do with much struggle.) It began when I was 9, and it continues, though not in as consistently a harsh form as in times past when suicide called to me like the cruelest, but most tempting of Siren songs. “Come on, it hurts less to dash yourself against these rocks and die than to endure.”
Well, enduring leads to those places of fresh, happy air, once more. For a time, sometimes short, sometimes years.
It’s talked about out there now because someone famous and beloved is gone and, it looks like, by his own hand. It’s heartbreaking. Can’t say much more than that. It leaves hurt behind, but surely, his hurting was beyond our comprehension.
But those of us who have tried suicide, or pondered it deeply, at least understand some of his despair.
Here it is, no judgment, no condemnation, no snarky blog-talk, no click-bait, no snappy responses:
If you out there reading this are feeling that bleakness, that lethargy of life, that darkness, that loss of will to live. If you’re binge-eating to feel something. If you’re not eating because despair clogs your throat. If you can’t sleep from the weight of the monster or are sleeping all day to escape the pain. If you’re too embarrassed to tell loved ones how hellish life has become. If you don’t believe you can spend one more day in agony, please: HOLD ON. Please, HOLD ON.
Please, call. Talk to someone who doesn’t know you, if you’ can’t talk to someone who does right off. Call a new doctor. Call a priest, a rabbi, a minister, an imam, straight out of the phone book. If you feel too apathetic to do that, just look at this number right here, pick up the phone, and dial it please:
People on the other end won’t hear anything shocking from you. They’ve heard it all. Their only desire: to give you help, to give you hope, to give you a caring ear.
Can you do this, please?
HOLD ON. ENDURE A BIT MORE. CALL. TALK.
LIVE. Even a bit more.
Because a lot of us who have been there know that the sun comes out once more. Hold on.
Because hope is a powerful thing, and it wants to be found, if sought. Hold on.
Because you never know if the cure for this damned brain chemical mess is just around the corner. Hold on.
Because there are folks who will hurt horribly if you are gone. You will leave a hole in their hearts…forever.
I am very glad I did not successfully kill myself with those chemicals and pills I swallowed as a minor. I am very glad I didn’t cut my veins in 1991 or jump off a roof in 1994. I am very glad the mornings when I begged God to kill me, that instead he sent me a “No. Live on.” Because there are periods of great love and joy and creation.
So, please make an appointment with a doctor or a counselor or walk into a rectory. Or just lie there and reach for your cellphone or landline receiver and dial 1-800-273-8255.
And may God bless you, heal you, and bring you joy once again.