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It's Time Live Your Best Life

I woke up a few days ago to find out that Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain had both committed suicide. It broke my heart into a million painful pieces. It was overwhelming. I didn't know either of them personally, but still I cried for them as if they were family members. I guess they were members of my creative world family. Mental illness is something that we don't like to talk about, but just let me say," Depression is a BEAST and it is very real." I suffered with depression from the age of 5 till I was 30 and it was painful as heck. It's this deep dark hole that you just can't seem to pull yourself up out of. For those of you who say, 5 years old is too early for depression to set in hear this. I just read a very distrubing article about a 6 year old that took her own life just last week. I bout lost it completely. Couldn't stop crying thinking about this precious little girl who thought taking her life was the thing to do. She was in several different Foster Care situations and was being bullied by other children and just wanted the pain to stop.

That is all any of us who suffer from depression really want. We just want the pain to stop, for the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness to let go of our souls and go away. Sure it can be done with medication for some, but for many others the side effects of these medications bring on more feelings of sucide and anxiety. The hardest part about suicide is confessing out loud to family and friends that you may be feeling this way. " Oh you have so much to live for. It's selfish for you to think this way. Don't you know that you are loved and that you matter?" It has nothing to do with love or even being enough. With the stresses of life and a whole bunch of other things we just collapse under it's pressure and it is painful to the soul, the mind and body.

I can feel people's spirits. I am just gonna say it and put it out there. I can smell. see, taste, feel and hear depression. I don't know. Maybe it's the Synesthezia gene in me.. I was recently in San Franciso at an SCBWI conference and I shared from the podium that there were people in the room that were depressed. No, nobody boldly raised a hand to confirm what I said, but after I walk off of the stage a few people pulled me aside to say, " You were speaking to me directly."

Depression dosen't care what age, color, sexual orienation, religion or finanial status you have. It's doesn't care if you do or don't like the president of the USA. Depression is not a bigot when it comes to the human spirit. It will take anyone and everyone.

Sometimes life is so filled with disappointments, emptyness, bitterness, confusion and stress and so much more. We try to deal with it the best we can. I dealt with mine through prayer and mediation. I also saw a therapist. It felt good to get to the root of it for me. I was willing to really go deep. Even if hurt because this depression was sucking all the life out of me and I wanted so badly for it to stop! I talked to God and a very, very, small group of friends and family. I shared in a safe space if you will. A place where I felt comfortable being myself. This was not easy because I have a lot of judgemental people around me and I found out who they were and steered clear of them. I got with people who would ask, " Hey V, how you doin'? No, I mean really how are you doing?" This was key for me. I just couldn't flash a smile or say something funny. They felt me and reached out and I hollered a few times too. Might I make a suggestion. If someone you know is struggling with depression and they don't want to talk or share, consider writing a note or texting them. Give them their space, but if you feel like they are considering suicide don't hesitate to reach out and yes bring it up! With care!!!. I have heard too many stories from folks who have lost loved ones to suicide stating that they felt this person was going to take their own lives and then it's too late.

If meditation and prayer is not your thing then at least find a safe place to share what you are going through. A place where you will not be judged, but received and protected. Sometimes this is outside of familar family and friends and there are free places for counseling as well. This is not something to be ashamed of. Depression happens, but suicide doesn't have to be the only choice. Someone said that Kate must have thought she was doing the best thing for her family by taking her own life. I really don't know. All I am gonna say is, If you are feeling hopeless and just sad, there is help and no you just can't say," If people really cared about me they would reach out to me." Sometimes you have to yell for help! It's okay to say that you are hurting and sinking. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Get help please?

Love you,


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