Hope is the thing with feathers

I swear I just had an epiphany and the only thing that I could do is come write.

For years- all my life really- I have wished I was the “together” one.  The organized one.  The one who had it all figured out.  I have wished that my mind wasn’t cluttered.  That I didn’t always have 47 tabs open.  That I didn’t have to choose between feeling it all or nothing at all.

It’s Suicide Awareness Week.  Of course I couldn’t just let that pass by without reminding you that I am that person who stands toe to toe with that monster.  But I win.  I always win.  My gosh, I don’t want that to sound like there are people who lose.  You don’t know the giant they face.  But I do.

I posted on my IG account this morning and as I was replying to a comment I started to say something about how I wish I was the ‘together’ one but maybe I was meant to be the broken one and that was my lightbulb moment.

I AM meant to be the broken one.  And not because I’m ‘brave’ enough to tell my story- it doesn’t take bravery.  I’m just willing to.  I have a willingness and more than that I have a need, a burning desire, to try to help people find whatever it is that pushes them to see what tomorrow is going to bring because I understand how desperate that need can be.

Not everyone gets it.  But I do.

I’ve been told, “it’s not worth it”, “he’s not worth it”, a million other things designed to make me wonder what I was thinking.  Those people don’t get it and I’m so grateful that they don’t, I truly am.  They have been depressed, sure.  Everyone has experienced depression at one time or another in their lives.  The loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, seasonal depression…  Not everyone has experienced depression so severe that you truly believe your life does. not. matter.  You do not matter.  God does not love you. You are not serving any purpose on this earth.  You are not a benefit to any living being.  Your children would be better off without you.  You are not worthy of their love.

I get it and I’m willing or crazy enough to share my stories so that you know that other people are broken, too.

I may require therapy and medication and sunlight and my faith and my family and friends who are so funny it hurts and my social media friends who lift me with their comments and now jogging at a pace slightly faster than what my 77 year old mother walks, but I AM RESILIENT and I am here.  I am here.  And I never want to leave you.

Right now, I am happier and more content with myself than I have been in years.  I am learning how to live for myself and letting everything else fall into place.  When I am all over social media- you know I am okay.  I know I am an over-sharer 😉  But for real- if I’m ‘chatty’, I’m good.  It’s when I’m quiet that I’m not okay.  Just throwing this out there because it’s not an easy thing to self-regulate and also, if you are a person who is annoyed by the over-sharing, maybe it will help to know that it’s a good thing.

If you are struggling with depression and/or suicidal thoughts, you are not alone and you DO NOT HAVE TO FEEL THIS WAY.  You do not.  You can live a life free of those thoughts.  Maybe not 24/7/365, but life doesn’t have to hurt.  Please reach out.  To a friend, a healthcare provider, a pastor, a teacher, a counselor, a parent, me.  Please don’t be stubborn.  Please don’t be embarrassed.  You are not alone.

If you don’t understand depression but want to help your friends, just pay attention.  Pay attention to changes in behavior.  Your chatty friend is quiet now.  Your friend who loves make-up no longer has any interest in getting ready to go out.  Your artistic friend has stopped painting.  Your friend is giving away beloved possessions.  And know that sometimes people work so hard at hiding from their own pain, that there is no way you could ever see it.  It’s not your fault.

We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.  — Hemingway

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number
  • 1-800-273-8255