Contentment, death, Depression, Habits of Depression, Healing, joi de vivre, Persistence, Suicide, the Bottom Lurker
My friend Christa over at Giggle On! has a very sad tale to tell.
Her blog was created in memory of a good friend Jim (#1) who lost his battle with depression and committed suicide in 2005.
His death helped Christa to climb out of her own depression and since then, she’s been on a mission to fight the good fight of suicide prevention and bring happiness and laughter to the world.
Her message is: Don’t give up! Giggle on!
Or in other words: find another way. Christa’s way is laughter and humour.
The message continues: Know that where you’re at with your depression is NOT the end of the world. And that when we back ourselves into a corner of a small claustrophobic room called Depression, our choices seem very few. It looks like those limited choices are all we have.
And that’s when suicide can start to look like a good idea.
Very sadly, another friend of Christa’s – also called Jim – has taken his life, just this week. This Jim (#2) was a support to Christa as she grieved for the loss of Jim #1. And he helped her to create the Giggle On! site.
To Christa, the friends and family of the two Jims… I offer endless sympathy and love. No matter what, suicide is shocking and painful for those left behind.
You know, it wasn’t long ago I was engaged in my own showdown with depression – one that could’ve very easily ended the same way as the two Jims.
BlissChick has just written a beautiful post on the Habits of Depression. She describes something I’ve labelled the “Bottom Lurker” – an energy that’s just waiting for an excuse to re-emerge. It sits patiently on the ocean floor of our sub-concious in the shadows and it waits.
And while that Bottom Lurker exists, depression is always a possibility. It’s capable of robbing us of sunshine and joi de vivre, especially if we let our guard down.
I understand how bad it can feel to be alive when your mind is telling you there’s no point. But it’s a lie. It is your mind lying to you, pulling down the shades and painting everything midnight black and scary.
I don’t pretend to know why we so readily believe these lies. Why it’s so tough to see alternatives when we are depressed. It’s just so unfair, because right around the corner is our potential, waiting mutely in the wings for us to awaken.
The trick is to find a way to hang on til you do. To trust the stories of others who’ve been where you’re standing who can honestly say: There is another way out!
Because there really is a way to recover that doesn’t involve taking your own life.
My wish for everyone out there dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts is Strength and Persistence. And Trust. And the desire to Hold On and Push Through those painfully difficult times. And for a Break in the Clouds, one that’s big enough to help you remember what life can be like when you are not depressed.
Ultimately, I wish Healing, Joy, Happiness and the desire to live out your life in Contentment. For all of us.
Brooks Hall said:
Hi Svasti: I, too, have found that the mind’s evaluation of life is not always to be to be trusted. I walked around for years listening to thoughts like, “life sucks.” …totally not true. Conscious breath. Trust. Faith in a reality that is larger than ones self. These things help. Yoga helps!
@Brooks – Oh yes, yoga helps a LOT. I think eventually the mind can be trusted, once we’ve “broken” our poor thinking habits. But that’s not a simple task…
I sit here partially numb, dizzy and exhausted. I mourn for Jim #2 and again today for #1. Compounded grief. This sucks.
Both Jim’s were 35. Both died in October. Both were talented, artistic, loving, intense, funny…both played the piano and worked as tradesmen. They also both struggled with depression and addiction. Jim #1 saved my life and Jim #2 encouraged me to use my life to be creative.
I grieve for #2 today and again for #1. How strange this is. Surreal. Can this really be happening again? And the similarities are downright eerie.
In the hours before learning the news of Jim #2’s death my neighbor dropped off a copy of the book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I thought it was a nice gesture, a little odd perhaps since I never spoke of spiritual matters with this man before, but I accepted the book and thanked him for dropping it off.
It wasn’t until late last night that I thought about the timing of receiving the book. I cannot help but think Jim #2 (or even #1) worked some magic behind the scenes to get this book to me in advance of me hearing the news. I read the forward by the Dalai Lama last night and it provided me with some comfort.
“Naturally, most of us would like to die a peaceful death, but it is also clear that we cannot hope to die peacefully if our lives have been full of violence, or if our minds have mostly been agitated by emotions like anger, attachment or fear. So, if we wish to die well, we must learn how to live well: Hoping for a peaceful death, we must cultivate peace in our mind, and in our way of life.”
Living well, Giggling On, Cultivating Peace…this is my message.
I will carry this message not only for myself but in honor of Jim #1 and Jim #2 and the gifts they gave to me.
I am comforted to know both of these loving men are no longer tormented. May they now find the peace in life that alluded them.
Going forward I may stop before befriending another man named Jim.
I’m skiddish now…who could blame me?
@Christa – Oh darlin’, I’m just so sorry. It is all very eerie, the similarities. Your quote from the Book of Living and Dying is spot on and in fact, inspired my next post (At War!!). Because its so very true.
You know, I hope if you ever do meet another man named Jim, you embrace any friendship he offers you. I do. Because it doesn’t have to be a curse. It could very well be a blessing. Take care!
Beautifully said Svasti, may your message be heard, and the ‘break in the clouds’ seen by any who stop by here that are suffering. My heart goes out to Christa, for her loss, but also in support of her strength in spirit and her message of healing with humor and laughter. love to you, Karin
@Karin – Thank you Karin. I too hope people can find and hold onto their break in the clouds to see the radiance of life. I sincerely do!