This post was a very difficult and painful one to write. I wrote it three days after Robin Williams died.
It is one of the most open, honest posts I’ve ever written. If by sharing my experience, I help someone else, it will have been worth it.
Raw, tender and agonizing are just a few words to describe how I feel right now. For many years, I have suffered from depression and recent news has stirred up innumerable feelings.
I haven’t had access to the internet for several days now, and though I had heard about Robin Williams’ death, I had not read or seen any reports. I know there have been countless stories, blogs and remembrances almost everywhere, and I know too, that this is late, but I feel led to share my story.
This won’t be easy for me because the memories are painful, but they are invading virtually every thought.
Quite a few years ago, my husband and I were going through some growing pains in our marriage. He was a career soldier, and I worked and cared for our three young children. I was managing a large apartment community at the time that had some pretty significant perks. Things were becoming tenuous at best and indescribable at worst. Due to my very dysfunctional childhood, fear, imprudence and immaturity, I decided I could care for our three children and myself and asked him to leave. He decided to request and received, an overseas tour.
I continued to work for the property management company until several months later when I was offered a job with a great deal more pay in another city. So, I packed up myself and three little ones, and we took off on a grand adventure. Little did I know.
Fortunately, I was able to enroll my little ones in a before and after school care that included evening hours. I began working 10-14 hours a day 6 days a week with little to no time to rest, much less make friends and become part of the community. Initially, I loved my new job, but things started slowly unraveling.
Work became a haven as I could handle what was going on there easier than I could handle home and all its demands, not to mention the loneliness and isolation I felt.
The company I worked for started laying people off and in true last hired fashion, I was laid off. I received a decent severance package, to include continuation of insurance for a short period of time.
Without realizing what was happening, I spiraled into SEVERE depression. As time went on, I was less and less able to handle even the smallest of day-to-day tasks. The kids were still going to before and after school care, and I was just trying to make it through the next 10 seconds without feeling like I was drowning a very slow and very painful death.
And then one day, I seemed to have clarity of thought and action. I decided life wasn’t worth living and in a bizarre (though typical ideation) I began to systematically prepare everything for my death. Insurance was checked to see if it covered suicide (it did), I found a sweet, older Christian couple to care for the kids long-term, contacted Red Cross to find out what they would need to notify my husband and went to see a friend I made where I had worked.
My friend and I talked for a little while and then, for reasons unknown to me at the time, they asked me to go home and stay there until they came by later that day. I agreed and went home.
I know now that my friend, although not a Christian, was being led by God. This friend had a sister who had committed suicide and was able to recognize in me, through their heartbreaking experience, what I was doing, even though I didn’t. I was saying, “Good-bye.”
Later in the day, my friend came by to see me and was able to talk me into getting help.
I wish I could say this experience worked a miracle. I wish I could say I had not tried to commit suicide before (first time I was 13). I wish I could say I am free of depression. Unfortunately, I can’t. I continued and still continue with debilitating depression. I did learn one thing though-how to recognize when the depression is getting out of hand and to seek help right away.
I also learned, even when fleeing from myself and the Lord, the Lord is still there just waiting for me to return.
I cling to certain verses now.
John 16:33b King James Version (KJV) 33b In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Philippians 4:19 King James Version (KJV) 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Romans 15:13 King James Version (KJV) 13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Psalm 31:24 King James Version (KJV) 24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psalm 30:5b King James Version (KJV) 5b weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
And so many more, I can’t even begin to list them all.
There’s a lot more to my story, but I leave you with this: If you are hurting, lost in sadness, overwhelmed by life, feel like you can’t go on or a million other things that leave you feeling hopeless or helpless-get help. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you-GET HELP. I cannot stress this enough–Please, oh, please GET HELP!
National Suicide Hopeline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline