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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's not just you and it's not just me

In a way I find it odd, sad, and a little comforting that I have something in common with two of my most favorite people I've never met.

Today I want to re-share with you my own story I posted two years ago today titled "Feeling Suicidal? It Gets Better." It's a first person account of the times in the past I was suicidally depressed. But then I decided to make this a group post of sorts by sharing two additional perspectives of what it's like to suffer from depression from my two most favorite bloggers.

Allie Brosh, from Hyperbole and a Half (whose blog I enjoy so much I had to dress up as her not once but twice for Halloween), wrote Adventures in Depression in October of 2011 and hasn't written a new post since. It's a cartoon about how she feels when she's depressed. If anyone had ever told me it was possible to write a funny post about depression I wouldn't have believed them. But she did. When I read it I was moved, laughed at the end, and appreciated that she shareed her story with her millions of readers.

I haven't asked anyone else but I'm sure we're all hoping she's feeling better and has been riding her bike, watching lots of movies, and eating lots of Skittles. You'll have to read her post to get those references.

And then there's Jenny Lawson, the only other woman who can make me laugh as hard as Allie. You may know her as The Bloggess. The first post I ever read by The Bloggess (about her giant male chicken Beyonce) had me laughing out loud for so long hubby actually came into the room to see if I was ok. Jenny is HILARIOUS, suffers from depression (read her post titled The fight goes on), and a few other mild to chronic conditions like anxiety and OCD. And she talks about them. And deals with them. And she's truly fantastic.

Her post titled Depression lies is a video where she accurately describes how when you're suffering from depression, your brain tells you lies. And another part of your brain believes the lies. And then your mind gets confused and that confusion can drive you to harm yourself. She also points out something I also believe: That suffering through the depths of despair when you're clinically depressed has a silver lining of sorts (my words, not hers) because for those who have been there, the level of joy you are then able to experience is directly equal to the pain you've endured during those worst of times.

Just a few days ago Jenny, her family, friends, and community suffered the loss of someone they dearly love who ended his life by suicide. Her post titled Today and forever made me want to share her post and re-share mine too.

Surviving depression is hard. But it's so worth it. Here are two pictures and a brief excerpt from my previous post. It may be sad to read but just remember I've felt better for years and most people who know me now probably can't even envision me, the fun and flirty girl, as a depressed person on the verge of suicide. But I was. And I got better. And you or the person you care about can too:

"The easiest way for me to explain the difference between sadness and depression is by using pictures:

We all experience sadness from time to time in the same transitory way we experience all other emotions like elation, anger, embarrassment, etc., perhaps for seconds, minutes, hours or sometimes days. Depression is different. Depression may be a physical, mental, chemical, or genetic illness that causes emotional suffering that ranges from sadness to anguish to despair and can last for weeks, months or years and can intensify over time. It made me feel alone even when I was surrounded by family and friends. It felt like being in a deep, dark hole from which escape was hopeless and impossible. I felt like a failure (stupid, and insignificant) and was certain that, after the initial shock, people would move on once I was gone. I had lost both family and friends to death. I knew that there is a period of anger and grief but then there is acceptance and life goes on. At the time I thought it was ok to go because in my depressed reality, I was already gone. I felt so empty inside, like who I used to be didn't exist anymore. That made it ok to leave physically, because inside (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) I felt like I was already dead."

Click Here to read the rest of the post.

Seriously people, we need to get rid of the archaic stigmas associated both with suffering from depression and especially for seeking help if you need it. That's why I bring this topic up from time to time. Because hiding it, not talking about it, ignoring, guilting, and/or shaming people clearly hasn't made the problem better for those who suffer from it.

Or reach out for help or share the following information with a loved one who may need someone to talk to.

If you ever feel that suicide is your only option please call the suicide hot line and talk to a counselor before taking your own life. I'm telling you that you do have another choice. Asking for help is the other choice to suicide.

Their national numbers are

National Suicide Hotlines USA
United States of America
Toll-Free / 24 hours a day / 7 days a week

1-800-SUICIDE             1-800-273-TALK
1-800-784-2433            1-800-273-8255

Deaf Hotline

Worldwide Suicide Helplines can be found at Befrienders Wordlwide.

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