Last night as I was headed to bed, my Facebook feed filled with the news that the blogging community lost someone to depression. I didn’t know her. She was a friend of friends, someone who moved through some of the same circles as me and my people. But nevertheless, the news took my breath away.
I remember hearing about suicide while growing up and wondering what the victim had done wrong, what they were escaping. It felt like the desperate decision of a perpetrator fleeing the scene of a crime. And then when it claimed the life of a soul mate friend, I realized the truth. For most, it’s actually the final blow of a terminal disease.
Depression lies. It robs those suffering of clarity of thought. It takes the very force that is needed to triumph over it – fight – and it buries it so deep that it is unreachable. It tells its victims that feelings – those fleeting, intangible thoughts – can kill. That shame suffocates. That grief stops the heart. That taking just one more breath is more pain than can be withstood. It makes darkness appear to be a better option than fighting for one more moment to tolerate the light.
I thought about sharing a verse from Matthew, about rest for the weary. I thought about reminding all of us to carry each other’s burdens so that none of us are alone, overwhelmed. I thought about one more call to get off of social media and into each other’s lives offline. To love actively. To forgive freely.
But I know that once depression has convinced you that there is no winning, none of those things matter.
So there’s this. If any of you ever get to that place and you feel like none of us can help you keep going, please call: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK.