Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stop the silence

Today's post was supposed to be a list of things that bug me.  But then some things happened in my Facebook feed yesterday, and I changed direction.


Someone I know but not well shared a story that she feared might bring embarrassment but decided it would cut rumors and maybe help others.  I've copied and pasted some of it, omitting identifying details:

In the middle of the night on Wednesday, my son woke me up and told me we needed to go to the emergency room. He had made a mistake and we needed to hurry. I wanted to believe that I was just having a bad nightmare and that this was not really happening, but in fact it was. He had taken pills hours before thinking he would just go to sleep and not wake up. That it was just easier that way than to deal with everything he had been feeling for the last few years. When that didn't happen and he had time to think about what he had really done, he realized what a huge mistake he had made and I will thank God every day for the rest of my life that he had the courage to come wake me up and ask for help.

We have had our troubles with him throughout the years, like most parents of teenage boys have. But I would have never guessed he would have done this. He's a smart kid, popular, good looking - has a great future ahead of him and he knows this. We have had the talks, even lately when it happened in our community, I asked him to please promise me he would come talk to me if he was ever feeling like that. And yes, he said he would. But he didn't. And he hadn't. And apparently he had been feeling like this for quite a while now. And I feel like I missed it. I should've read more into his mood swings. I've dealt with my own depression most of my life and know what he is going through. But I still missed it.

Luckily for us though, God was with him that night. He is going to be okay and he is getting the help that he needs.
What a scary, heartbreaking story.  I can't imagine what that mother was feeling or thinking in those moments.  But I'm proud of her for sharing the story.  And so are a lot of others.  The comments poured in throughout the day, all offering love, support, and prayers for this family.

Another mutual Facebook friend posted hours later that the story prompted her to reach out to a therapist for the first time in 18 years. She hoped, by sharing her own story, that she would inspire those around her to begin talking more about depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illness. People, and especially teenagers, need to know it's OK to ask for help.



The truth is, you don't know what battles someone is fighting behind closed doors.  Or even right before your eyes. So please, be kind to each other. And to yourself.


3 comments:

  1. This is so sad. As I recently shared with you a co-worker of mine lost her 11 year old to suicide. My first thought was, "He is 11! What could be so bad at 11 that he would hang himself?" Sadly, he was apparently suffering from bullying at school and didn't know how to make it stop and, I guess, started to believe the lies. It is such an important story to get out. We have talked to the kids, both ours and others, since this happened and explained that Bullies don't hate you, they hate themselves. Sadly, we all have struggles and we all go through periods of time where we want to give up. Thank you for sharing this story because it is important to know that these feelings are just temporary and things do get better!

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  2. It is so true that you never know what's going on in someone's head. It's hard to be vigilant and to recognize the risks and the symptoms. But when you DO see them, it's so important to speak up.

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  3. Depression is scary and I have known several people to attempt (both successfully and unsuccessfully) suicide, which is so heartbreaking. Thank goodness that boy was able to get to his mom and they were able to get him help!!

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