• MaryKC


  • JessBesser

    Thank you, Heather. I’ve been waiting for this post and you did not disappoint.

  • Stella

    Thank you for this. My father killed himself in 2009 and we never saw it coming. My entire family was devastated not only by the loss but because of the why. No note, no signs, really. I still grapple with the thoughts of his selfishness, but that quote has stopped me in my tracks.

  • Abby Marschke

    Beautifully written. Thank you both for sharing so freely of yourselves. Peace, love, and healing to you.

  • Michelene Insalaco

    Thanks. Unfortunately, I totally understand.

  • Amy H

    You seem to always know the right thing to say. I wish you nothing but happiness.

  • Kat

    Thank you for writing this. For being so honest about a subject that people need to pay attention to. My grandad was killed by someone else’s suicide attempt and I spent a long time being angry about it, before realising anger is entirely unproductive and that anyone in that situation needs help and support above anything else.

  • kmpinkel

    Thank you , a thousand times, thank you!

  • Any

    This post, right here, is why I became a fan; why I have read your blog for years, why I keep reading even when I want to stop. Thank you.

  • http://www.cliopatra.net/ Cheryl

    I don’t know if him having even an inkling of her pain would have stopped him from ending his life. I think he may have even weighed that pain against a lifetime of (take your pick), his own pain, her pain at being linked to a worthless dead weight for a lifetime, a combination of the two. I don’t say that as “he was a worthless dead weight” but that he may very well have viewed himself this way. Perhaps he felt he was setting them both free. When I attempted suicide I didn’t bother to leave a note. I didn’t think anyone would even notice I was gone, such was the nature of my depression. I was worthless and insignificant. I will be reading her journal excerpts tomorrow and for as long as your post them. I hope that they are able to stop someone from doing what her fiance did, what Robin Williams did, what you and I almost did. Thank you for posting this today.

  • Danielle

    Thank you. A million times, thank you. Our family survived it twice and we never found words for it, but it is so valuable to know there are other members of this tribe that get it, in a way that others cannot. I hope their lives remain untouched by it. And it is infuriating to read those opinions about selfishness, isn’t it? Imagine how that sounds to the ones that are left. Reeling from the facet that a precious life is no more, sorting through the fog of confusion, and any number of people from all walks declare the light that’s gone out “selfish.” Is that in any way helpful? Getting to the root of these issues? You know what, I wish that were all it was. I really do.

    Again, thank you for this quote. These are some of the words we had yet to find.

  • dc

    powerful. i am happy you’re still here and that i am here to bear witness to your healthy choices.

  • Mari

    I just hope Robin William’s kids and all other in similar situations can read this. I’ve never understood suicide until now.

  • http://kristanhoffman.com/ Kristan

    I’m moved to tears, and terrified to read what’s coming next… because I know how important and how powerful it will be. Thank you both for sharing.

  • Eileen McKay

    Yes, I knew you would have wise words to share. I do think it is hard for those who haven’t experienced depression to fully understand. So sorry for your friend’s loss.

  • Melissa

    Having lost my very best friend to suicide, I’ve only recently come to terms with the kind of pain he must have been going through. It doesn’t make it hurt any less but living with that kind of agony every day is far worse. I’ve read recently that it’s definitely not out of weakness, it’s just the only option and I hope people learn to reach out, like you have and hang on to hope that people love them and there are other ways out of the deep darkness.

  • http://amusingsofalyricsoprano.wordpress.com/ Amusing Soprano

    Thank you for sharing that quote. As someone who has not had any personal experience of depression it gives a real insight into what drives someone to what seems an impossible choice.

  • Medicated

    Hey dooce,

    Last week I checked myself into a mental hospital for the very same reason as you. I knew I would commit suicide that night if somebody didn’t stop me. Thanks for sharing the quote. I will share it with friends and family, and maybe they will understand me a little.

  • eve

    Thank you for sharing, opening yourself to us, your readers, your fans. It’s scary when your therapist is calling you home to make sure you’re ok. It’s a feeling, of can I start again? Can I get a do over? I know that pain and I thank you for sharing yours.

  • Jen Wilson

    Thank you, THANK YOU, for this, and for all you write about mental illness. Your willingness to share your struggles helps more than you could ever imagine.

  • Amy

    Spot on, Heather, you make a difference.

  • Hal

    Thank you, and thank you Stacia. For your bravery put out to save lives.

  • Michael Mathews

    Wow. I can hardly wait for the next post. Robin Williams hit me hard and I did a lot of reading afterwards. I had to tune out the “selfish” comments.

    I have been in funks, but I always know how to pull myself out from them, and I pretty much know what the factors are that cause them. My job is nuts lately and is not a truly good fit for me, and that does trigger them at times. When I’m in a funk I just want to run away to a beautiful place. There is no ledge to pull myself back from, because my will to go on is always there. I just want to escape the things in the world that I find nonsensical and the people I find toxic. I am finally understanding in some small way the difference between a funk and true depression.

    I am glad you got help, Heather, and all the others out there. Sometimes it seems discouraging, because some people don’t seem to find help that works. It was very good to read about someone who did find the help she needed.

  • Anna Cabrera

    I guess I am thankful if all those folks whose first inclination is to scream “selfish” because maybe it means that they have never walked in the darkness of depression. Perhaps they have never had to make that call, or find other help to pull them from the brink.

    I wish they could extend some compassion to those of us who have walked that lonely trail — including those of us who succumbed to it.

    May we all find a way to be more aware, more open and more compassionate. Thanks for always having the courage to share of yourself.

  • Annie

    Thank you for this. Thank you thank you thank you. I can’t say it enough. Thank you.

  • Meg

    My mother’s first reaction to the news of Robin Williams’ death was, “That’s so selfish!” Coming from the person who says that I just need to “exercise and eat better” to make up for the fact that I can’t afford to visit a doctor to get a refill on my prescriptions right now . . . that’s not surprising. (I have been waiting for a month and a half for my medical assistance paperwork. I have been taking half my meds to stretch them out this far but I have three days left. I have thirty pounds of fur in my lap right now and she is my link to sanity.)
    Thank you for all you have written, and done, and shared. Thank you for every silly dog picture because they make me smile. I hope that Stacia’s Annie behaves her little puppy self to help her mama. (As much as a puppy can behave . . . but, oh, that puppy breath! I miss it.)

  • Carol

    I have always wished that it wasn’t called ‘depression’: unhappiness, sadness, downheartedness, dejection. It doesn’t tell the story, does it. It should be called DISTRESS: anguish, agony, grief, misery, ache, suffering.

  • Gretchen

    This: “Please, people, do not fuck with depression. It’s merciless. All it wants is to get you in a room alone and kill you.” – Harvey Fierstein

    A lot of people just don’t get how dangerous untreated depression can be.

  • a

    Thanks for this, i’ve struggled for 35 years to understand my father’s suicide when i was 5. this helps.

  • Lauren3

    I can absolutely second that.

  • Sarah Gammell Matthews

    So, so good. I’ve watched my sister pull back from the ledge a couple of times and held her in the messy aftermath. She’s had to watch her family struggle with their fear for her. We love each other with ferocity and yet it’s not enough to always keep the despair away. You’re so good at capturing the horrible nuances of what depression really means.

  • kisa319

    Thank you for this! My mother has tried to commit suicide three times, but didn’t manage to get it to take. She has finally found the right doctor/therapist/drug combination that her depression is mostly managed. I am going to share this with her and hope that she takes what you intended from it.

  • Heidi

    I said this on your FB link too, but I was so hoping you would share in the aftermath of Robin William’s death. I think everyone with depression, anxiety, or addiction probably have looked at themselves since, “That could have been me.” Opening the dialogue of this is so, so important. Removing the stigma and opening our arms to others who have suffered or are suffering will help everyone involved. “You are not alone. You are not alone. Hang on. I’m here.” Don’t let your loved ones suffer alone in the dark. Reach out to each other, people. One person, who reached out to me to let me know he cared, saved my life.

  • Heidi

    And, lastly, nothing. Emptiness.

  • issascrazyworld

    This post….just yes. I will never forget reading your posts from way back then. I’ve thought of them often, when my life seemed to be too much. Thank you for always sharing, even when it’s hard.

  • Steve

    I’m glad you sought help!

  • Solaana

    My friend Dale likened it to euthanasia, and having been suicidal myself, I agree, though I never thought of it like that. You feel like taking yourself out of the equation is the best solution for everyone – the only thing, during the darkest moments, was imagining my mother at my funeral. It scares the crap out of me, what losing her will do to me.

  • http://www.escapingelegance.com/ Stephanie Reidy

    It takes a tremendous amount of energy to act happy everyday when you aren’t. This energy gets sucked away and there is no way to recharge it, no way to rebuild the facade that gets you through the day.

    It has taken me almost 20 years to be able to speak openly about my suicide attempt during university. I lied to my doctor to get pills, wrote the note, stripped my bed because I didn’t want to “ruin” my mother’s sheets… the only reason I’m alive today is because my family came home unexpectedly early, found me comatose, and got me to emergency. I was never able to speak about it because I was ashamed of my personal weakness. Embarrassed that I could purposely hurt my family so badly.

    This winter I climbed out that metaphorical window again and the flames were licking at my heels. I told myself that it would be better for everyone if I was gone and that nobody would miss me. I called into work sick and arranged for someone else to pick up the kids after school… knowing that I wouldn’t be alive to do it. It was only the last thought of my kids and how my suicide would F their lives up forever that made me pick up the phone and call for help.

    I think it is nearly impossible for people who have never personally felt this way to understand how suicide seems to be the most logical decision of your life. At the time it feels like a supremely selfLESS act.

    Robin Williams was sick and suffering from a disease. This disease killed him.

  • Lisa

    This brought clarification beyond belief. I now understand a little better. Thank you, Heather.

  • Lisa

    Actually, I understand A LOT better…

  • J.

    Here’s a situation I’ve anguished over: my brother-in-law killed my sister-in-law, then killed himself. We didn’t know it beforehand, but he was struggling with depression and had a history of suicide in his family. We are devastated by what happened and the fact that we always saw them as a happy couple, and weren’t able to do anything to prevent what happened. It’s been 2 years and I honestly don’t know how to make sense of what happened. Could he have killed her because of his depression? Was his suicide the result of his depression, or the result of his committing the first horrible act? I think what is difficult for me is that if his depression is related to the murder/suicide, I feel like I must feel empathy for him and not blame him for what he did.

  • Becky

    thank You.

  • Jayme

    Heather, in 2006, reading your blog saved MY life. I didn’t know how close I was to the edge until I saw myself in your words. Thank you.

  • Kathleen

    Can’t read this column just yet. My brother-in-law committed suicide the same day Robin Williams did. Apparently he had been planning it for a couple of weeks before he actually did it. It was as if Robin Williams gave him “permissions” to do so. His last Facebook post was “See u soon Robin.” No one realized what he meant when he said that. It took a week to find out he had killed himself. Everyone thought he was on another trip (he traveled for business). He was very business like and left specific instructions about everything and all of his passwords, bank account numbers, etc. I guess he thought this would make it easier on everyone. It didn’t. Our emotions are so conflicted and all over the place. But we are glad he is not hurting any more.

  • JenniferW2323

    I repeatedly tell people that I’m very thankful for you, and Allie Brosh, and Jenny Lawson for sharing about your depression. Your posts (and theirs) helped me to help my husband recognize he needed to treat what seemed to be depression (ultimately he was diagnosed with it). Our life as a family was truly saved because you were all brave enough to share. Thank you.

  • BeckySTL

    I agree. This is why I keep reading your blog. It’s so honest and open. I have lost several people to suicide and battled depression myself…it’s heartbreaking. I encourage anyone who thinks they need help to get it asap. Thank you for being brave enough to get help and share your journey with us. It helps more than you know.

  • Momma Sadler

    Damnit, Dooce. I don’t come here to cry my makeup off and feel things. I’ve heard the “room on fire” metaphor before and it’s so true that I hate to even think about it. Great post. Stacia, I am so sorry for your loss. It’s a damn shame and I’m just so sorry.

  • http://OKRoserock.blogspot.com/ Rose Marie B

    I’m grateful for your bravery to write about your challenges and please thank Stacia, from all of us for sharing the most intimate details of her soul. It sounds a little vulture-ish to say I can’t wait to read your upcoming posts…but if I can learn to support a friend or a loved one better, that’s what it’s all about. I appreciate you both.

  • http://www.luvandkiwi.com/ Tish

    oh Heather…yes my dear wise friend, that is exactly a brilliant truth and I applaud you for sharing. My father committed suicide. I was blessed at a very young age to “get” suicide from so many different perspectives. It was one of the most tragic lessons a nine year old could learn, but I knew that the pain I carried would not only help me act as a beacon for others navigating the rivers of confusion and heartache, but would also save me from the same fate; battling my own depression down the road. Sharing, relating, understanding, empathizing, caring, remembering…these are all magical verbs that make you one of my favorite peoples on the planet.

  • Angela

    Yes, I’m so glad you are here!