When I shared it with her, she shared it on her Facebook page, stating that I didn't even know what she had had to overcome in the last 10 years. And I don't.
And it got me thinking...that there are so many stories out there of how individuals are overcomers, and how often those stories aren't shared.
And it reminded me of a time...
that I decided it was time to share my story of being an overcomer. My redemption song. It was on August 14, 2014, in response to the reaction of many to the news of the suicide on Robin Williams. I decided it was a good time to share my story socially, on Facebook, because I wasn't ashamed, and anybody else suffering from mental health struggles shouldn't be ashamed either.
So in case you missed it...
here is my post from 2014:
I think I get it. I think I understand partially why so many are out there claiming depression related suicide is selfish. It is because they are humans, humans with limited experiences and a natural tendency toward egocentrism. Suicide seems selfish to those left behind because it is impossible to feel what the victim, yes victim, was feeling. And to many who haven't suffered, yes suffered, it is hard to imagine one would want to end one's life over feeling sad.
Depression and sadness are often used interchangeably in today's vernacular. But real depression is so much more. It is overwhelming, illogical, all-consuming, frustrating sadness, and hopelessness, suffocating guilt, anxiety, heavy shame, feelings of unworthiness, physical pain, exhaustion and other soul sucking symptoms. Every synapse is firing messages to one's mind, body, and spirit that it isn't worth it.
It isn't as simple as turning on the light, because you can't find the switch in the darkness no matter how desperately you search. And you are often searching alone. Why....HOW can you ask for help when your truth is that you are nothing? The challenge is often insurmountable and the battle is frighteningly private.
Death and suicide are incredibly sad and I do not celebrate or champion suicide. I don't think anyone does, but for me, I can understand that when one is fighting a disabling, painful disease for a long time, sometimes people want to stop the treatment. And mental illness is no different.
Having been a lifelong sufferer of depression, which first manifested in childhood as stomach aches and insomnia, and later as bulimia, and in my lowest in college as suicidal ideation, I am grateful that I was finally able to find the switch and turn on the light. Sometimes I am medicated and sometimes I can go without, but every day I have to work to get to the switch and often my bulb struggles to burn bright.
So I get it, someone else's struggles are impossible to fully understand, but for the sake of everything that is bright, we can still show compassion. Because the last thing a person who feels like nothing needs to hear is that where they are mentally and emotionally is selfish.
You are an OvercomerMaybe you struggle with depression too, or maybe your struggle is something different. But I believe that you are strong, that you are loved, and that you can overcome. Maybe you already know your story. I encourage you to share it. If you haven't ever checked out my favorite Overcomer and her storytelling check out Glennon Doyle Melton on the Momastery.
If you are feeling hopeless and considering suicide
I BEG YOU TO REACH OUT FOR HELP.