I am 54 years old with a family history of depression. I began taking anti-depressants in my late 20's. They worked and still do. In the beginning, every couple of years I would stop taking the medication and think to myself...I can do this, I do not need the medication. I was always back on the medication within a couple of months. I have come to accept that depression is a mental illness and something I can’t help or tackle on my own. My husband supported me and helped me through my ups and downs.
About 5 years ago, I noticed my husband was not the same and was showing signs of depression. I talked to him about it, and having gone through it with me, I was surprised he was so dismissive about his own depression. He refused to acknowledge that he too was not suffering from depression. I believe his was brought on by his mother's Alzheimer's and Parkinson struggle and her ultimate death. When my husband was going for a routine doctor visit, I called the doctors office and told them I thought he was depressed and asked them to speak to my husband about it. They did and he was dismissive of them.
Three years ago, my husband committed suicide by hanging himself. Needless to say, the vision of him hanging in his underwear is a vision that is forever etched in my memory. It is also a vision that wakes me up in the middle of the night, still, in a cold sweat.
In addition to this memory, I have the memory of telling my son that his father was dead, committed suicide and watching a 26 year old man, still my baby, drop to his knees in the parking lot sobbing. This memory too also wakes me up some nights in a cold sweat.
I lost both of my parents during the past 5 years to illness/age, lost my husband to suicide and have seen my son experience something no 26 year old should have to experience.
Grieving is one thing, but to grieve the loss of someone you lost because of suicide is an entirely different process.
I struggle with the anxiety of worrying if something happens to me, my son will have no parents. To be honest this scares the shit out of me.
Writing this email has taken me 2 days but it has been cathartic in a sense.
If I can help one person, then it will be worth it.
"I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can
do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now.
Let me not defer not neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." - Unknown