Just when I think that Beyond Blue is just a bunch of yuppie whining, and the real problems of the world are found in the poverty-stricken corners of Somalia, not in the air-conditioned, spacious family rooms of middle- and upper-class America, I get a reminder from God to keep on talking about the harrowing sadness and the lonely exile of depression.
Because people are dying right here.
Just today, my former religion teacher, the one who turned me around in high school and helped me start on my path to recovery, told me that a good friend of hers took his life. She closed her e-mail with this: “I am so grateful you are on the other side of depression….I realize how powerful the illness can be.”
And then fellow blogger Susan Schechter wrote an amazing post today about a life she saved two years ago on a suicide hotline. She writes:
I was on the phone one night- around twilight- with a very very suicidal man- who not only had a gun in his hand and was clicking the chambers, but he was very very very drunk.
I spent a long time talking to him, and when the call was over I went out in the pitch black night, no stars, overcast clouds blocking them. I bummed a cigarette, and a lighter, sat down on a bench and cried.
Fast forward to present day. I got a phone call from my former supervisor, and made a commitment to start again on the hotline in the fall, after completing 35 hours of class work this summer. Then she said she got a letter from someone I talked to eons ago, and wanted to mail it to me.
The letter arrived Monday. It had beautiful penmanship, but poor spelling. It went in kind, “thank you for helping me save my life that night, and the few things you have taught me have saved me again when life got that bad. Fortunately, it never got that bad again. I am working now, joined a church and dating a lovely woman.
I wrote this poem for you. I hope you like it and again, thank you.
“There is a rose in the garden
A Beauty with thorns adminst her leaves
If one desires to pick her
He must ask his hands to bleed”