Thursday, 13 February 2014

How Precious Is Life....

No it is not a question, it is a statement.

How precious is life.

On Monday night this week, someone I know emptied a half bottle of valium into themselves.

This was not HBO.  This was not on the TV.  This was not a faceless article in the news.  This was not a couple of codeine with a vodka chaser.  This was a couple dozen valium taken because someone had decided that life was now simply too hard.

This was not someone being a drama queen.
This was not someone seeking attention.
This was not a cry for help.

This was someone deciding that life was just too difficult now.  That death was preferable to any sort of life.

This person has a roof over their head.  Food in their stomach.  A job.  A car.  Family.  And death was more preferable to life.

How did this make me feel?

Everything but angry.

Numb.  Heartbroken.  Sad.  Scared.  Helpless.  Desperate.  Nothing.  Everything.

The thing is, I understand that impulse.  At my worst in 2001, I carried around a full bottle of prescription sleeping pills for a week.  The only reason I didn't take them was a phone call from my mother one night who was calling "just to say hi".  But this isn't about me.

And it is.

When depression is referred to as The Black Dog, The Monster, The Enemy, people aren't kidding.

It is now Thursday night and I am sitting still unable to make sense of it all if I am honest.  And I live with my depression 24/7.  And yet, I can not understand the exact depth of pain that person was feeling at that particular moment.

You see, I have known this person for a long time and am well aware of (so I thought) how hard life is for them.
At least I thought.  You see, I would never have thought that they would actually do what they did.  Yes I had heard them mention it a few times, most people with Clinical Depression want to die at some point.    And many succeed.

THAT is the statistic we hear about - the ones who DO die.

What we don't hear about ENOUGH are the ones that attempt to die, or hurt themselves.  My friend is one of those people who we do not think about.  For every person who DOES succeed in suicide, it is estimated that 30 people attempt to.

These statistics are not newsworthy because these people live.  Well, it was newsworthy for me on Monday night.  And this person is not a statistic, they are a friend I care about.

I am talking about statistics here because it is still too difficult for me to talk about it directly for too long.  It is only the 4th night after.

This person has told me how much I mean to them and how important my friendship is to them.  And yet, they still took the valium.

In that moment - I was not enough
In that moment - their family was not enough.
In that moment - a potential future was not enough.
In that moment - life was not enough.

How precious is life.

Treasure it and never take it for granted.

And if this happens to you, and you are sitting at your computer surfing the web on the 4th night and you still do not know what to make of it, that is ok.

It will simply take time.  For you and for them.

There is only one thing I will say - it is worth NOT taking the valium.
Things can change, even if just a small amount.

On the 4th night, I have realised that my life has changed.  I can not describe how just yet.  And I may not share it when I work out how.

This is just how I am right at this moment of typing.  

For someone I know, life has also changed for them.  When they know how, I hope they will tell me.

To Life.



MAC said...

Sorry for your loss, Damien.

I've shared with you before that I suffer from depression myself. I was suicidal in my teens. I'm a true believer in It Gets Better.

My life is better, but I still fight the "Monster".

Stay strong my friend.


Anonymous said...

Damien, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I too, suffer from depression. Didn't happen to me till much later in my life. It is something that I deal with each day and I am a believer, that it Gets Better.

You know Damien, sometimes bad things happen to people you know and love. It's hard to know what to say to help, but your caring words can and do make a difference. Just remember, that when your heart is empty, filling it with happy memories can help.

Take care and stay strong.

In Texas

Damien said...

Gents - he didnt die - but he tried.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing

Mark in DE said...

So sorry for the pain and confusion you are going through. I hope your friend recovers and finds more hope and potential in their life. Your friends (whom you've never met) are here for you.

Soul Yaoi said...

That's is sad. Life is hard but I would rather fight.

Soul Yaoi said...

Glad he was OK. Sad we have to hit that bottom.