Every loss is tragic.
But this week, two very high profile deaths pushed reality in our faces, forced us to voice out loud what we’ve known all along. Fame and fortune don’t immunize you against depression and mental illness. The darkness in our mind exists, no matter who you are or where you are in life. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were icons, trailblazers who paved the way for many of us. One opened our eyes to self- expression and independence, the other to relentless curiosity and wanderlust.
We will never know what drove them to end their lives.
But we will always know how they felt because we’ve been there too. The desolation, the desperation. The feeling that only sleep will save you from your demons. That nothing will help, that no words you say can convey the torment in your spirit. That it was useless to try because the pain dulled you from living, feeling and breathing.
You wake up one day, one random day, and you feel different. Your thoughts are different, your actions aren’t typical of you. Slowly, you try to function but you know something’s very wrong. Despite the fact that you’ve reached the height of your success, despite the double promotions and the publicity around your latest book – all you can think about is throwing yourself off the balcony of your 28th floor apartment. Your mind insists your family would be better off without you. Your achievements count for nothing. You’re nothing.
Despite the fact that you and I have been there –
Somehow, we’re still here.
Living, breathing, embracing our days with so much gratitude.
How did we make it out?
Maybe it’s because we sought help. Or reached out to our friends, our families, our loved ones. Or simply convinced ourselves that like everything else in life, this too shall pass.
For those of us who’ve survived, let’s make it our mission to reach out to others.
Hold them in our arms, ease their suffering by letting them know they’re not alone. That no one is ever alone. That their mind is playing brutal tricks on them, drawing them into the dark and invading their bodies with a sickness.
With professional help
And the love of family and friends
By living in the moment and forcing the good times to outweigh the bad,
And by accepting that perfection is a dream, a goal that can never be accomplished –
We can help others save themselves.
When we share our experiences with those who are suffering, it will give them hope.
Hope that they too, have the right to look forward
To better days.
If you or someone you know is suffering, please have them call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or you can visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.