I was having a conversation with my neighbor the other day about Kate Spade….yes….you probably know by now what we were talking about.
We actually talked about it the other day. How did she manage to do that without anybody in the house noticing? Why did she feel like that was her only way out? She had access to every possible treatment, therapy, help she could imagine. WHY??
Alas, there were children around and so the conversation was brief.
Then I woke up to a CNN report this morning of another celebrity suicide.
I mentioned to my neighbor that I sort of understand how it happened….or why…
I told her that they are rich and they seemingly have everything they could ever want and are living their dreams. They don’t have to work hard anymore if they ddon’t want to and they can, quite literally, do whatever they please. So how can they possibly be depressed? How can they expose that deepest part of themselves that the world at large surely would not understand?
And so they don’t.
And so here we are.
I realized I needed to say something…to put something out in the world.
The taboo of mental illness is not gone.
These people, they hid and burrried and likely didn’t realize how far out on a limb they were.
I read a quote today posted by a friend about how suicide comes to pass.
Essentially….it is the lesser of two evils. If given the choice of being burned alive by a burning building while you’re stranded on a high floor or jumping, you choose to jump because at least then you have the hope of being caught. If you just stay there, there is no hope…no rescue…only imminent doom. Only the most miserable path forward. And So…you jump to prevent something worse than you’re already enduring.
So why did I need to join the conversation? Why do I feel like I need to say something. Certainly I am not rich. I do not have a world renowned career/product/show/resume.
But I do deal with Depression in my life. I hide behind a smile entirely too often because…well…I. Don’t always want to share or deal with it. I don’t want a disease to be me. I want to be me fighting a disease.
I have sought treatment. I have tried a variety. I have tried medication. I have tried natural remedies.
While I was detoxing from a medication last summmer, I found myself figuratively standing on that burning window ledge. Too many times. Instead of jumping, I tried to burn myself alive….figureatively of course.
I am entirely thankful didn’t succeed.
So last night, I took some photos in a skirt I made.
I have been extra stressed lately…not the most joyful.
But nobody wants to see that and it certainly doesn’t sell anything. So I do my job, do what I signed up for because I love the people I work with and for.
I smile. I pretend. I spent too much time waiting tables and working face to face customer service. I have nailed the “your life stays off the sales floor” mindset.
So I post the pictures everywhere because I love the fabric I was using and I was excited about a new pattern. I don’t hate what I do. I Love it. I just am not always happy.
I mean….nobody is….but some days are extra blah and hard to get through. My emotions can get erratic.
But I love what I do.
And so I smile. I pretend like I’m having the time of my life….because I should be…and because despite the chemical tornado my brain sometimes is….I truly am. I am living a dream I didn’t even know was my dream because I wasn’t allowed (by my culture not my parents) to think that far outside the box.
And then people comment and tell me how full of life and joy I am and as much as I appreciate those uplifting comments, the depression gnome in my head says “how can they possibly know that from the fraction of a second snap shot on your front yard?”
So, I present to you….
The face of depression
I am OK. I am not in the window of a burning building anymore.
But know I am not the only one.
Be aware. Care. Ask real questions. Want to know about the people you spend your time with (virtually or otherwise). Be involved.
I need to be better about this also.
If the last week as taught us anything, it’s that we all do.