It's Christmas time. Everywhere you look people are draping colorful lights and tinsel. Radio stations are pouring bell-laden songs into the air. And everyone has so much to do in the next few weeks.
With all the bustle and color and sound, it is difficult to imagine that anyone could feel sad or alone. But for many who battle the invisible demon depression, this is one of the most painful times of the year. The reasons for this are myriad. Christmas is a confluence of symbols and for a lot of people it is nothing more than a stark reminder of what is lacking in their lives — a close relationship with family, money to buy things for people, people to buy things for and, unfortunately, the list goes on.
And while we may be tempted to eschew medical treatment for our minor injuries or illnesses, depression should never be ignored. Most people can live with the discomfort of a cold or sprained ankle. But many can't live with depression so they choose not to live at all.
I don't know you or your story. But I do know depression. And before seeking help for it my life consisted of fighting to get out of bed every morning and numbly trudging through my days, with the thought of nothing more than getting back in bed as soon as possible.
But then, I had a wake-up call. Three adored family members took their own life removing themselves from mine forever. And the loss is still felt. I see it in the faces of their mothers and fathers and their children. And I feel it in my heart.
I know the walls sometimes feel like they are closing in on you and everything seems pointless. Those feelings are real and powerful, but that doesn't make them true. I know that admitting the thoughts in your own head are turning against you is scary and embarrassing. Asking for help is never a weakness. Don't turn yourself over to those thoughts.
My plea to you this Christmas is that you do whatever it takes to stay with us. Medication isn't the answer in every case.
Sometimes just talking is. We are a blessed community with many, many men and women of God and churches with open doors and open arms. Seek them. Offer to help them serve the community. Sometimes seeing the burdens others live with is just the perspective needed to pull through.
There are a number of hotlines to call if you need immediate help including The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and Veteran's Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.
Don't let this year be your last. You have a unique gift to offer this world. Your energy is needed here. And your passing should be celebrated after a long life well lived. Not mourned as happening too early.
Page 2 of 2 - If you want to chat, share a story idea with me or even holler (yell at me in all capital letters), drop me a line at hrwhite@sulphurdailynews.