I had planned a nice little post all about our Memorial Day weekend. How my daughter drove a tractor, how I drank banana beer bread (at Nadine’s suggestion), how I finished a book (Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro)in one day, and how all kinds of other fun and relaxing things happened.
A phone call last night changed all of that.
Last night, while getting our daughter ready for bed, my husband received a phone call that one of our friends from college committed suicide over the weekend. I won’t even pretend I can understand what was going through the friend’s head, or what the circumstances were that led to that choice. But it came as a shock, even though we hadn’t seen him in a few years, and at our age (36/37), you don’t expect your friends to die, and even less so by taking their own life. It’s a horrible tragedy and I hope that his family and friends can find some peace at some point as they work through all of this.
And this is exactly why depression is a fucking motherfucker.
Not only that, it’s a lying asshole. It tells you all kinds of untruths like you’re invaluable or you’re worthless or your family and friends would be better off without you or you don’t deserve the life you want. And when you’re down the rabbit hole of depression, you believe all of that. It becomes such a huge part of who you are, and what you believe about yourself at your core, it’s impossible to ignore. So you start withdrawing.
You stop engaging in activities that make you feel good because not only can you not bring yourself to enjoy them, you don’t think you deserve to enjoy them. You cut off contact with friends because you’re confident they don’t really like you anyway. You stop showering and eating and getting dressed and doing all of that because honestly, what’s the point, right? Depression’s lies make you a shell of who you once were and while in the beginning you might rally against it, it’s really a Sisyphean task. As soon as you feel good, it knocks you back down again.
So you just give in. Because it becomes too much to fight.
At least that’s how it was for me.
While I never reached the point that our college friend did, or our next door neighbor, or the thousands of others who commit suicide each year, I just wanted to be invisible. I wanted to exist only within the walls of my house. I didn’t want to go to work or socialize or walk my dogs or even leave my couch. I wanted no contact with the outside world because I didn’t feel like I had much to offer anyone. It put a strain on all my relationships and it made me a pretty shitty mother, too. I had surrendered to the depression and let it control my life.
For a long, long time.
I was lucky, though. I never reached the level of despair where I thought death was the only way out. It breaks my heart that so many people can’t come to that conclusion. That they don’t see anything as getting better. Ever. That there is nothing left to live for. Not a song, not a picture, not a sunset, not a person, not an anything. They truly believe that everything is better if they simply cease to exist.
And that is the worst lie depression can ever make you believe. Because it is unequivocally false.
If you are feeling like you literally cannot live anymore, please, PLEASE tell someone. Doesn’t have to be family or a close friend. Tell a random person on the internet. Text a random number. But just tell someone. Because, despite what lies the depression is telling you right now, your life is important. You are a good person. You have gifts to share. You deserve to be happy. You will find the place where you belong, with people who love you for who you are. I’d even be willing to bet that there are people right now who love you just as you are. You will survive whatever it is you’re going through and you’ll come out even stronger.
You are worth life.