• RC

    Thank you for sharing the view from the other side of that depression. My mother has attempted suicide several times. In my twenties, I tackled her and wrenched the knife out of her hands before summoning the police to have her committed. My life is colored by her depression. She is still alive and still has frequent bouts of despair. I will never, ever understand because I am one of those children she would have left behind. Willingly, repeatedly. The anger and anxiety are tremendous. When I read Robin Williams’ children talking about his suicide, it hit home for me. “I’ll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay.”

  • Beth

    It’s the voice that convinces you that not only are you alone, and that no one would miss you, but that they – even, especially your child – would be better off without you. That then they could find/have someone better. That’s the voices that’s the scariest of all. But now that he’s getting old enough to miss me, to know I am here, and then would be gone – well, that changes the picture.

  • tmb

    I’m sure you’ve written something like this before, but it bears repeating, depression looks different in different people. For me, my depression symptoms (which have faded since my youngest child got past 18 months) manifested itself as exaggerated manic or compulsive episodes. So I would stress about keeping the house clean, needing to keep things in order because “if I can just keep this in order, I will feel better”, and of course with a baby that’s IMPOSSIBLE—my brain was trying to find a way to stay in control.

    So what I’m trying to say is if you are worried about a family member, keep an eye out for dramatic changes in behavior. They won’t necessarily shut down or withdraw.

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

    I shared the link to your blog with a Facebook group called For Those Who Loved Tina Ledesma. Tina was my friend when we were young wives and mothers as we were learning to be women together. After my divorce, we lost touch over the years and I found her on Facebook, literally weeks before she took her own life. I hope the members of the group come read your posts. I hope they can find some healing in Stacia’s words. Thank you for sharing…it’s vital to get a glimpse of what others feel and we so rarely share those most intimate thoughts and gut wrenching feelings. It’ll help someone, I know it will. Thank you Heather and Stacia.

  • moxiered

    This is so important. Thank you for talking about it. It maybe good to include a trigger warning for suicide along with the language warning before Stacia’s writing.

  • Angela

    Thank you for sharing, Stacia. I can’t even imagine your struggle but just know my heart aches for you and I hope every day is a little easier for you and those who loved him. My brother in law committed suicide when he was 18 and I know the unanswered questions are the hardest part. For what it’s worth, I am praying for you!

  • julia

    Suicide doesn’t take remove the pain. It transfers it to other people.

  • Erin

    Thank you Stacia, for being so brave to show your heart to everyone here reading. Having a love so intense and unique, the greatest fear is to lose that. Wishing you love and comfort, and amazed by your strength and honesty.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for giving your friend a platform to express her grief. Validating her feelings in this way will help her in her journey.

  • KC

    I can always count on listening to great music to pull me through some of the rough spots in life. I have been a fan of Future Islands music since you originally posted about them. I don’t know, there is something about Sam Herring, he is at the same time familiar and also very different from anyone I have heard before. You captured so much emotion in your photos of him.

    Thank you Stacia. You have a good friend in Heather, which I am sure is a comfort to you.

    Heather, Let Chuck know that the new Morrissey is AWESOME!

  • Jeanie

    Thank you both for sharing your thoughts.

  • RzDrms

    (Written with all due respect.)

    I think the dark part of suicide that I haven’t seen mentioned here is that, perhaps, the person isn’t even thinking much about those around him/her during their last moments. I would imagine that, in the deepest throes of depression, one would be grappling with the magnitude of what one is about to do, so much so that thoughts may get so zeroed in, so taut and dark and *singular,* that no other thing, no person in their life, could infiltrate their mind during those last moments.

    I imagine that the pain in those last minutes is so great, so monumental, and that the enormity of their pain coupled with what they’re about to do totally shuts out *any* possible other thought, any image of people in their lives.

    To take one’s own life, to end one’s own existence, seems like it would be the loneliest, quietest, darkest, most private of all acts, and possibly one so tunneled and personal that no one else on earth could break into. I imagine that, to get to that single moment in time, one is so deeply alone inside themselves that their loved ones have absolutely no more bearing in the matter than anything else around them.

    Suicide is so phenomenally personal that I’m saddened to hear that others take it personally on themselves.

  • Gem Wilder

    Thank you, Heather, for talking so openly and honestly about depression for so many years now. For not hiding. Thank you, Stacia, for sharing your deepest emotions with us, so that we might see a bigger picture. Your bravery is astounding. I wish you peace.

  • MELL

    She is so brave. People hide so many things about themselves, for fear of how others will perceive them. That she can put her deepest sorrow and feelings out there – to help others – is amazing.

  • kara_v

    I can’t even explain how much I appreciate that you shared this. Thank you.

  • LD

    I have been wrestling with how to describe how this made me feel, but I cannot find the words. It makes me want to be more open with those I love when I am in my darkest moments and to try to be the same resource for them. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • http://www.graceeveryday.com/ bethstoddard

    I have never been witness so something so raw and authentic and real and IMPORTANT. Thank you, Heather, for standing up and shouting from the rooftops. This matters. And thank you, Stacia, for being so vulnerable and honest.

    What you are doing here matters.

    Thank you.

  • Suicide Survivor

    Speaking as one who has attempted suicide, it is entirely selfish. The self is so consumed with the pain – TORMENT – that thoughts of other people just aren’t there. The jumping from a burning building analogy is truly accurate.

  • http://chroniclesofus.com/ Jennifer

    Thank you Stacia for sharing your experience. I’ve always appreciated this space for the honestly about depression and mental illness. There is still stigma around mental illness and I think — from what I’ve noticed — that stigma especially stops men from getting help. Depression is such a huge, dark, hopeless thing to go through and if one doesn’t get help, it’s nearly impossible to get through it.

  • Tom

    Are you a Scientologist?

  • dc

    thank you for sharing

  • kacy

    Thank you for writing this Heather and Stacia. I lost my grandfather to suicide and it was such a tragic thing for our family. A lot of us were very angry with him. I have forgave him for it now but it was not easy to do.

  • VickiB

    The incredible documentary called Food Matters addresses depression by different doctors that absolutely contains valuable information. I felt so frustrated after Robin Williams passing, knowing that had he watched this documentary, it might have made a real difference in his health.
    Food Matters is much more than just about food.

  • mcw

    I want to reiterate the sentiment of gratitude for putting forward your pieces on depression and suicide, Heather and Stacia. One can sympathize with the anxiety, pain and darkness of mental illness, but it’s important to show how one person’s illness can create a ripple effect of suffering.

  • Heidi

    Reading this was absolutely gut-wrenching. Oh, how my heart aches for Stacia and her love. My heart aches for Heather and anyone who has even the slightest idea of the pain that man was going through to believe that ending his life was the best choice (or only choice). I’ve been at there, with my toes hanging over the edge. I understood what it takes to get to that point. Thank you for sharing this, I hope it is a smack in the face to those feeling that deep pain. That it makes them reconsider and think of their loved ones and the brokenness they would leave behind. I hope Stacia finds healing and that bringing this subject to light will help all who suffer.

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

    Thank you for sharing, Stacia. Heather, thank you for writing the post. I was a person who believed the lie that I wouldn’t be missed, that people would be better off. I used to be so mad at my family for saving my life. I had taken such care and prepared everything so well… and then they ruined it by coming home 3 hours early. I was already unconscious, I just need more time to die. I’m no longer mad at them and everyday I try to be glad I’m still alive… still, some days it’s not easy to disbelieve the lie.

  • Lorrian Ippoliti

    I’ve no words, just heartache and ‘thank you’.

  • Kate

    This is such an honest, brave, and poignant post. I have never suffered from depression, but have felt the pain of anxiety at times in my life. This post really opened my eyes to understand where some loved ones go when they are in the throes of depression. Thank you for sharing, Stacia. May you find peace in your journey.

  • Larita

    The pain of Stacia’s writing is almost unbearable. Not many things move me to tears, but my kids kept asking me why I was crying. I was unable to read this post in one stretch; I had to keep taking breaks. Thank you to Stacia for the courage to share this. I KNOW it will have saved lives.

  • Lisa

    As Stacia said in her despair and anger, her fiance’s children will be so messed up by this. He left them every bit as much as he left her, and their response will be something along the lines of, “I was not enough.” I’m so sorry you have had and continue to have to live with that anxiety and, naturally, anger, at your mom. Peace to you.

  • Lisa

    It’s been a while since I heard that voice, the one that insistently told me I was not worthwhile, that surely my husband could find a better mom for our beautiful boy if I were out of the picture. (I’m ill, and wasn’t a very fun mom.) When my son was young I couldn’t believe I was important or valuable to him (or anyone). People would say how much children need their mothers and, while I know how true that is for others, I couldn’t believe it was true of me. I’m past that now, and my son is 20. I finally know that even in all my imperfection, even if I’m nothing more than an archetype — which I don’t believe I am; we have a rich relationship — he needed me then, and he needs me now. I’m so glad I stuck around to find that out.

  • Lisa

    Part of the lie is that no one will miss you. Your departure will be a disagreeable ripple, and then they’ll get on with the happy lives they’re meant to have. The lie is very loud.

  • http://dacsannghetinh.blogspot.com/ Mr.Bi

    Good!

  • Lauren3

    Thanks for letting Heather share your writing here, Stacia. Love to you.

  • RC

    Oh amen to that. The notion that one is not enough, while false, is hard to dismiss. As an adult, I have tried to learn that another person’s happiness is neither in my control nor my responsibility but when you own mother would rather be dead than stick around for you? Impossible. And yes, I’ve been to therapy. So glad for this forum.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you both, Heather and Stacia – for your writing, your honesty and your willingness to share your words with the community. Many years ago, I lost someone to suicide. I remember the shock, grief and anger I felt at that time. I could not fathom how this person could have made such a choice and left behind a devastated mother and a grieving family. As I have gotten older, I have had more struggles with depression myself. I have had moments of clarity when I understand exactly how it must feel. Heather & Stacia – your words resonated with me. I liken it to being at the bottom of the dark hole and seeing no other way out. There are periods of time when I feel so overwhelmed by these feelings. By luck or good fortune, I have always managed to pull out – it is not easy and it is not quick. I don’t ever know truly what it is that gets me past these dark points, though I have a few guesses – my dog, music, sunshine, exercise. I do know I am so thankful for the fact that I have made it past these dark points, especially when so many others have not. But I also know that for me, this depression, these dark periods, will be something I battle my entire life. It is helpful for me to hear words from someone who has experienced and survived such feelings as well as someone who has experienced the results of what happens when one does not survive. Thank you both. I hope that, someday, we are able to find ways to help ourselves battle so that there is a time when no one has to succumb to this darkness.

  • Beth

    Thank you for sharing that! 95% of the time I’m fine, but that other 5% can be really rough. Our boy just turned four, so now we’re hitting an age where he would know I was gone, and eventually that I left him. No way in the world I could do that to him – and honestly, to a few others.

  • Anonymous

    I would almost rather believe someone forced him into the trunk and staged it, than to believe he could actually do it himself. Is that so out of left field? Am I being stupid or ignorant to want to think that’s a possibility? I just can’t believe it. I wouldn’t want to believe it. It hurts too much to believe he would do that.

  • kg

    Thank you both for this. This was so hard to read, but so real. Sometimes all it is is to feel that someone else somewhere knows what you’re feeling and its ok. Or that it will be ok, if given the chance.

  • kk

    Thanks for this. I struggle, too. I don’t know why my mind goes there, but it does, and it has for years. Thankfully I am healthy enough to understand enough that this won’t last forever. I can do the work and I can heal. But it is so fucking hard. How do you heal when you don’t have the resources or money? It’s a lot of work. There’s so much to deal with. I can’t afford therapy. I can’t afford to see a psychiatrist and be prescribed medication. I have wanted to be on anti-depressants since I was a teenager. I have thought about suicide a lot, but thankfully never attempted it. It really is just jumping from a burning building, it feels like the flames are just going to continue getting bigger, with no other way out. I’ve been in denial about my depression. I’ve felt it since my youth, and I am 29 years old. Why did my parents never help me? Why is depression so stigmatized? These are things I think of all the time. I feel so ashamed to have depression. I am a birth doula, so my job is to emotionally support other people and witness the miracle of life over and over again. It is so weird to have this amazing fulfilling job yet to feel like shit on the inside. I smile and support my clients and I feel like I am lying to them. Depression is so isolating, I feel like I am lying to everyone I know. I struggle so much and wish there were an easy way to cure it. I sometimes look at old friends from high school or college on facebook and envy their happiness. You know how you can tell when people just really love and appreciate their life? There is no mystery about it? Why can’t I have that? I really want to appreciate that beauty and have lots of friends and just love life. Why am I wasting it? It’s such a shame. I keep living because I hope I will be able to be happy one day. I have done some of the work before and it worked temporarily. I wish there was a permanent fix for this horrible shit going on in my brain. I can’t fathom leaving my almost 2 year old daughter, who is the sweetest most amazing being I have ever met. But I also don’t want to be unhappy in front of her. And I don’t want to depend on her for my happiness. It’s a mind-fuck and a constant, daily struggle. I have to find the courage to do the work. I am so sorry for your friend who lost her fiance. And I was so saddened to hear of Robin Williams’ suicide. I don’t want to cause any pain to anyone who is in my life, but to live with the pain is so hard, and to do the work to heal, even harder. Thanks for always being so honest about your depression and for sharing such personal moments from your life and the lives of your friends. It is really helpful to know that at least we are not alone.

  • ruffian

    My husband died in an auto accident (accident?) after drinking after promising to give up alcohol. I was not enough. Our love, was not enough. Although 13 years have passed and I am in a good, happy, loving, supportive relationship, I still can feel the pain. The sadness. The questions. The doubt. The inadequacy. My heart goes out to all who have been through this.