A few suicides in the news this week. My first thought — “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” ?? … unfathomable hopelessness, intentional self-destruction … really, these talented, fortunate people?
The trouble with living with depression/anxiety is the lens. You see through a lens that is distorted and dim and smudged and cracked. The images coming through that lens bring only despair, perhaps terror. You try and keep on trying to see light and beauty and goodness. The trying is beyond exhausting. It takes everything you have just to draw the next breath.
In rational moments, you know that you have talents and gifts that give you great pleasure in sharing … you know you have people who truly care for you, maybe admire you .. you know you have people who you love deeply … you know you have passions that give you hope and meaning and joy and wonderful, life-enriching challenges to overcome … but they are all on the other side of that damaged lens. Even if you’re rational, knowing isn’t seeing, or feeling. You can’t see or feel the other side clearly, or at all–all you have are cracks and smudges and distortions and darkness and demons. That’s all that can exist in your vision.
I’m an inactive member in this club. I try to keep my distance, but now and then I wander into the banquet room at Downer Denny’s and attend a meeting. Because I’m “diagnosed,” I guess I have a lifetime membership so I’m obligated to make an appearance on occasion. There are those rare times when I’m actually there, present and accounted for, participating, squinting through the same lens, and unable to focus my truly grace-full reality through the melancholy and fear.
So far, I always come to eventually, and realize that all I really want to do is play hooky from the meeting and scarf down a Grand Slam in the normal seating area. And Thank God. I’m rescued by the thought of pancakes and sausage and biscuits and gravy.
Anyway, there is nothing anyone can say or do to fix our lens for us. Some of us can bandaid our lens with therapy and meds and practice and duck tape and prayer and knitting and writing and good food and horses and working and the knowledge/hope/faith that Something Greater than ourselves is still at work and will be faithful to complete that work as Promised. I’m on that subcommittee in the club, and fortunate in the way that the Something continually reminds me that even this, the come-and-go darkness, can be a gift should I choose to accept it as that – “… give thanks in ALL circumstances …”
Others will find nothing that will bring light and clarity and joy, nothing, not even love and family and beauty and freedom and wealth and, really, perhaps exactly because they already have everything this world can offer … they come to the point where they have nothing left.
Nothing left to do except to go to sleep.
I pray their journey is bathed in light and grace. I pray for their peace.