With all this talk of depression and suicide I cannot help but feel inclined to share snippets of my battles with both. I lived 6 years being passively suicidal and approximately 20-25 years bulimic or battling some sort of eating disorder. And yes depression has been an unwelcome visitor in my life. Warning this may be hard for some to read… but it is the truth, which is what is needed.
As a recovered bulimic and someone who fought this disease for years, with myself and with others involved in my life…. When that moment comes that the binge begins something happens in your brain that completely takes over any rational thoughts you might have. Unless someone walks in on you and catches you, nothing can stop the urge to continue binge, in the same sense, nothing can stop you from throwing it up afterwards either…. You have no idea the amount of shame and guilt you feel after completing the process. I have binged and purged during holidays surrounded by family and no one is the wiser… Yet if they knew the symptoms and could see the shame and guilt we feel they would know. The same way I can see someone going through the same battle I did.
Passively Suicidal… What is that…. It is living witht the thought and the wish that you would die at any given moment, whether by illness, overdose or car accident. I am not a huge fan of pain so the actual act of suicide or hurting myself to do so was out of the question. I will never forget the night I wanted to over dose and die… it was December 24, 1992, I was 26 and my daughter 6. It was also Christmas Eve. I was living in a mobile home on the same property as my parents. That evening my cousins were over my parents, as well as myself and my daughter. We were partying, watching Christmas movies, wrapping presents… My daughter excited about Santa coming and sleeping soundly in my parents bed. Sometime time in the evening, I walked over to my home with alcohol in my hand and the intent to swallow the rest of my Zanex along with it in hopes I would just die. I can honestly say no one could have stopped me… no one knew my intention…. Only I could stop myself.
I am one of the lucky ones…. Looking at a picture of my daughter something clicked that killing myself was not the right thing to do. She is truly my angel in this life. I saw her face, her big brown eyes…. And after crying for a bit, I returned to my parents home. Those thoughts have never returned.
We as a society and culture need to recognize depression and suicide as the illness it is. People need to become educated in the causes and ways we can prevent depression. So many factors, including the food we eat and liquids we drink. Enough said for now….