Depression: What it's like…
I'm sharing a 'real' email and response.
Neither the person asking, nor the reply are my own. However, this email is real, and was shared with me by the responder. And, I share it now, with the responders permission because we felt perhaps it can help others working through depression and considering suicide...
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 9:49 AM
To whom it may concern:
I got this email off the [name removed] website and I am feeling particularly desperate so I though I would write you. Maybe you because of your NDE could give me some insight.
I am suffering from a deep depression. I have been suffering from it most of my life. I am 37 years old. Every medicine I try to take makes me ill or is ineffective, including holistic medicines. I have beautiful 7 year old boy and a fiancé that is leaving the country to work as an officer in an American embassy. I have elected to stay here with my son at least for the next few years (his father, my ex, wants him here during the school year.) I feel torn up about having my fiancé leave. My depression has reactivated and I am more suicidal than I have been since I was a teenager, where at 17, I did try to kill myself. I just feel I am in this dead black hole of abandonment and I just want to die. I wonder often why do I have to suffer with this brain disease that there is relatively little empathy for and that makes me want to kill myself every morning. I feel like I am in a living hell and I find it difficult to have the motivation to go on. I feel frightened and alone I just want to die. I am in therapy 4 nights a week and I am working at my job everyday but there is just this pervasive feeling like the life is being sucked out of me. I am supposed to repeat to myself the I am a loving, joyous, creative, responsible women and live out of that contract and not my feelings. Yet it is like trying to battle the tide. Everywhere my mind turns there is fear and desperate anxiety. How am I to survive this. It would be so much easier just to end my life. Yet I know that suicide really can't be the solution.
Hi [name removed],
I feel for you. I know all about depression, as I suffer from it myself. Please understand, that it is not my place to give you advice. I also occasionally get bogus email from individuals pretending to be other people, so I often don't respond knowing that it may just be a game. For myself, I let myself go into the depths of my despair and really feel it and think about the alternatives, including suicide, which I do not consider to be either a crime or a sin, but an individual choice. As far as suicide goes, it doesn't solve anything, and if you have individuals who are either close to or dependant upon you it will hurt them immensely and even scar them for the rest of their lives. It also will not punish the person who abandoned you, because chances are they don't care anyhow. My suggestion would be to not place so much value or dependency on other people's approval or emotional feedback. You may not realize it at the moment, but you are completely whole as you really are and are not missing anything/anyone to make you whole. One of the problems in our culture is that we have too much and don't appreciate the simple things in life, like waking up everyday and breathing, and the wonderful sunshine and plants and animals, or that fact that we don't have to worry whether or not we will have food to eat to sustain us, or if we have eyes we can see with and feet we can walk with and hands that work. there is so much in this life to appreciate. If you choose to end yours, who will you hurt and what will you have accomplished? None of it matters. But what if you wake up without a body, and have no way to express your agony, and are no longer able to make choices or to remedy that which ails you, and your suffering just goes on endlessly in forever no time, and you no longer have a voice to share that with, and you reach out and nobody responds, and nobody can hear you and nobody even knows that you are there? What then? Irregardless of what some individuals have experienced, we do not know what is on the other side, or even if there is one. Then what? You have choices in life right now being alive and in a body, and every moment is new and you can change, or choose other than you already have chosen at any given moment. Thank goodness that you are not incarcerated, or maimed, or have lost your mobility in one form or another. I'm often miserable, and even act it out because I get pleasure from expressing my anger and frustration. It gives me relief a the moment, but then I get over it, and sometimes I even have to clean up messes that I made all by myself, and there is nobody to blame but me. Life is not fair. It just is. And sometimes we feel we have more on our plates than we can possibly deal with, and it is overwhelming. But the good news is that life is change, and nothing remains the same. So do you ride the waves of your highs and lows and thank goodness that you have the opportunity to have experiences? Or what do you choose, and are you willing to endure the consequences of your choices?
I hope you feel better soon,