Tag Archives: battling depression

Glad to Walk With, Not Just For, Carly on Suicide Prevention

Five years ago today, the world came one missed detail away from losing one of its most beautiful souls. It was the third time this caring, talented, engaging woman reached a point of desperation and pain she couldn’t see any other way to escape. I hope and pray it was her last attempt to die by suicide.

Since that attempt, Carly has worked hard to develop and implement the coping skills that allow her to see what used to seem like enclosed walls as hurdles or at least as rooms with doors and windows that she can pry open. Though it is still hard some days, Carly has figured out how to learn lessons and move on from mistakes rather than dwell in self-loathing. Carly has surrounded herself with energizing people who give her strength and renewal rather than those encouraging the thoughts and behaviors that sent her on too many downward spirals. She learned to love herself enough to accept that others could truly love the real Carly: along the way opening her heart, mind and soul to the extraordinary woman who is now her wife.

As I walk today in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Walk, I join Carly’s family and other friends in considering ourselves fortunate that we are not walking in memory of Carly Jacobson. We are walking with her. If her wife and mine do not mind, I might even hold her hand or hug her by my side for a few moments as we walk, grateful to know her and be part of her world.

For too many walking today, the walk is to honor, remember and cherish those who have died by suicide. In addition to our involvement in The CARL Project, No Stigmas and other mental health work, I am proud to join Carly as co-chairs of a new AFSP-Illinois Lived Experience Committee—established for those who have suffered through suicide ideation or attempt, as well as those currently struggling with pains they don’t know how else to escape.

It is our hope to learn from those who have struggled and share those insights so that, in future years, many more of our fellow AFSP walkers are doing so hand-in-hand or side-by-side with those they love.

#OOTDCCW #SuicidePrevention #MentalHealth

Message from a Friend

Life is crazy.

For too long, though, I thought the senseless I saw all emanated from inside.

Years passed with so much challenge and pain that darkness enveloped me, my chest pounded under the weight of a thousand failures, and my head ached for relief. I couldn’t see a way out—at least not one including me.

I focused on everything I could never change; failing to change almost anything I could control.

On my good days, it’s inconceivable to contemplate that not only did I wish to end my existence; I actively worked to execute my own ending.

How could I have wanted to miss this life—the one I live in today?

Why didn’t someone tell me?

I guess some people did.

Many, in their own way, if I’m honest.

I just didn’t believe them. It didn’t seem possible.

It seemed like a colossal lie.

The lie, it turns out, is that ending that pain was the better path.

(Over the coming months, I’ll be posting the insights here of a dear friend. In an act of love and bravery, she is sharing her pain and journey toward mental health in the hopes of helping to heal others. The original posts can be found through The CARL Project on Facebook here.)