Not About Sportsball

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This post is a little different.  From time to time, I actually do talk about other things, and some of those are serious. This is one of those.

Instead of posting a doodle and telling you how I think we should re-name “tennis” to “fuzzyball smackracket” because it makes more sense, I want to talk about this. (We may get back to fuzzyball smackracket another time, though. Dunno.)

This is National Suicide Prevention Week. I thought about making a smart-alec post about the 5 most epic ways to snuff it (number 5 was spacewalking without a suit, but Kubrick beat me to it) with the overall point being to give better alternatives, that suicide isn’t the right choice. But some things are just too big to fit into silly pictures and stupid hyperbole. Like this.

I’m going to tell you that if you are depressed and if you are considering suicide, don’t. Suicide is not your best option.  I’m not going to tell you it’s not a logical thought. I’m not even going to promise you tomorrow will be better.  Why? Because I know what it’s like to believe it IS logical and to have faced so many “tomorrows” that I no longer believed it could get better.

It does get better. But it won’t be tomorrow.  There’s no magic way you’re gonna wake up and everything will be perfect in the morning, but you know what you will have? The rest of your life, a life that will get better.

If you are suicidal or dealing with self-harm, go to the ER. If you can’t, call a friend. Call a doctor. If you can’t do those or you don’t think that you can talk to someone you know, there’s still someone to call.  Toll-free, private and 24/7, you can call 1.800.784.2433 or 1.800.273.8255. If you are hearing impaired, you can call 1.800.799.4889.

I have dealt with clinical depression most of my life. I have been suicidal for the majority of it. I’ve been hospitalized more than once. But you know what? I’m still here. And it’s been years since I wanted to kill myself. And no, my life isn’t perfect, but it’s so much better.  And it keeps getting better.

Suicide is a decision you can’t take back. It’s an act you can’t reverse.  Everything else in your life is something you can change or improve – unless you end it. Suicide is stopping your narrative cold. Please, don’t do that.

Every breath you take is another time you told depression to suck a bag of rotten weasel dung. It’s another battle you won. Every day you wake up, you’re a HERO.

Not everybody deals with depression. There are people who feel pretty good most days and live typical lives. They don’t know what it’s like to struggle to find meaning, to find a reason to go on. You know what? That’s great. I’m happy for them. But the resilience I see in those who’ve stared at the darkness of depression and decided to fight is incredible.

You don’t have to do it alone. There are people to talk to and programs available. If you are prescribed medication and can’t afford it, there are programs by manufacturers that can help with that, providing low or no cost meds. Finding the right meds is no fun. But the first time you realize it’s been weeks since you thought life had no point, since the end of everything seemed like the best idea? That’s actually a rush. And it can happen for you, too.

I wish this was something that could be sorted with easy platitudes. I wish there was a button to push to change it all. But it’s hard and it takes work. But more than anything, I want you to hear this: it is worth it.

I’m going to say that again because it’s true:  it is worth it. YOU are worth it.

Don’t take the step you can’t take back. Don’t let the darkness win.

Live.

And tell depression to suck a bag of weasel dung.

 

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7 responses »

  1. I always want to high five/bro hug/chest bump fellow survivors of mental illness/suicidal thoughts. YAY US! For such a long time, I felt like a failure for experiencing it at all. Now I finally see it as something I was strong enough to overcome. Thanks for putting some really excellent advice out there.

  2. Thanks, Q. You know I struggled with suicidal ideation for years, but I think the main thing is an attitude of patience. Give it time. Things will get better. Seek help if at all possible. But more than anything, don’t give up. Never give up.

  3. This. So much: “Every breath you take is another time you told depression to suck a bag of rotten weasel dung. It’s another battle you won. Every day you wake up, you’re a HERO.

    Not everybody deals with depression. There are people who feel pretty good most days and live typical lives. They don’t know what it’s like to struggle to find meaning, to find a reason to go on. You know what? That’s great. I’m happy for them. But the resilience I see in those who’ve stared at the darkness of depression and decided to fight is incredible.”

    I remember the first time a friend told me something like this. I cling to those words on the days I feel like giving up. (Which thankfully the meds have kept that in check for about a year now! But you know…)

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