Before Depression: I am a writer. And a damn good one. During Depression: I’m a fake. I can’t really write. Continue reading PART I: Before, During & After Depression
Hello, Curtis . Today (and always) we just want you to know that you are loved. – Karla, Angel & Maan
28 Jan 2015, Facebook
I got this note from my girls in Singapore nine days after my mom passed away. I was still in Manila, coming to grips with burying the person I loved the most only four days ago. The photo above, sent with the message, reminded me that I may be alone at the moment inside my parents’ bedroom, hopelessly trying to take in the fading scent of my mom’s perfume on her pillows, but I AM NOT ALONE in this journey of grief.
Of course, it would take me another year or so to really BELIEVE that statement above. :P In His time, my friends. In His Time.
According to the World Health Organization, 800,000 people die by suicide every year, and for every successful suicide there are many more people who attempt it. About 20 percent of people who die by suicide have made a prior suicide attempt. But the stigma attached to suicide can be isolating and discourages help-seeking behaviors.
In seems people are fearful if we talk about suicide we’ll trigger risky behaviors. But if we don’t talk about it, how are we going to understand it? If we don’t understand it, how can we be compassionate and empathetic? And if we don’t treat those at risk with compassion and empathy, how do we expect them to seek help?
Featured photo from http://www.samaritans.org/.
You are not alone.
Had I known much earlier that I was not the only one suffering from depression in my circle, I would have reached out much sooner to my friends, and then maybe my journey to wellness would have started, well, much earlier. Continue reading Living with Depression: Lesson #3
When you have depression, everybody becomes a liar.
Your friends lie to you. Continue reading Living With Depression: Lesson #2
When you realize what a good, even beautiful, day it is / has been, a part of your brain might suggest that, Hey, it is a good day to die.
Not to kill yourself. Just to die. Continue reading Living With Depression: Lesson #1
“I have lost loved ones who would have given anything to live one more day, one more hour. I have loved ones who are now dying to fight for their lives. So even if we’re family or the very best of friends, I’m sorry but I will never ever EVER accept any excuse for suicide. You are taking something that most, given the chance, would actually kill for. If you kill yourself, I’ve only two things to say to you: First, you are undeserving of the life you’ve been generously given. Second, maybe, just maybe, you do deserve to die after all.”
Four years ago, on this very day, I wrote this on my Facebook Wall. I’ve no recollection of what transpired that ended with me putting these thoughts into words for all the world to see. All I remember is how physically, emotionally and financially stressed I was trying to support a loved one who entered my life by way of suicide.
At the time, I felt I have lost control of my life after I was left to take responsibility for a child with a dead mother and a father who wasn’t equipped in any way to be one.
My hands were tied tight by love for my mother who refused to give up the child. I LOVE THAT KID, too. But I was drowning in my inability to build a life of my own in order to support other people. And since I couldn’t bear to blame the child, I channeled all my hatred for that woman who bore her then killed herself and left other people to take responsibility for what was originally hers.
Hence that post above on Dec 7, 2011.
But after losing my mother and going through the process of wanting to end my own life, regardless of how it would affect those I would leave behind, most especially that beautiful child that I consider as my youngest sister… late as this realization came to me, I would like to sincerely say to all those whose lives have been touched by suicide—
I AM VERY SORRY FOR THINKING, WRITING AND POSTING THAT HATEFUL POST ABOVE.
I knew nothing at the time of what really goes through someone’s mind when he/she contemplates taking his/her own life. I didn’t care. All I knew and experienced was the aftermath of suicide… of what it does to those who would be left behind.
And in the last couple of months, it is this perspective that is helping me postpone the urge every time. I can’t bear what it would be like for my first sister if I leave her alone to take care of our youngest sister. And yes, regardless of how many siblings we have and how many loving cousins, she would be ALONE. As alone as I have felt in the last 11 months, even right now, even with her love and support.
I can’t bear for our youngest sister to think and believe that God or the universe would be so evil as to take not just one, but two mothers from her, and then (how dare I) add myself — her staunchest supporter, her fiercest protector, and her most loving Ate — to the list of people she lost even before she’s old enough to fend for herself.
I know now that regardless of how much I loved my family, once I kill myself, they would only think of how I didn’t love them ENOUGH. They would hate me for whatever happens to them and their lives in the wake of my death. They would hate themselves. They would hate the world. And this is not the life I want for my siblings.
I am sorry for how my hatred, my hateful post, made those who tried to kill themselves feel after reading it. For how it made those left behind by a loved one who committed suicide feel.
I was ignorant, too full of myself and unkind.
Now that I have walked — and still walking — on the other side of the road, I feel only shame and regret for posting, THINKING, those words.
Suicide is not just about the person on the ledge. It’s not just about those who would be left with nothing but memories, doubt and guilt. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS ABOUT. Now, I don’t know anything. except—
We don’t get to judge another until we’ve understand FULLY and TRULY what they are going through — and the only way to do that is if we have gone through the same thing they have.
Until then, we’re all just ignorants whose belief that we know better than the other person may just turn out to be the hand that help pushes one further down the ledge.
© Photo owned by author.
If you haven’t seen Inside Out yet, go watch it on Netflix or something ASAP. It’s a cartoon with a story that only adults would get. Check out the film plot here then come back here to read the rest of the post. :P
While watching Inside Out, my roomies and I started naming people that every “emotion/character” reminded us of. We joked how people, including us, may have a “default emotion” —a state that has become a distinct part of our personality and behaviour. When my friend asked me, “Which emotion are you?” I quickly—and with utmost certainty—replied: Continue reading What is your DEFAULT Emotion?