One year ago today I made the stupidest decision of my life. Having struggled with depression for a long time, after losing the one person I truly loved and after years of hurt I sat on the edge of my bed like I did hundreds of times before with a bottle of pills and a bottle of vodka.
However it was different this time: beforehand whenever I contemplated taking my own life it was because I felt like I needed to escape and get away from life and all its problems. This time however I wanted to die.
It’s strange, peoples first reactions tend to always be the same with the questions “what were you thinking” “Why didn’t you talk to me?” or “what where you feeling” being repeated numerous times. There seems to be this misconception that to be in that position, that situation, where you consider ending it all that you must be terribly sad and not thinking clearly or that something must have happened ‘to push you over the edge’. That night, however, when I sat there with the bottle of pills I was thinking clearer than I ever did before and to say I was sad couldn’t be further from the truth, I was happy, an eerie sense of calm and content washed over me as I felt that this pain and unbearable suffering was soon going to end.
As humans in the 21st century we don’t deal with depression very well especially from an outsider’s point of view. We tend to deal better with terminal illnesses, disabilities and any organ of the body except the brain breaking down. People just do not know how to deal with someone who is depressed. There is this common misconception that someone is depressed because a relative died, because their life is falling apart etc. but that is sadness, a natural human reaction to something going wrong. Depression is experiencing this sadness when everything is going right, with no stimulating factors. Depression is being sad even when you’re happy.
storm over the serengeti. photos by nick nichols