As a teen (and while we're being honest, on and off as an adult) I struggle(d) with deep, gripping depression. The kind that wickedly and seductively begs you to take your life. The kind that beats you until you are bloody and breathless and won't let you leave. The kind that has too many partners, and overtakes more than those who break their way free. For a few weeks my heart has been heavy.
Babies at our border, needing love that I can give them.
Sensless bombing in a place that cannot know peace.
Bone deep sleep deprivation brought on by tiny little teeth, while of little global importance, still makes all my feels extra feely.
My husband told me this evening that Robin Williams had died, and I frowned. He followed with hearing that it was "an apparent suicide." and I felt a punch in my gut.
When Philip Seymour Hoffman died the internet got a little uglier for a few weeks. "SELFISHNESS!", they cried as they suddenly cared about the emotional condition of this strangers' family. " Neglectful, " they accused of his caretakers and friends. "Disgusting" they spat at his habit that killed him. "Shame" they muttered about our country's mental health care state.
But Robin, our Robin.
Our Genie, our Alien, our robot, Our Captain, O Captain. His death may show another side of what the victims of suicide look like. Not brooding and intense, but the life of the party. Suicide is not a picky predator. It will stalk and devour all who unfortunately fall in it's path. If we let it.
Over the years, when I've heard of another tragic suicide, all I can think is "But they didn't get to the other side. They didn't get to the Hope." and it breaks my heart more than I knew it could.
When you contemplate suicide you are faced with this delima - Will things change from the way they are now? It is a question with a simple answer, a yes or a no, but when you are really staring Death in the face, there only seems to be one answer - No. When the decision is made that life is not worth living, you, obviously, lose everything. Your relationships, your ideas, your possessions, but you also lose something you don't have. You lose Hope. You have not found it yet, hence why you are here, and you will never find it if you don't allow yourself the opportunity to look for it.
My life was spared the night I tried to kill myself, almost ten years ago now, and it was years of relapsing into old, dreadful habits, before I could call myself "free from suicidal behaviors." For some, it is an immediate 180. Their life is flipped on it's head and it never returns to that pit of dispare again. But I sought Hope, and I found that He had been fighting for me, waiting with open arms, to breath new life into me. I cannot explain why I and so many others are burdened with this affliction, but I can stand here today and say that my Savior did not die on the cross for me to deal with my own misery. To handle my pain with the addictive, sickly sweet sting of a blade. He went to Calvary and fought His way back for my Hope, for my life, so that I wouldn't have to. It is done. I can lay it at His feet and know that He has provided a way out for me.
Not long after my attempt on my life, I looked down at my bloody scabs on my arm and imagined holding a baby girl. I sobbed, not knowing if I would ever see the day that I got married, let alone hold my own precious baby. Nine years later my scars have not yet completely healed, but they have beared the weight of three baby girls. With Hope comes life, and the new life that was given to me multiplied into more life.
If you are suffering with depression, know that you are not alone, and that there is Hope.
"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, and engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for! To quote from Whitman " O me, O life! ... The questions of these recurring; the endless trains of the faithless... Of cities filled with the foolish; What good amid these? O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life's exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powetful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
-Robin Williams' character in The Dead Poets Society
Well if you're asking, friend, I'd stick to a verse that I didn't write, but Paul did.
Romans 15:13 "May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."