Could you imagine when everything was perfect? Losing myself, drowning in my tears … Lookin’ at me, what do you see … trying to move on, but my mind is still in the clouds.
These phrases are from the song “Could You Imagine” from the wonderful film by Corben Berenson entitled, “Rust”. In watching this film, I shed tears, not only for the tenderness the movie presented. I realized the point here was in recapturing your faith. Note I did not say religion. Faith in people and loved ones who feel battered down by life.
Many of you realize I’m still healing from the tragic loss of my beloved husband, Martin from suicide. Many who end their life with suicide suffer depression as did Martin. They lose faith in themselves; they feel worthless and just want to end their pain. We tend to believe in general that they are so “different” from the rest of us. But are they?
Whether our tragedy has us reeling from a midlife crisis life, loss of a loved one, loss of career and job, or for many teens peer pressure, we all can begin to lose faith can’t we? That would be faith in ourselves and in those around us. We look for support but only find minimal help.
Tonight I continued to cry out why did Martin do this to me? Couldn’t he see our love meant the world to me? How could he do this to us, his family and friends? A few minutes later, it struck me like a bolt of lightning. Had he “done” this to me, to us? Hadn’t he hurt himself to STOP HIS PAIN? He never thought of me at the time. And hadn’t I already forgiven him because I love him? The answers: a resounding yes.
Truth is I didn’t see the signs Martin displayed. I didn’t know how or what he suffered. Truth is I do now! What can I /we do about the here and now? For me, I’m writing and talking about what has happened to me. I’m researching everything and I’m sharing with everyone I know, everywhere I can. What I ask is that you “try” doing the same.
Could you imagine someone you love feeling so depressed they are considering suicide? I hope you never do. Truth is however there are approximately 35,000 suicides in the U.S. yearly. That translates to 94.8 suicides per day; 1 suicide every 15.2 minutes. Staggering when you see those numbers isn’t it?
I ask that you become astutely aware of those around you. The most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him/her get a diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging the individual to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to abate (several weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. The depressed person should be encouraged to obey the doctor’s orders about the use of alcohol while on medication.
The second most important thing is to offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. Invite the depressed person for walks, outings, to the movies and other activities. Be gently insistent if your invitation is refused. And try again another time. Encourage participation in some activities that once gave pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, cultural activites, writing or painting or music. But do not push the depressed person to undertake too much too soon. The depressed person needs diversion and company, but too many demands can increase feelings of failure. Most important: they need YOU along with your love and support.
So I ask you all, could you imagine ….