Response To Reader Who ‘Wants To Die 5 Out Of 7 Days’

by Bill Brenner on March 30, 2012

I’m scrapping today’s originally scheduled post because of a message that hit my inbox overnight. I’ll keep this man’s name out of it, but a more visible response is necessary.

Mood music:

This was a comment attached to a post I wrote a few months ago called “A Depressed Mind Is Rarely A Beaten Mind.” I’ll give you this fellow’s comments in bold italics, with my responses along the way.

Hello. Was wondering if I could ask you a few questions? What age did you first realize your depression? When did you accept it? 

I remember becoming aware of my depression as a kid. I didn’t see it for what it was, but had those awful feelings of hopelessness. The brighter the sun shined, the darker I felt. I’ve only come to accept in recent years that this for me is a chronic condition that can be managed but not eradicated.

I respect you’re a man of God and you haven’t killed yourself, but is it worth it?

Most of the time, I’ve felt that life is worth it for several reasons. The first is that this world is bigger than me and I truly believe I was put here for a reason. Maybe it was to write the stuff I write. Maybe it was to help raise the two children God entrusted me with.

Whatever the case, I’m a guy who simply doesn’t believe we’re put here by coincidence. It doesn’t make sense to me that we would be conceived by pure randomness or by accident. That’s my faith talking, but it’s what I believe.

I’m going to be 23 and 5 out 7 days I wanna die. And I don’t know why. My heart feels like its falling into my stomach and then nothing matters no more. My mind wonders to the darker side of life. Smiles turn to blink stares and burst of rage. I sleep 3-4 hours a night and am close to only eating one meal a day. Tried writing out my feelings distracting my mind with music and activities, although no one other than myself sees me in this state.

I’ve been there. For me, music has always been a savior, and the writing has been a critical coping tool in more recent years. Rage? I’ve lived with that many times and still do some days. Thing is, I think EVERYONE has those feelings from time to time. The problem is when those feelings crowd out the good stuff.

I don’t want people sympathy so I don’t bring it up to friends or family. Worst part of everything is, I wanna help people like myself but I can’t even help myself.

It’s funny how we try and sometimes even succeed in helping others when we can’t help ourselves, isn’t it? People tell me every day that this blog helps them, and I’m always dumbfounded because I still fall short in so many areas of my own life.

One thing has gotten clear to me as I’ve grown older, though: Keeping it inside is the absolute worst thing you can do. You need to talk to family and friends. You would be surprised how much they can relate to your feelings. Most people, after all, suffer in silence. When you discover you’re not alone, you feel a strength you never knew you had.

Don’t stop there, though. If you haven’t already, find a therapist and get the special help only they can offer. A lot of people balk at the idea of seeing “a shrink.” But I would be nowhere today had I not sought one out. A therapist can help you pinpoint the fault lines in your brain and help you seal them up.

Medicine also helps me. I take two drugs for OCD, ADD and depression, and they have done wonders. Some consider these drugs snake oil, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. I try to explain it in a post called “The Engine.”

Sorry for burdening you just trying to find answers from all sources. Thanks and again I envy you. Take care.

You’re not a burden. And don’t envy me. I’m far from perfect, and the truth is that you don’t have to live your life this way. There is always a way out in which you get to live. You either want the help and the better life or you give up. I’m 41 and if I had given up in my 20s I would have missed out on so many joys that I’ve experienced since then.

I don’t know you, but based on what I’ve been able to glean from your note, you’re not a quitter. If you care enough about others to try to help them with the things you can’t help yourself with, that tells me you have it in you to bring the demons to heal.

I’ll pray hard for you, and end for now by wishing you the very best.

God Bless you.

Bill Brenner

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

pennywrites March 30, 2012 at 4:34 am

This post really got to me (funny how that happens… things that are significantly impactful when you don’t expect it). I find my depression often plays its hand differently and it catches me unaware and brings me to a grinding hault. I’m so tired of living with hesitancy, waiting for it all to go to hell again. And you are so right, the brighter it gets, the darker it can become. But, it’s what I have and I try very hard to balance the things that I can honesly call blessings. WIshing some peace to you both.

annrball March 30, 2012 at 5:15 am
Joan Hadley June 10, 2012 at 9:52 am

Have you read the “Power Of Now” by: Eckhart Tolle?
The principles of this book have changed my life so much!! I know how depression and OCD can destroy you. I recently read this book for the third time (not three times in a row) this time truly made the difference. It is my “bible”

Good luck and be strong!

Renee June 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I went thru the same thing at about this age. For one thing, I’d told myself throughout childhood that if I could just make it through college I’d be “free,” and then I felt unprepared to deal with life on my own. Even shopping at the store felt very overwhelming. I eventually got to the point where I couldn’t eat, but dr’s couldn’t find anything. Finally, I got weak enough that the emotional barriers came down and I cried for several days; I was suffering from delayed grief. I found that reading about others’ experiences made me feel less alone. Also, I realized that I really did want to live. I went for counseling. I got a cat. I socialized more (eventually). I took one day at a time, and I made sure to slow down and really enjoy every small moment—even just the ability to sit still in the sun. That was decades ago, and while I need to keep on top of it (yoga helped a lot), it’s always been manageable once that initial outpouring of grief came out. Don’t give up on yourself, and don’t hesitate to reach for help from others. I was amazed at how supportive my friends and family were once they realized my situation—I think hearing my story even helped some of them to acknowledge their own issues and reach for their own solutions, too. In yoga, they teach that things arise, abide, and dissolve. You are in the “abiding” stage. Get whatever support you need to make yourself well.

Christy December 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I know a lot of those feelings very well and it is through God’s grace that I am here on this earth. I felt those feelings at that age. I started counseling many years ago and it is wonderful to talk to someone that is not involved and non-judgemental and doesn’t share any of your emotional stuff with anyone. Unfortunately my first counselor did judge me but God placed one that was meant just for me right in my path. It was a divine appointment. When I saw my first counselor I had some positive affirmations that I said each day like…” I am feeling happier each day…I am learning to ask for help…etc etc” and they were helpful. It helped to guide me in a positive ligth. Now, I read the Bible and that is the most life changing book. It works like sand in the hourglass….slowly changing you and shaping you into the creation God intended for you to be. When I am feeling like I am in total despair I like to pray the rosary. By the 3rd decade I can feel so much more peace. I also like to read Ephesians 6 and put on the Armor. We live in a culture of death, not life and it is a struggle to want to live sometimes.
I am praying that you find something that works for you and that you see yourself for the purpose that God created you for.

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