The recent suicide of two icons in their respective fields caught me off guard.
And I sat with my thoughts over the weekend because their lives deserved that and I think it’s important to measure my words.
Plus I had a history of battling depression and suicidal ideation. I know the struggle of finally climbing out of that pit, by God’s grace and a precious few people who knew my struggle, let me express it, and fought for my life when I couldn’t.
But their deaths highlighted something true for regular joes, and amplified for celebrities.
That’s our natural tendency to believe talent and success equals joy and fulfillment. Because it’s tempting to think people who have it together in some areas, have it together in all areas. And that just isn’t true.
You can be gifted and feel worthless. You can be celebrated and feel unloved. You can be popular and feel alone.
All That Glitters Ain’t Gold
Some things go right in your life while other things go very wrong, at the same time. And the pressure to keep up appearances, especially when folks depend on you or esteem you, is crushing.
You can’t look at someone and tell whether depression has crossed into suicidal ideation, so staying in communication, in real life communication, is extremely important.
Having someone listen and knowing they care makes sharing your scariest thoughts and feelings so much easier.
The American Association of Suicidology offers the following as signs someone may be considering suicide (IS PATH WARM):
I-Ideation (stating suicidal thought)
This is by no means a complete list, so trust your gut. If you’re worried, seek help for them. The National Suicide Prevention hotline is always available at 1-800-273-8255.
Let’s look after one another.
VANESSA A. HARRIS is a blogger, designer of inspirational t-shirts, and the author of DADDY’s Girl Forever and its devotional. She’s a physician turned stay at home mom, who’s never lost her NY wit. She needs it for the three inventive children she raises with her husband in Texas.