Don’t Underestimate the Pain

Sadly suicide is in the public discourse right now. The suicides of public personalities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have shocked many. Don’t underestimate the pain. They probably didn’t want to die. What they probably wanted was to escape the pain they felt inside. Sadder still is that they aren’t the only ones who thought about or committed suicide recently. If one has never suffered from depression or suicidal thoughts, it can be an incomprehensible foreign concept. It’s easy to underestimate the pain. Depression so great that your life is not worth living is worse than a dark cloud, it’s a thick, suffocating blanket of anguish with no end in sight. WHAT MAY BE HURTFUL The phrase ‘it’s lying to you’ is going around right now as a way to reassure someone who’s depressed. It’s too simple. Depression is insidious. It’s full of shaming, denigrating, harmful self-talk that is often cloaked in the truth. A chronic illness can be so painful you’d do anything to stop the pain. An addiction can be so overwhelming that it destroys the choices, the life he or she wanted to live. Don’t underestimate the pain that person feels inside. Telling a depressed person that depression […]

Alone for the Holidays

It’s Thanksgiving Day. There are many, many things for which I am grateful beyond words, but this isn’t a post about gratitude. Instead, it’s about being alone for the holidays. The holidays can be particularly stressful for those people who believe the holiday is about what should be done, for people who can not be with family, for people who have had recent personal challenges or tragedies, and for people who feel alone. This holiday season people I know and love are struggling with a variety of issues. As I prepared to write this week’s post, I thought of them and of past holidays where I have had struggles to overcome. I have spent holidays mourning and struggling. I have spent holidays alone. It took years before I felt comfortable doing what I needed at those times. I know I would have appreciated a few tips during that time, so I’m offering these few to you. If you are among those who are struggling with personal challenges or losses, remember it’s okay to feel whatever you are feeling at this time. I think Karen Mcfarland says it best: sometimes Reality Bites. If you are alone for the first time this […]