For obvious reasons, the last week’s been rough, filled with countless emotions: fear, confusion, anger, disbelief. I’ve written countless drafts of new blog posts and nothing, absolutely nothing seemed to feel right. But today, in line with my last two posts on just how much one person can change the world, something caught my eye.
Yesterday Andrew J Parker, a well-regarded Toronto film critic, posted what others are calling a “suicide note” on his blog. Pieces of his posts appeared on his Twitter feed as well, sending the internet into a frenzy. What happened next is heartwarming. Concerned followers started tweeting others asking for his whereabouts, immediately alerted the authorities and got him help. Thank God.
Later, he tweeted back : “Even if you never met me, I thank you for today. Thanks for proving to me that the world isn’t a cold and broken place.” So here’s what is rambling around in my head. Rather than the deluge of insults that people so carelessly toss out to each other over the internet, isn’t this what it’s supposed to all be about ? People helping people? Sharing knowledge, exhibiting compassion, solving problems, expressing love? In his blog, Andrew wrote:
“It’s not that I don’t want to try to fix things. It’s that I need help fixing them. I need encouragement, and that’s something that I can’t get right now. There are things that I can’t admit to myself. I need to hit a complete reset button. I need to tear it all down, but I don’t know if I can build it back up.”
Well Andrew, your words are beautiful and you just educated the world profoundly on depression. Look how very brave you are and how much knowledge you possess:
- Depression is not about weakness or cowards. It’s a disease and nothing to be ashamed of ;
- We can have what others perceive as “all” and still experience depression. By the way, it’s not about having it all anyway;
- Money doesn’t fix it;
- Help is out there (see below) ;
- Experiencing clinical depression is SCARY beyond measure. If it does go away, thanks to our limbic systems, we are terrified it will return. That makes the whole thing worse; and
- It’s the darkest place you can imagine, please don’t shy away or judge those experiencing it–HELP & ENCOURAGE others.
So I challenge you today peeps. Who can you reach out today and help? What resources can you share? Who can you love? And if so moved, please encourage Andrew and send him a virtual hug @andrewjparker. We could all use a little more of that.
Patty Comeford Adams, JD
Ps. Two great resources for online depression support are:
2. Theresa Borchard’s amazing blog found here.
Other helpful resources are :
1.The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, suicidepreventionlifeline.org ;
We welcome any and all other suggestions below. Thank you for spreading the word!