When I first heard the news of Robin Williams passing I was deeply saddened. I thought about being in my childhood home and building forts with my brother on Saturdays, watching films like Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire, and my all-time favorite, Aladdin. Hearing how he passed is what truly hit home from me. I don’t believe that suicide awareness is spoken of as much as it should be. There are people we see daily, who carry on with a smile and we don’t know the extent of their internal suffering. I’ve been a victim of attempting to commit suicide for many years. I don’t even know at what age it started, all I know is, in those deep, dark, depressive states I no longer wanted to live. I never really knew what triggered the thoughts or what made me feel the way that I felt, I just did. Because they started at such a tender age, it really took some time for me to understand that me being bullied and abused for years is what played a major role. I was suffering daily and not many people knew. Let me tell you how draining it is to spend your life pretending. I pretended for years that everything was ok. Nobody really knew what I was dealing with, not even my siblings or parents.
It wasn’t until I was 17-18 when things just got to be too much and two of my suicide attempts landed me in the emergency room, the second being so server that I was in the hospital for about a week. I talk about it in full detail in my book, “A Woman’s Quest To Self-Love.” I didn’t realize how traumatic the situation was until I was ready to be released from the hospital and I couldn’t go home. I was told that I’d be on a 51/50 hold for however long they felt the need for me to be. For those of who aren’t aware what that is, it’s a hold that you’re put on for medical evaluation in a private ward. You’re there for a certain amount of days with other patients to be evaluated for your safety. Its doctors way of making sure you’re capable of functioning normally without resulting to harming yourself again. I was in this ward for about 3 days with hundreds of other people meanwhile; I had a fulltime job, car, and a plush roof over my head. So the idea that people who have everything shouldn’t be depressed or shouldn’t suffer is a selfish thought. In my opinion I had it all, more than most at my age could say that they had and I still found myself unhappy and depressed. As I got older I realized that it was a result of always feeling like the black sheep. I always felt unwanted or excluded which led to the thought of, “why am I here.” Robin had a purpose in this world, his talents; sense of humor, and warmth filled our homes and carried many of us through our childhood. His purpose in this world served as entertainment and joy to us all. Despite the lives he touched, as much as we laughed and we were entertained we could never tell that he was suffering.
Mental health and depression isn’t something that forms overnight. It’s a sickness, a deep routed illness that builds up overtime, and if you don’t realize it and catch it, it overpowers you and your entire being. This past year (2013) I went through a really difficult time. I felt like I suffered many multiple losses in such a short period of time. I had so much to be happy about but yet depression had taken over me again. It’s in those moments where you think depreesion was a thing of the past and you had it under control and it just creeps back up. I remember trying to be open about it to someone close to me, they were very nonchalant and brushed it off as me just being negative and craving attention. That type of behavior from others is what resulted in my silence. When you’re suffering the last thing you need to feel is as if someone you love doesn’t care, so you’re prompted to silence. Another thing that kept me silent is my fear of being judge and frowned upon. While depression and mental illness is a sickness, those who suffer are made to think and believe that they are crazy, or different from the rest of the “normal” people walking this earth. I will say, until you know the feeling of trying to pull your body out of a deep, dark, bottomless pit of pain, you can’t speak on someone who’s dealing with these types of issues. It takes you forever to get control of your mind and body again, and when you finally do you’re always in fear of something triggering it in your life, and the next time being far worse than the time before. I can say that they struggle to not attempt suicide during a state of depression is extremely hard. It’s like trying not to eat a full course meal that’s sitting dead in your face when you haven’t eaten in 3 days. When you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, it seems like the only answer. Trust me, if you’ve never experienced the feeling of being deeply depressed and driving on a highway alone, with your thoughts and fighting the urge to not do something crazy, you’re truly blessed. It’s an internal battle that’s forever eternal. If you aren’t in the right state of mind and you ignore getting the proper help it can take over your life. These days nothing in this world impresses me. I am not moved by money, material things, or anything of this world. I am just grateful to be alive. When you once struggled with living at one point, you’re just so blessed and grateful to be alive and living a purposeful life. Some of us like Robin lost our battle, and those of us who know the struggle, sympathize with his pain and offer prayers to his loved ones during this difficult time.
If you’re struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts please get help. I am vocal about my struggles now only because I want to be that voice of reason that I didn’t have for someone else. There are so many other alternatives than taking your own life. The first step is admitting that you’re sick and in need of help. Suffering in silence can be difficult and can eventually be the result of unhealthy, risky, and decisions that can’t be undone. Reach out to people and seek help, you’re not alone in this world, even in the moments that you think you are. If you know someone who’s in pain and suffering, reach out to them and be of any assistance that you can, the best way that you know how. The worse feeling in the world is losing someone when you know you could have been there to help and change their minds. If you need someone to talk to anonymously before you reach out to family and friends contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. There are professional representatives available 24/7 at: 1-800-273-8255. Take it from someone who has been there and knows how deep things can get. Value your life and everyone in, seeking God and remaining prayerful that your sickness is just temporary and can be overcome with persistence and faith.
Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed.