Had a rough day.

I could use some help. What cheers you up?

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LOFB - NoaSomething weird happened to me last Monday.

All responses that I got to that post were so fucking incredibly kind and friendly and wonderful. Where I should have felt so honored and loved, I felt out of place and overwhelmed.

I did not know how to deal with so many people saying that they loved me. That they respected me. That they were happy I was still around.

Even as healthy as I am now (which is, by the way, the healthiest I have ever been mentally), I still have a hard time connecting and receiving love from people. It feels weird to me, like I don’t deserve it. I actually had to text a friend of mine.

“What do I do?”

“What do you mean what do you do? You do nothing. You feel loved.”

“What?”

“Yeah. We all love you.”

“That’s weird.”

“But true.”

I’m healthy, but still pretty fucked in the head you guys. So fucked, that I don’t know what to do when people love me.

Something clicked about midway through my afternoon, however. Something that I guess I never realized until all of your support and outpouring of love.

I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be happy. I deserve good things. I deserve to love myself.

That was so fucking freeing. I don’t have to do anything to be loved, I just deserve it by merit of being human. I don’t have to have approval to love myself, to be happy, to want and need good things and good people in my life. I can just…have those things.

I deserve to take care of myself. I deserve the things that I work for and then happen to me. I deserve to look at myself every day and say, “I’m a good person. I’m doing ok.”

Hippie bullshit, y’all, but damn if I don’t feel better.

Here’s the thing, you deserve love too. You deserve happiness too. You deserve exactly what you want out of life. You don’t have to have anyone’s approval to have it either.

You just have to know that you want it.

That’s the thing. We only get one life. We only get one shot.

Make it a good one. Make it the one you want.

I love you. You should too.

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“Many who try to bring joy to the world are often the same people who fight a great war within themselves. Every fight lost is a tragedy.”

LOFB - AbbyThe death of comic genius Robin Williams spawned thousands and thousands of (well-deserved) tributes and blog posts about not only his career and his life, but also his mental health struggles.

I don’t want to read them.

I don’t want to watch them.

I don’t want to hear about depression and opinions from people who just have no clue.

That’s selfish, but I don’t want to deal with it because I live it every day of my life, a life that I’ve questioned the value of more often than I care to admit. While I would like to think that I would never go to that extreme, I’ve thought about what the world would be like if I were no longer in it, if I could never get “better.”

Because of that, Robin Williams’ death wasn’t surprising to me. Tragic? Yes. Surprising? No. Addiction and depression are equal-opportunity destroyers, regardless of age, sex or class. And the thing about addictions are that they’re all just a slow suicide, no matter your weapon of choice.

So why do some people make it while others lose the fight? I don’t think anyone knows.

What I do know is that for me, it’s not about lack of resources, because if I want to get help there are a million places to get it.

It’s not about people not doing enough to help, because I know you have to want and accept that  support in order to pull yourself out.

It’s also not about attention. My dark thoughts aren’t about death but rather the fantasy of finding some peace—any peace—to quiet the storms in my head.

That probably doesn’t make sense, but I wrote a piece for Huffington Postabout my OCD that I never shared on this blog because I didn’t want to be misunderstood. Plus, sometimes I just don’t want to deal with that reality.

But it is reality, and so are suicide and depression and all those things I don’t want to read, hear or talk about a lot of the time—all those things I am forced to think about all the time anyway.

Yet that’s probably part of the problem.

After Williams’ death I posted that quote above on Facebook and linked back to a post I wrote on depression.

The response was huge, both on that older post and to the simple quote. People sent me emails sharing their stories, and someone commented, “Thank you for things that you write. You have a medium where you can reach out to other people and truly help them with your own experiences.”

Whether he liked it or not, Robin Williams had a platform to talk about mental health, and maybe in some tiny miniscule way, so do I–whether through humor or sharing my struggles. If nothing else, I need the support myself on most days.

Of course, there’s no magic cure or easy answers. But what there is is support if you accept it, people who care and a dialogue about mental health that has been reopened up with another loss of life.

This time it wasn’t you.

It wasn’t me.

And if it was, it’s safe to say the whole world wouldn’t be mourning our passing. But somebody would. Somebody cares. And every fight lost is a tragedy.

Keep up the fight.

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LOFB - NoaI heard it perfectly described the other day when someone said, “Does anyone one else feel like they lost their favorite uncle?”

Robin William’s death hit me harder than I anticipated it to. I didn’t know him, I never met him, but I felt so much like he was someone I knew, someone untouchable by sadness or overwhelming feelings of worthlessness. He was a miracle of a human being.

He killed himself.

For a large part, the social response was positive. It focused on reaching out, on knowing that depression is a silent killer. Knowing that his family and friends are dealing with immense pain and loss. On the idea that we can learn and grow from this, in some small way.

A good amount of people, however, described him as being selfish.

Selfish that he killed himself.

Selfish that he could put his family through so much pain and anguish.

Selfish that he felt like he could remove himself from this world, when he had no right.

Let me tell you a story.

Earlier this year, I took a trip with some friends, and I was horribly fucking depressed. I had never been so low, and I have seen some dark fucking places. I was miserable from beginning to end, but I tried, so hard, to put on a face of happiness. This should have been a great time, should have been the trip of a lifetime.

The honest truth was that it was where I was going to kill myself.

That sucks to write, but it’s the truth. It was the only way I could do it where my husband wouldn’t have to deal with it, which was my final condition. I was ready. I thought I was relieving the world of my personal awfulness and uselessness in my decision. I thought it was the last kind thing I could do.

A friend stayed by my side that entire time. She never, ever, left me alone for a moment. Even when I showered, she was in the next room. I had no time alone, at all. I never walked anywhere, sat anywhere, ate anywhere, shopped or traveled anywhere alone. She didn’t really ask me if I was ok, she just…never left me.

It pissed me off, because I couldn’t do it in front of her.

Towards the end of that trip, I didn’t see a way where I could accomplish what I set out to do. So, I sent a text to my husband as a last ditch.

“I need to see a therapist.”

“Ok. I didn’t know you were low.”

“I am. Really low. I need help.”

“Whatever you need.”

And I came home, and I got help, and I feel better now than I ever have, and am still working. I went on medication, I do talk therapy a couple times a week. I didn’t kill myself.

My friend annoyed me into living. Looking back, she probably knew I was on the ledge, even subconsciously. I thank her silently every single day.

When you are that low, you are thinking of your friends and family, but you don’t think your death will harm them, you feel like your death will free them of you. You feel so badly about yourself and your circumstances that suicide feels like the last kind thing you can do, BECAUSE DEPRESSION FUCKING LIES TO YOU. 

You are not in a headspace to recognize truly selfish decisions, because everything feels selfish. Breathing, eating, existence. In that moment, you don’t feel like you deserve anything. Love, respect, kindness, and life. Killing yourself feels like freeing the world of yourself.

THAT’S A FUCKING LIE, but it is only one you can see when you are healthy. You can only see the larger effects of suicide when you’re not on the ledge. When you’re not depressed.

So, I’ll say it here: TELLING SOMEONE WHO IS DEPRESSED THAT THEIR ILLNESS AND WISHES ARE SELFISH ONLY HARMS AND PUSHES THEM FURTHER TOWARDS THAT END. To put such negativity on someone who is already going to kill themselves is deadly, and THAT IS SO FUCKING SELFISH OF YOU TO DO. 

Want to know if someone is depressed or suicidal? Ask them. Don’t leave them alone. Their depression is telling them that they’ll burden you if they tell you their problems. Prove them wrong. Don’t leave them.

Want to know if someone cares that you’re depressed? Tell someone. Tell them you want to die, because even sharing that out loud will at least cause you to evaluate whether or not you really want to. At least, then someone knows. At least then you’re asking for help.

Depression is an illness. Suicide is a product of it.

Cancer is an illness. Weight loss is a product of it.

One is selfish, the other is sickness.

If you need help, if you’re on that ledge, try one last time to ask for help. Just one more time is all I ask. You may surprise yourself.

If you know someone who needs help, or are questioning if they do, ask them. You may save their life today.

I love you all.