I’m exhausted. Completely exhausted. Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally exhausted. I’m so worn out that I have trouble getting things done at the moment or going places. I pick the most important thing, do it and let the rest go. I only have so many spoons to give. I can’t sleep, but I need to.
As many of you know, my son has had a great deal of problems this academic year. His problems are not of the intellectual side. He knocks that out of the park. It is of the mental illness kind. It runs in my family. When I noticed his issues I quickly got him help. I had hoped to block the huge problems I had when I was young and going through this. I was going to be there for my son. I was a completely different parent that what I had. Yet my son went through everything that I did. He is still struggling. I have done everything I know how to do and then some. Still and my best intentions and actions are not enough. It is a long slow climb, just like it was with me.
When I first heard about the death of Kate Spade I was sad. I studied Fashion Design. I knew Kate’s story (professionally speaking) and loved her products. I felt awful for her family and for her. I understood her profound sadness. Her soul had died a while ago I guess, and she made sure her body matched her soul. Harsh? Mean? Insensitive? I’m not trying to be. When you are depressed, suicidal you truly believe that your death is a good thing. I’m not kidding. People think suicidal persons are selfish. On the contrary, I have found the exact opposite. People who go through this mental illness called depression or suicide think a lot.
They think that the world would be better off if they were not apart of it. The wouldn’t be in pain anymore, and their friends and family would be happier. You may be saying “How could anyone think that?” I would say to you, “How could you not think that?” They (the depressed and sad) hear everyday:
“What do you have to be depressed about?”
“It will pass.”
“You need to get out of the house.”
And so on and so forth. Why wouldn’t you want to leave this life. Everywhere you turn, you are told how you should not think or feel how you do. Your damaged and you’re making everyone else miserable. Solution? Stop your pain and everyone else’s. That’s what a depressed person thinks about.
Anthony Bourdain was a shock. I had just watched his TV show the night before. My husband and I must have discussed it for an hour afterwards. When my husband tweeted me about Anthony Bourdain, I didn’t understand at first. So I looked on my news feed and there it was “Anthony Bourdain is Dead.” At first, I thought car accident. Maybe heart attack. Never suicide. A day later, there it was, suicide.
Wow, just wow. If anything, he seemed to have a great life and all his shit together. If a guy like Anthony Bourdain can’t handle it, how can the rest of us? I’m sure the same can be said of Kate Spade. This is why his death was so shocking. He has everything (it seemed) that I wanted and it wasn’t enough.
Bourdain had the respect of everyone. He had talent, intelligence, money, looks, skills, recognition, family, friends, and more. My heart aches for Bourdain’s and Spade’s kids. Their whole circle. I know that they were loved and they loved all those people back. Sometimes love isn’t enough.
I was envious of all the places and things Bourdain got to do. He spoke to amazing people, and ate great food. I tried to keep all the coverage of their deaths away from my son. I didn’t want to give him ideas of new ways to end his life. My son is 11. I am sure many are thinking what is his deal? The thing is, it doesn’t matter. It didn’t matter what I thought when I went through suicidal ideation, it doesn’t matter what my son thinks, what these two celebrities thought. Thoughts don’t matter. Actions do.
Suicide is on the rise. So they say. Why? I honestly think part of it is due to life today, a lot of it is do to more honest reporting. I think we are finally realizing what a fucked up world this can be for people. So what to do?
We mourn. We analyze. We question. We discuss. We plan. Then we act, and keep acting. We cry for the pain of those gone and we weep for the pain those currently on this path feel. It’s awful. It’s hurtful. They feel so empty and heavy. We need to judge what the causes are. Is it the situation? Genetics? Or a multitude of things. Ask why it is happening, where it is happening, what is going on. Discuss it with them. Plan with them how you are going to interact. Are you a sounding board? A shoulder to cry on? Or maybe their wingman? Then do it. Get up everyday and do it.
I am sad for my son. I have racked my brain on how to figure out what is wrong. It is rarely one thing. I’ve questioned him. A lot. We always talk. You know what? He tells me when he is feeling suicidal. We discuss it. We talk about ways to fix this. It is a long hard road. Sometimes it’s painful for both of us. Still, I act.
At the end of the day, my actions account for something. It helps. It doesn’t always cure the problem, but it can lessen it. There has been a lot of advice to reach out and talk. Yes, do that, but know that that isn’t everything. Don’t blame yourself. Don’t blame the person suffering. It just happens. It’s a daily struggle that you have to adjust to. Just know you can adjust. The person suffering can adjust. Life can go on. It’s okay, that life isn’t this spectacular extravaganza it’s supposed to be. It can just be getting up, doing what is required, and going to sleep.
You are going to feel pain. It’s normal. Sadness. Normal. Anger. It’s supposed to be there. That is what I wish I could tell Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. You cannot have the bitter without the sweet. You will never enjoy love, passion, joy, or excitement without it’s polar opposite. One cannot exist without the other. That is the hit that depression gives you. It tells you all you can feel is pain. There is nothing else. Then media and the general population tell you all you can feel is joy. It is maddening.
I tell my son, the next day is a new day. It will get better. “How mom?” he says. “How is it going to get better?” Some days I have a great answer. Some days I can only say, “We will make it better together.” And we will. For I will always be there for him. Even in the deepest darkest hour. Not everyone has that. Did Bourdain or Spade? I don’t know. What I do know is you need someone. Every one does. Now is the time to think who is yours? Now is the time to think if you can be someone else’s. It won’t be easy. Life never is, but you can have the sweet again. I wish I could have told Anthony and Kate that. I can’t. I am, however, telling you. Remember that.
I would like to end with a quote from Joan Rivers. It was for her Emmy acceptance speech. Her husband died from suicide.
“My husband Edgar Rosenberg said “You can always turn things around.” except for one terrible moment in a hotel room in Philadelphia when he forgot that.”
You can turn things around. Remember that.
*I hope you were able to get some food for thought form this post. Please note, that when I write posts that are emotional or difficult for me I do not proof them. I just spill things out. If you find mistakes, sorry.