November 23, 2013

Two days ago one of my friends told me that he was glad that I didn’t kill myself (sometime between 2012 and February 2013 I suffered from suicidal depression). I told him yeah, I’m glad too, then I asked what brought it up. He told me that a friend of his had just killed himself.

It’s things like this which indicate that we who have overcome something almost have a responsibility to talk about it, to get it into the public consciousness. By becoming fruitarian I’ve overcome seizures, depression, and physical inactivity, and I’ve talked at length about the seizures and inactivity. With the exceptions of snippets here and there, and a mention in an interview, I’ve avoided going over my depression at length. That has to change.

After asking me a series of questions in October 2012, my doctor told me that I was severely depressed and she recommended that I see a therapist. I told her no. Between then and February 19th, 2013 I tried to commit suicide through medication overdose three times.

The reason I refused to see a therapist was because of embarrassment. I’m on my dad’s health insurance, so if I went to therapy, he’d find out whether I wanted him to or not. He’d tell my mom, my mom would probably make me stay with her so she could supervise me I’d have to tell my friends why I was moving back home, and my life – whatever it was – would be shattered… Whether that would’ve turned out to be true or not, that was my thought process. I was too embarrassed to seek help.

And so I tried to kill myself three times with Vicodin and/or Lamictal XR.

I do want to note that, on the scale of suicide attempts, my overdoses pale in severity to people who have shot, cut, or hung themselves. I could have tried harder to kill myself, and I don’t mean to minimize others’ suicides by using my own smaller attempts as examples.

I do think that I can offer some universal insight, however.

As I mentioned above, I was too embarrassed to let other people know that I was depressed and regularly thought about killing myself. I assume that that’s exactly how it is with many other people who are depressed. You hear about it all the time – one day a kid is found dead in their room, and then everyone close to them says that they didn’t see it coming. That they had no idea he or she was suicidal.

The reason is because people can put on a good mask to protect themselves.

I know that when I was around people, I pretended to be as okay as I could be, then I would go home and try to go to sleep, frightened of the next day. I really had nothing to be scared of, but I was just scared. No one knew that, though, and so if one day one of my overdose attempts was successful, everyone would say they didn’t see it coming.

You can’t wait for one of your friend’s funerals to express your love for them. You can’t wish that you had made them always welcome at your home. I don’t mean to plant the seeds of doubt, but people you treasure could be depressed and suicidal and they’re just too embarrassed to tell anybody.

What you can do is express your love whether they seem depressed or not. What’s the worst that can happen if someone you love isn’t depressed and you tell them how much you appreciate them? You’ll receive thanks? But on the off chance that a person you reach out to is depressed, your love might make them feel a little bit safer in a world they’re scared of.

I know that there were a few select people who made me feel safer when I was depressed. They didn’t stop me from trying to kill myself, but their love might be what stopped me from trying to kill myself with a more effective method. Their love might be what helped me choose to adopt a healthy fruitarian lifestyle after my third suicide attempt. Without their love, I might have succeeded in ending my life.

Love is important. Express it. Whether you know it or not, your love might save the life of someone you cherish. Where others are embarrassed to share their fear, have the courage to share your love. I know that I could have used more of it when I was suffering.

And if you ‘re depressed and you’re reading this, two things: 1) You are loved (trust me on this one), and 2) A lot of your depression could be directly tied to the food you’re eating. More than nine months ago my diet was based around refined sugars and chemicals that altered my brain chemistry. I cut that junk out of my diet and I saw an immediate turnaround. You might see a turnaround as well if you cut out the junk too!

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