Two days ago I had a moment of pure depression cross like thick nimbostratus over my brain. My heart sunk in the shadows and I lost all hope. I was left with next to nothing but these feelings of unsurpassed dread and hopelessness. And in that moment I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care about living.
Now, I could never kill myself. (Well… never say never) But in my lowest moments I still have so much ego that I can’t fathom ending my own life. And since I have been through this circus many times before, I understand that this sideshow will eventually pull up stakes and leave town. It is that last piece of knowledge that curbs any thoughts of suicide. Yet, it does remind me that living with depression is literally one thought away from death.
After taking a short reprieve from twitter and the news, I have found myself again. I am not my usual manic happy, but I am better than where I was. I still am having a difficult time seeing the point in life, but that is it’s biggest and unanswerable question.
I have nothing of note to offer you here, unfortunately. All I can do is share my experience and offer a reminder that (if you have depression) you CAN get through it. It just so happens that I am lucky enough to have swings that are usually VERY broad and very fast. (The down swings don’t typically last for very long.) So at least I have that going for me. Well, that and the quartz belief that “this too shall pass.” Nothing in life is permanent.
When I first met the man that I would refer to as my “bear cub” I hated him. I thought he was a narcissistic douche bag that I did not find the least bit funny. He thought he was hilarious. He came into my high school theater class making off-color jokes and being generally obnoxious just as I was getting out of it, and I would not see him again until we participated in a show down in LA called “You Make Me Physically Ill.”
For whatever reason when we reconnected, I fell in love with Jacob in a very non-sexual way. I felt this intense need to protect him and would defend him with my life if it came to that. I jokingly told him that my husband and I were going to adopt him, even though he’s only a couple years younger than me. (We have a habit of taking in strays.) Because I felt like a mama grizzly whenever anything pertained to him I would henceforth refer to him as my “bear cub.”
Yesterday I found out that he took his own life. The moment I got the text my eye caught sight of just his name and I already knew. If there was anyone who would commit suicide it would be Jacob. He dealt with the darkest of demons that I could not fathom what it must have been like to reside in his head. I think that’s why I found this need to protect and care for him. He, in many ways, reminded me of my father.
Now I walk the path every person who has lost someone to suicide travels: I am thinking of how I let him down and how I could have done more to keep this from happening. I feel shame in that I never spoke much with him after he moved to a different state, even though I did think about him often. Most recently he’s been in my thoughts because the upcoming Pokemon game is a remake of yellow and that was his favorite of the games; because you could get all three starters. I meant to reach out but I didn’t. I don’t know what stopped me. And I don’t even know that if I had, if that would have made any kind of difference. The thing about mental illness is that it is unpredictable and the best of intentions can sometimes be fruitless. Yet, we still have to try.
I can’t lend any new perspective or advice to the situation. In the end, it is what it is and nothing can be undone.
I will miss him.