I know what it feels like to have your hand to the fire. Holding it there. Unsure of how much you can stand.
I know what it feels like when emotions — or a lack thereof — can feel as painful as a saw making its way through skin and bone.
I know what it feels like to open your eyes and see grey and dark and be absolutely unable to see the sunlight that is so obviously peeking through the trees.
And I know what it’s like to ask “what if this never ends?” To ask it over and over again. Terrified of the answer.
Sometimes I flash to a tall building on fire. People clinging to window frames whose glass has long since abandoned its place. People terrified of the fire. Logical thought giving way to panic and despair.
The drop below can seem like a refuge. A safe flight away from the searing flames.
But the flames in our head, the flames of depression and illness, aren’t real. There is no fire. The darkness that exists is created by a combination of hormones and neurochemicals and pain.
There’s no fire to jump from. Which only makes the jumps that much more tragic.
I wish I could fly to all the ledges, I wish I could sit with those with the pills and the guns and the rope and whisper in their ears.
I would tell them…
You are not alone.
There are people who understand your pain.
There are people who can help you.
Tomorrow might feel like too many seconds to endure, but tomorrow can always house hope. If only you let it.
Maybe tomorrow is the day the fog lifts and the clouds part. Maybe tomorrow is the day the pain starts to recede. Maybe tomorrow is the day the sun reaches your face again.
Or maybe it’s not. Maybe it will take two tomorrows. Or three. I’m not sure of the answer in your life, but I do know there will be a tomorrow when the pain starts to ease. If only you allow it to come.
Because depression lies. It’s not real. The stories it tells you and the “truths” it tries to make you see are a mere mirage. A distortion of reality. A dark prank trying to tear you up and rip you apart.
And suicide is a false out. It’s not a solution. It’s not a cure.
All those people around you who depression has convinced you don’t care or won’t be affected by your departure really do love you and really will be torn apart if you should leave. One of the greatest lies depression is telling you is that they will be okay if you choose to leave them.
You don’t understand that right now. It doesn’t make sense. But you don’t have to believe it. I will believe it for you. Just trust me.
Suicide won’t end your pain. It will merely pass it onto them.
It will leave them with a lifetime of “why?” Of “what could I have done?” Of “Why wasn’t I enough?”
Seek help. Find answers. Stop fighting alone.
Depression is a journey of pain and sometimes terror, but there are people to walk it with you and people who will help you find your way out.
Depressed man photo available from Shutterstock