The wind like death pushes you, chills you to the bone, frightens you with its howl yet somehow you still end up on your feet. You have a choice. You, you alone must stand and walk on.
This was never the life I expected to live. It especially wasn’t supposed to be one filled with death and sadness. These were the cards I was dealt and now I have to play my hand. To have a better understanding of what I mean, in the past two years I lost not only my father but my close friend Dakota. Both were unexpected, my father passing away in a farming accident and Dakota taking his own life.
Suicide. Depression. They’re not topics that are talked about often or ones that people like to discuss. Mainly because when talking about someone with suicidal thoughts or depression they are looked at as weak, especially if that person is male. Growing up I knew that people can be depressed and that people commit suicide but I never understood why. I always had thought how could one’s life be so bad that they feel the need to end their own life. I was clueless about this all until I lost a very close person in my life Dakota, who committed suicide at the young age of 20. I never saw this coming or even knew he was depressed or going through a hard time, and that was really hard on me and still is. I was very confused and had so many questions that I needed answered. Why would he do this? What was so bad that couldn’t be fixed? Why was he depressed? I finally took it into my own hands to find out more information about depression and suicide, and what better person to go to then my second mother and Dakota’s mom Michelle. After talking with her a couple different times, I felt more educated and had a better understanding about depression and suicide. One main thing I learned was that anxiety plays a big role in a person’s life who is depressed and suicidal. Many people don’t know that depression and anxiety are genetic traits and go hand in hand with one another. It’s like cancer in sense where someone with cancer doesn’t decide or pick to have cancer, there is no explanation besides that they just have it. Unlike cancer, depression doesn’t have the support system and resources to help cure what is happening to that person on the inside.
I still had one major question I needed answered, why do people commit suicide? I learned that people with anxiety and depression struggle with many things, the big one being they are afraid to ask for help and feel inferior about themselves. With Dakota he knew he was struggling and sought to get better and change on his own. Little did anyone know that this is something he had a really hard time doing. He along with other people who go through wanting to get out of the darkness, struggle with the constant battle of there is the chance I could get better then end up back in this dark place. This causes an increase in their anxiety and rather than to keep fighting the battle of depression they kill themselves because they would rather be at peace in heaven than going back to that dark place.
I can’t control the wind but I can adjust the sails. Going forward I want to continue to spread awareness about depression, suicide, and anxiety. I have learned that you can try to help someone going through this, but also remember not everyone wants help or will expect help. Something that we as society can work on to change is to be more expecting and not shun or shame someone with depression or anxiety. Some tips as I go forward that I am going to keep in mind that I hope others keep in mind as well are:
- Encourage them to talk openly without the fear of judgement
- Don’t be afraid to come out and just ask “Have you thought about killing yourself?”
- Be supportive and be patient
- If they find something that makes them happy help them seek that
- Do not make them feel inferior