Mama, this isn’t an easy topic… World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10).
We hear phrases like “end the stigma” and “there’s no shame in this,” and we might truly believe those sentiments. And yet…
And yet, here is what I know about suicide, about depression and anxiety.
I know that people you don’t think struggle, can struggle.
I know that depression and anxiety can be masked as irritability, or anger, or so many other things.
I know that sometimes depression and anxiety manifest themselves in an extremely physical way and that they can cause physical pain. Or, that physical pain can also lead to depression… just a giant loop.
I know that someone can function highly, accomplish their job, volunteer, step up for their family, and keep going until they just can’t anymore… and possibly never even realize that they have depression.
I know that sometimes therapy helps, but sometimes it doesn’t. And, I know that medication can be a godsend.
I know that intrusive thoughts can surface and that you have to fight them.
I know that people have limits. They are human. And, I know that we have to recognize our limits before we break.
I know that a mental breakdown can break you… but that it also gets better.
I know that the more we talk, the more others feel seen.
I know that you are loved… that people need you… that there are people for whom this world is better simply because you exist.
I know that you might hear whispers, or even shouts sometimes, that tell you your kids are better off without you. And, I know that this is a lie.
I know that a person pausing to say, “Are you okay?” and sharing her story can be highly impactful.
I know that so much about depression and suicidal thoughts doesn’t make sense and that it seems illogical until you have experienced them.
I know that well-meaning friends might not understand.
I know that the more we talk, the more people who need to feel seen are finally seen.
I know that the more we are open with our loved ones about our struggles, the more likely they are to know they can come to us with theirs.
I know that when my best friend and I talked today about a mom in her state who recently took her life, she said, “It could have been any of us if we hadn’t gotten help.” And, I felt that deeply. How many of my friends have shared this struggle in private?
I know that you might scroll right past this, without a second thought. Or, it might not resonate. But, I also know that maybe one mama will read this. Just one. And maybe she will pause, take inventory of her honest thoughts and mental health, and get help. And, I know that if you are that mama, writing this was worth it. Your life is worth it. Please don’t give up. I know that there is hope and joy and life on the other side. You aren’t alone here.