Monday, June 11, 2018
With a lot of suicides in the news lately, we all become a little more aware of how depression, substance abuse, and mental health struggles don't discriminate between affluence, celebrity, mainstream, middle-class, the poor, race, religion, sex & gender... folks across all demographics are affected.
Though I don't presume to have ever experienced clinical depression, I did find myself going through what could be described as personal 'rough patches' at times in my 20's, exacerbated by varying choices that ultimately did damage to myself, to relationships, and probably stunted my growth in adulthood.
I like to think I've since learned more about myself as a result of these deeply personal experiences - and to be blunt, that I've learned things to avoid, or watch very carefully, in my own thinking, behavior, and choices. To be mindful and aware of patterns that have led me off course in my youth. Conversely, looking back, my perspective is forever changed, I think, for the better - and I am at least more cognizant, at least somewhat able to visualize, having been through periods of a so-called 'darkness,' what it might be like for those who fall into such utter hopelessness (far worse than I ever did, thankfully) that they lose the capacity to "snap out of it" and see their way back to a place where they can rationalize and contract for their own safety.
Far more impulsive men and women than myself have found themselves in some so-extremely-desperate, so-profoundly-barren place of hopelessness in the recesses of their own minds, and acting on impulsivity, made an insane, irrational choice to self-harm to the point of ending their own lives - seeing no way out, and having lost the capacity to do so.
I'm so thankful that was never me, but sometimes I think of how it could have been.
If you know or suspect someone is struggling, speak up. It's that simple.