20 May 2016

Death is not a blessing

I started this as a Facebook post and then thought, nope...I need to make this a blog post for others to see. And it's a rough post, not as well written as some of my others, because...well its not an easy topic to talk about and I'm talking about some things I haven't shared before. And maybe I shouldn't share them here, but...sometimes stories need to be told and this is one that I need to tell. And yeah there are some triggers here.

I apparently missed an article that was titled "My former friend's death was a blessing" because this person suffered from mental illness and ended their own life. There are obviously a lot, and I do mean a LOT, of problems with this article and subsequent interviews with the author. The article has been removed (because no shit it should have never been published), but I read this article where they interviewed the author of the article where she say's something that caught my eye:

“I tried to help her many times, but I also realized when I had discovered this that there was nothing I could do to help her,” said Lauren in response. “I am not as powerful as that illness. I have other stuff going on in my life twenty four hours a day. I really thought about helping her, but I also realized this was not going to be a battle I was going to win.”

Cold hard reality, isn't it? If you're friends or know someone that's been dealing with depression maybe you've thought something like this. Maybe you've said something like this. And I get it. I do. It's a hard thing to help someone...but. Man. It sucks to hear that from people that you trust and care about. And all it does is create an even bigger spiral. I've had people tell me something like this before. That they couldn't be there for me as much as I need it. That I was depending upon them too much. Nothing as harsh and callous as this, but...all the same.

I've half talked about it, but the last couple of years have been rough on my mental health. But last year? Yeah...the spiral I experienced last year included a relationship ending where the person told me something like this. That they couldn't be there for me all the time. That I was depending upon them too much. And I knew it. I worried about it. In the weeks before it ended I knew something was wrong when they wouldn't give me honest answers about things. Little lies of promises of things we were going to do. When I asked if I was depending upon them too much and they told me "no" something didn't feel right. I got that bad feeling in my gut and wondered. 

And I started falling. Falling hard. I was ready to die. To no longer be alive. Whether by my own hand or to just vanish into the night. I didn't care. I was lower than low and I struggled hard and I wasn't sure that I'd make it through each day. I had begun to make plans to end my own life. Like real plans to be done with it. What would happen to my things. What bills would be left. What could be wiped out because I was dead. And when those words finally came? To have them suddenly go "nope we're done" jerked the carpet out from under me. And I feel even harder.

I had people that reached out. Kept me from sinking. Got some help that I needed. And was starting to recover when I was blindsided again by someone else that said they would help me out suddenly and quickly, ended whatever it was we had. And rumors. Oh god, the rumors that came after...and other relationships ended or suffered because of it.

And just to be clear I am NOT, NOT, NOT holding any of these people responsible for what happened. My own brain did that. These things didn't help though. Maybe things would have been different if I had talked about just where I was and things wouldn't have ended so badly. Maybe it wouldn't have made any difference at all. I don't know. I know I wish things had been different. I wish things hadn't ended as they did. I wish a lot of things had happened differently. But they didn't.

I know one thing I wish I had said sooner was that I didn't need them 24/7. I know it seemed that way, but...man. Depression is a hard thing and it makes for tunnel vision on who you can trust and call on. It makes it hard to reach out to other people to lean on, so you aren't leaning on one person. It makes it hard to do much of anything to be honest.

It's been a long fucking year to be able to get back up again. And I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm better than I was.

All of this to say...if you know someone that's dealing with depression and they're leaning on you hard. Maybe too hard.  I can't and won't tell you what to do if you're in this position. You've gotta do what's best for yourself also. But, please, get help for yourself. Talk to a counselor, a professional, someone to get advice from. The person leaning may not realize how hard they're leaning and hurting you. Read an article like this one that talks about how hard it is to be the friend. To be the family member. To be the support. I can speak from experience that the person dealing with depression isn't trying to put you into this spot and blinders can be hard to remove.

And if they walk away. If they end their life, please, please don't blame yourself. Ever. No matter what was said, mental illness is NOT any one person's fault.

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