In the aftermath of the suicide of comedian Robin Williams, in 2014, I began sharing a few insights that may help those suffering from mental illness.
According to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, the cause of death by suicide, is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
Having grown up in an abusive orphanage I could write the book about depression..
While recently visiting a psych ward I talked with a well dressed mother of another patient who told me “you should pay no attention to what a person looks like or how they are dressed because you never know what they are going through!”
Truer words were never spoken.
From the rich to the poor, to those in-between, we all have a cross to bear.
It is so important to read body language. We shouldn’t assume too much because we often hide behind masks because we don’t want to be criticized for our weakness. We don’t want to be vulnerable to be hurt.
Another friend of mine told me of a suicide victim who was one of her friends. She asked herself why she hadn’t asked her friend what was bothering her because she sensed the woman was depressed.
Why are we so slow to step in and let down our own mask? It is my belief that we have to share some of our own grief before others will feel free to share.
We have to pour out some of our secret hurts and hidden pain.
I had my breakdown in 1981 at the age of thirty-one, after moving from Vivian, Louisiana to Mountain Home, Arkansas. I was so devastated leaving behind my newly made friends. I had reached my breaking point. Due to my husband’s high profile job as a minister, I didn’t feel safe sharing my grief, so I kept it a secret while I was under the doctor’s care. I sucked in my tears in public. My weight continued to drop for some time and everyone marveled at my weight loss. I dared not share what I was going through.
I didn’t feel safe.I was afraid to be myself.
I later learned that two of the women that I didn’t want to see me cry were also undergoing breakdowns.
Why are we so self-centered not to noticed?
I’ve learned that life is a growing experience and its what we go through that makes us stronger and able to reach out to others in distress.
Had it not been for moving back to Louisiana two years later, I am not certain my tears would have ever stopped because I needed my friends who had become my extended family. One of those friends was Joyce Duke Moore who became my confidant.
I learned it was OK to be human and share the secrets of my heart.
We all need someone to care.
Thanks to Oprah and Phil Donahue, we are now more open to share our weaknesses, but we have a way to go! It’s still true “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!”
That first step is seeking help.
We have to become real in our friendships. Fake stuff just won’t cut it and though it will have to wait for another time, becoming real should begin in the church
Even though I continue to take my nightly medicine I know that In my heart that medicine can only do so much but in the end we need to find “a peace that passes all understanding” that can only be found in Jesus because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I know that He always gets me to the right place at the right time and that without Him I can do nothing!
If I had my life to live over again I wouldn’t change anything because its really beginning to makes sense — that we are put here for a purpose — and to paraphrase Anais Nin “we are angels with only one wing and we can only fly embracing each other!”
Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org