Well, this has been a helluva week, hasn't it? First Kate Spade and now Anthony Bourdain. For those of us going through our own personal hell, news of another's pain and their no-takebacks response to that pain can feel particularly tough. If they can't handle pain – these beautiful glittery people with their money and their fame and their success – then how the hell can we?
But here's the thing. Depression lies. Whether it's a depression that dogs us for years or it's the result of the acute pain of betrayal, depression wraps us in its dark cold arms and whispers lies in our ears. It tells us that we will always feel this agony. It tells us that we don't matter, that we are worthless. It speaks those lies in our own voice.
"How do you battle an enemy that wears armour made of your own skin and scent?" asks Bunmi Laditan (aka @HonestToddler on Twitter). "One that knows your secrets and has a map of your unhealed wounds?"
I'll tell you how we battle that sneaky cruel bastard. We reach out for help. We tell our story to those who can hear it, who can remind us that this is depression talking. To tell us, as often as we need to hear it, that depression lies. And that beyond the despair is possibility and that we can get there. Medication can work. Meditation can work. A walk in the woods can work. All of the above can work. For today. And that's all we need to think about. No "next week" or "I will never" or "I will always..." Today. Find what works today. Find it in a doctor's office, on a therapist's sofa, in a friend's arms, on a website. It's out there, proof that you will leave a hole in someone's life if you exit.
My mother attempted suicide three times and I'm eternally grateful that she reached out for help each time while she could still be saved. She battled addiction and was sober 25 years before she died at the age of 71 from COPD. There is not a single day she would have sacrificed. There is not a single day with her that I would give up.
After discovering my husband's betrayal, I too wondered if the world needed me. It was only the pain I'd experienced from my mom's suicide attempts that stopped me from doing the same thing to my own children. I didn't believe I mattered. But I knew they did. And so I asked for help. I took anti-depressant medication. It felt like a heavy blanket lifting off my heart. It didn't make things great but it made my pain manageable. It gave me the opening I needed to let the slightest sliver of light into the darkness. And if I could see a sliver, I knew, I could slowly open the door to more light.
"You guys," tweets @HonestToddler, "when you're too tired to fight, lay down. Rest.... Fuck those shades who lie to you and tell you to keep their twisted secrets. Call 911 on this bitch ass lying shadows the way you would on an intruder in your home. We want you to stay."
Please. Stay. Let's watch the sun rise again tomorrow together. That's all we ever have. This moment. Together. Let's remind each other that we are stronger than the pain. That we each matter. That this, too, shall pass. Fight if you can. Rest if you must. Trust that there's a sliver of light waiting to show you what's possible.
If you are struggling, reach out. There is never shame is asking for help. There is no weakness in feeling pain. Those who fight for their own lives are the strongest bravest people I know. I'm proud to be among them.