the word no one likes

I feel uneasy as I sit to write this… I don’t really want to revisit these thoughts. But- I know who I am, I know whose I am, and I can now confidently say that fear can go to hell. So here we go.

suicide.

It’s uncomfortable to even see it written isn’t it? Taking ones own life seems drastic and unfathomable…

If you’ve never been there, you may be asking “how does it get that bad?”… “don’t they know that there’s always hope?”… “wouldn’t a friend or family member know and intervene before it got to that point?”…. maybe even, “that could never be someone I know… I would know they’re upset wayyy before that”

The answers? Gray, complicated, and not what you want to hear.

How does it get that bad? It just… does. Sometimes the thoughts creep in slowly, over months or years… so incrementally that it seems normal. I didn’t get help for so long the first time around, because when the thoughts came, they were so insignificant that I could brush them off as “nothing”. Over time, they become so ingrained with your other thoughts it’s just “la part of life” you know?

And sometimes, after months of healthy thoughts, they come like a freight-train. Completely unexpected. You’re driving along and the next thing you know you’re obsessively fantasizing about it. Strangely addictive and comforting, the thoughts come back like an athlete that’s getting to play after being benched all year..

Don’t they know there’s always hope? A big. fat. no. Depression is the feeling of utter hopelessness. The word hope used to make me laugh or roll my eyes. If you know someone struggling with depression, don’t press too much on the “hope” thing. Focus instead on the root thoughts behind “no hope”: the thoughts of not being enough and of not being lovable or loved.

Finally, the “surely someone would recognize something is off and intervene way before someone gets to that point?” Oh how I wish that was true. I really, really do. There’s so much to unpack here- the ability to mask what we feel, the actual medical condition of depression, ‘happy, had-it-all’ celebrities that took their lives unexpectedly, society’s uneasiness around the word, our own human desires to believe that ‘they’ll be ok’, or they’re not bad enough to need therapy, or maybe even that we can fix them ourselves. I’ll have to do another journal entry on all of that…

For now, I’m going to ask you… Get uncomfortable. Know that yes, it could happen to anyone. Your dad, your best friend, the quiet girl at work, the always-smiling girl at the coffee shop. Don’t be afraid to talk about therapy, medication, suicide. Keep asking them to hang out, even if they say no every time. Pray for them. And most importantly… tell them truths; that they are beautiful, that they are valuable, loved, that they were created on purpose.

PS, in honor of Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week, for every book pre-ordered, I’ll be donating a book to someone that needs to hear the truth about who they are: rejoiced over, made new, so so so so loved. (September 8-14, 2019)

*Photo by John Salvino on Unsplash