The following excerpt from my book, How I Escaped from Depression, addresses the question family and friends ask after a loved one commits suicide. “Why did he take his own life? He had so much to live for.”
Medication brought stability to me; it didn’t to Barry. Psychotherapy helped me come to grips with my perfectionism; it solved nothing for Barry. Anointing and prayer brought God’s strength and peace to me. The same things brought no relief to Barry, and he was a stronger Christian than I in so many ways.
I’ll never forget his last words to me that fateful morning. “Pat, I don’t know how much longer I can stand this.” Later that afternoon, his wife returned from grocery shopping to find her husband hanging from the rafters in the garage, with a sturdy rope he had bought at a hardware store two days earlier.
I’m afraid some Christians, not as many now as there used to be, believe a person who commits suicide is automatically assigned to hell, like being handed a ticket for a bus heading south. This may be the given destination for some, but for other reasons. Barry couldn’t help himself. He wasn’t in control of his life. Depression and anxiety took over, leaving him not even an ounce of himself. The dark force that controlled him found the rope, threw it over the rafters, and roughly pushed Barry off the stool. He had nothing to do with it.
Check out Best For Christ Magazine for my article on Battling Depression>
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE STRUGGLING WITH DEPRESSION
“This book could be considered a self help manual, which it IS, but it is also the story of a few critical years in the author’s life. His thoughts and feelings are on display and it really gives one the sense of helplessness that he struggled with during this time. Aside from his transparency in relating his story, he provides a picture of how it affected his family, as well, which is often NOT a focus in this type of autobiographical piece. The 10 lessons he learned and reveals are actually TRUTHS about depression that seem simple and obvious, once read, but are not ones that are so succinctly communicated in books of this nature. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with depression, as well as those with a depressed friend or loved one.”
I also found yesterday that the book was ranked within the top 250 in both Mental Health Depression and Mental Health Anxiety. It seems that others are finding this a helpful book.
DEPRESSION IS LIKE A REAL PERSON
This excerpt comes from a book I wrote called How I Escaped from Depression, which can be seen on the following link: amazon
Then Depression – that destroyer of my soul and afflicter of my body – took over every fabric of my being. You’ll notice I refer to Depression as a real person. You see, he’s as real as the fellow next door, as authentic as the person who comes to clean your rugs. Before this time, there was a me controlled by me, the normal state of a person. Now the me was controlled by Depression, with the normal me thrown under a bus. If I were a woman, Depression would be a her.
Depression is not some nebulous, wispy thing best left unmentioned. He’s a real enemy, intent on destroying his victims, men and women, boys and girls. He won’t go away by just ignoring him.
For four years, two people struggled against each other to command my body and control my soul (that is, my mind, will, and emotions). One was me. The other was Depression.
This is similar to how I fared with depression, as explained in my book How I Escaped from Depression. Purchase Link
Journal Entry April 10, 2015
I really wonder the point. Why am I here? Depression has become such a huge part of my life that in a way it has become me. That really sucks. I have been racking my brain about what a first entry would look like, but all that has filled my mind lately is my depression. So here is all that is on my mind.
I worry that everything in my life is falling apart. But, in reality, the truth is most of my life is constant chaos. Mostly because my life is a mess. My biggest trait in life is that I lie about everything. I tell people that I am okay, but the truth is I am hanging by a thread. I never really got better. It has become so easy to pretend because it has actually gotten worse.
I pretend I want to live when the reality is every night my last thought is that I wish not to wake up. I am falling apart and no one actually knows the truth. My life is about pretending that it could get better. There really is no hope for someone like me. People like me, outsiders, are just that, outside of the normal.
I have lived my life wrong and now I am at the point where all my hope of moving on is gone. I just turned thirty today and I am not looking forward to what is ahead. Honestly, I never thought I would make it to thirty. But, here I am. So here is my first real journal entry in a long time. I am not sure where to go from here, but I will share my thoughts however dark, in this place.
MY FAMILIAR COMPANION
I follow James Edgar Skye on his blog called Bipolar Writer James Edgar Skye.
He posted this entry in which he refers to depression as his familiar companion. In my book, How I Escaped from Depression, I refer to Depression as my old friend, just as he does. I can relate to how he expresses what depression does to him. It did so to me during the four years of my bout with clinical depression.
It’s been a while, my friend. You often leave me for small periods of time where I feel more like myself, and less like the person who has no control. You walk out just as quickly as you walk back into my life.
When you are here, I lose control. Even if its temporary.
We are old friends, who often find ourselves in the darkest of places, in the worst possible ways in the depths of my mind. I never had a relationship quite like the one that you and I have had—depression my familiar companion.
Three days ago you told me, “It’s going to be a long few days my friend.”
I didn’t believe you, and you laughed in my face. You told me we will be in a familiar place and that I would not be able to shake you.
It’s true. You never really leave me. You come into my life at the most inopportune times when I need to focus. You take that best parts of me. You take my will to be creative. To write. To function. I know I must fight you.
My familiar companion. Taking me to the deepest and darkest places of my mind. I might as well embrace you as a family member. For that is what you are to me.