A prayer from the living world

posted at 9:20 pm on February 26, 2010 by Doctor Zero

The body of actor Andrew Koenig was found in Vancouver’s Stanley Park yesterday. His father, Walter Koenig, said that his son “took his own life, and was in a lot of pain.” Like most of my generation, I grew up with Walter Koenig as Chekhov on Star Trek, and he played a superb villain much later, on Babylon 5. Until his press conference yesterday, I didn’t realize he was a man of such incredible strength and dignity. He asked for his family to be left in peace to mourn their loss. I hope he won’t mind if I take this sad occasion to address others who might be following the road that ended in Stanley Park for Andrew. No matter how far you have gone down that road, there is always a path that leads away. I could offer no greater tribute to Andrew and his family than trying to help you take it, or at least see it.

You won’t find the beginning of that path in your house, or your room, or any other private place where you torment yourself, and wonder why a world you’re hiding from can no longer see you. You’ll have to step outside, and take a walk through your town. You’ll pass hospitals where the gift of life is unwrapped and presented to the universe. In another wing, life is held as precious treasure by families gathered around quiet beds, surrounded by tireless machines and their tired, but determined, keepers. Perhaps you’ll find a hospice, where the dying embrace their last opportunity to share their lives with all who receive the blessing of a seat beside them. You’ll pass churches and temples, filled with the sworn enemies of despair.

You may find yourself wishing you could give the unwanted years of your future to the clients of those hospitals and hospices. I did, years ago, when I stood where you are standing now. I was on my knees at the time, offering that trade with all my heart. It doesn’t work that way. Those who tend the hospices can tell you why, and the people in the churches and temples can explain why it shouldn’t.

Stroll past your local police station, where the noble calling to risk your life in the service of others is answered… and the worship of death as a solution to problems meets its humiliating end. Maybe you’ll spot a recruiting station, where men and women who love their friends and families accept a duty that could take them away forever… because they know others love their families too, and there is no safe way to build and protect the future for them.

If your walk takes you past sunset, watch the cars rolling into the driveways of apartments and houses. If you walk from night into morning, watch the people reluctantly leaving their homes, to provide for their families. Those people are not wasting their lives, but fulfilling them. They return home to enjoy their reward, and renew their inspiration. Every day, they write new pages in the human story. None of us will see the end of that tale… but I know you share my appetite to read another chapter, and then one more after that. You may have convinced yourself to ignore it, but it’s still there.

Step into a convenience store for a cup of coffee or chocolate, and take a look at the newspapers. They are filled with pleas for help that you could answer. From the inner cities of America, to the broken streets of Haiti, and around the world, there are places where the clocks are filled with nothing but desperate hours. Another pair of hands, or another few dollars of support, are always needed. The years ahead, which you regard as a painful burden, can be given to them. It will take effort, and courage… but along the way, I can promise that your life would stop feeling like a burden.

You may view suicide as your last chance to shake the pillars of a world that has turned its back on you. The world doesn’t need any more shaking. If you’ve been telling yourself that no one will miss you when you’re gone, you are wrong. Your suicide would tear a hole through the future, and nothing could ever fill the space where you used to be. You might think you’re alone, but you don’t have to walk more than a couple of miles from your house to see a building full of people who would be delighted to meet you. There are places like Suicide Hotlines, staffed by men and women who have spent their entire lives preparing to hear the sound of your voice, and greet every day hoping to learn your name.

You may be afraid to face the years ahead. You’re not the only one, and if you extinguish the light of your faith and wisdom, you consign others to darkness. You might see death by your own hand as the end of unbearable pain… but I ask you to think about Walter Koenig, facing a wall of cameras with quiet grace in the hours after finding his son’s body, and understand that it’s only the beginning of agony.

You might have decided your fellow men are rotten to the core, and you’re weary of their company. Listen to the music of Mozart, or look upon the work of Michelangelo, and consider the argument of those who profoundly disagree. Maybe part of your problem is that you’ve been listening to the wrong music, or looking at the wrong pictures. Dark waters are easy to drown in. The judgment of the human race will not lack witnesses for the defense, and they will make their case to you, if you give them a chance.

Now, take the last few steps back to your home, and set aside one sorrow or terror with every footfall, until your mind is clear. If you’re thinking of incinerating the remaining years of your life, surely you can spare a few minutes for quiet reflection, and hear this prayer from the living world:

Please don’t leave us. We need you.

It is a quiet prayer, spoken in a soft voice, but it’s never too late to listen.

Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Comment pages: 1 2 3

You’re a bit harsh and cynical, don’t you think? You don’t know what they feel or understand.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Although I appreciate the sentiment behind Dr. Zero’s post, it may or may not be helpful to those who are experiencing circumstantial depression. For those who suffer from clinical depression, Dr. Zero’s piece could be a sharp shove at the precipice of a high cliff.

This, beachgirlusa. One thing I can’t stand about liberals is that they don’t want us to judge them on the effects of their bad legislation, they want us to judge them on their good intentions.

I’m sure Doctor Zero has good intentions. But the effects are ambivalent at best. And so all you well-intentioned folks who are going to forward this in email or pass it around. You know what? Don’t. You have no idea what the effect will be.

misterpeasea on February 27, 2010 at 12:08 AM

misterpeasea on February 27, 2010 at 12:08 AM

Seconded.

The Lone Platypus on February 27, 2010 at 12:12 AM

misterpeasea

I’ll keep you in my prayers as well, if that’s ok with you. If it isn’t, well, I will anyway.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 12:13 AM

Unquestionably, some people with bio-chemical conditions get relief from medicines. Some odd and intractable moods happen in absence of bad life experiences. The mass-medicating of kids is unsettling, however, as there is a good chance the culture, loony parents, or schools made them that way in the first place.

Feedie on February 26, 2010 at 11:44 PM

I’m really, really hoping I’m misunderstanding you.

Chewy the Lab on February 26, 2010 at 11:56 PM

Someone copied and pasted this…not a double post. Just saw it and me’ eyebrows went up!

Chewy the Lab on February 27, 2010 at 12:13 AM

It may be harsh, but if I read Misterpeasea right, the cynicism comes from long experience and is warranted.

Eyas

I understand that, apparently he has or still is battling/suffering depression. That doesn’t mean that those of us with loved ones who suffer from depression don’t endure an agony of our own.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 12:16 AM

Eyas on February 27, 2010 at 12:03 AM

Sigh! Appreciate the comment, but if you read my post, you will see that he is absolutely, adamently opposed to any pharma intervention…again, sigh! I can’t force a 20 year old to “take his medication” two or three times a day.

I know it sounds like a cope out…but almost 10 years ago, I can remember getting hubby to move the frig out so I could clean behind it…any idea how many pills I found back there???

Chewy the Lab on February 27, 2010 at 12:21 AM

Sigh! Appreciate the comment, but if you read my post, you will see that he is absolutely, adamently opposed to any pharma intervention…again, sigh! I can’t force a 20 year old to “take his medication” two or three times a day.
Chewy the Lab on February 27, 2010 at 12:21 AM

Sorry, I misread your post. I thought he was refusing to take meds because he had gotten fed up with them not working. Maybe I read that into your post because it was my story at one point.

Eyas on February 27, 2010 at 12:29 AM

I suffered from a crippling depression in 2003/4 that came after a traumatic event in which I nearly lost my life. After being diagnosed with PTSD and, in the midst of profound despair, I was prescribed anti-depressants that I discovered I was allergic to…In my hopelessness, I turned to my faith in God. My belief that God cared about me and had a greater purpose for my life inspired me to get up off the couch. I began walking each day. First it was 100 yards…and eventually I could walk around the block, and then more.

I memorized scripture, in particular, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – “The weapons that we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” My stronghold was the erroneous belief that things would never get better. I learned that I was not defined by my fears…that Truth was not only worth listening to, but worth living for.

It took 9 months of discipline to recover from the deepest hole of my life…and months beyond that to be 100%. God did his work in me as I paid attention and chose to take my thoughts captive.

I found this article yesterday that made me smile. It seems that even the scientific community recognizes the powerful impact that belief in a personal, caring God can have on relief of major depression and anxiety. I had to smile when I read it…because I’ve lived it.

There is hope. I found Hope.

LEBA on February 27, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Sigh. I’m now learning how very ignorant so many people are about the plight of those who are in the grips of a mental illness, and the effects of the illness on their families.

Sometimes a person just cannot “snap out” of it. And their family members are just along for the ride.

And sometimes it gets so very hard that you just want to have some sort of a break from it! Just a little bit of peace….

So very fortunate for those who have never had to deal with a mother/father with Alzheimer’s, or a brother or child who is bi-polar.

Sometimes meds help, but most times it is just a matter of caring for them. I’ve been caring for my mom 24/7 for four years. My sibs help, but basically, I’m it.

Intrepid on February 27, 2010 at 12:31 AM

that was beautiful mister doctor zero

happyfeet on February 27, 2010 at 12:36 AM

I really liked “Boner”. He was a shlub character on “Growing Pains” but a lovable shlub. I still remember Boner’s greatest moment. Mike Seaver was running for student body President with Boner as his running mate for VP. Mike, being Mike, tried to scheme his way to a win. His opponent was also scheming for a win. Their schemes clashed. Finally, the school had enough of them and in the election assembly they annouced both President nominees were disqualified, and the Student Body President would be the only candidate who was completely innocent of any shenanigans. The curtain opens, and there was Boner looking dumbfounded that he’s Student Body President.

hadsil on February 27, 2010 at 12:37 AM

I’m sure Doctor Zero has good intentions. But the effects are ambivalent at best. And so all you well-intentioned folks who are going to forward this in email or pass it around. You know what? Don’t. You have no idea what the effect will be.

misterpeasea on February 27, 2010 at 12:08 AM

But then it just might have a gloriuos affect and perhaps our friends know us better than you do, misterpeasea. Not everyone facing darkness, wanting to give up, fits the clinical mold. I’m one of the happiest people in the world and I’m so weary I just want to stay in bed forever. And I have good reason – plenty of medical conditions such as RA, Crohn’s, Sjogren’s, all of which are treated with drug after mind-numbing drug, and none of which is adequately controlled. So I’m in pain all the time and the drugs only knock me out.

Not giving up for me is simply forcing myself to get out of bed. I’m too ill to work but beginning to realize that work forced me to move & that was so important. I must remake my life when I’m too exhausted to do anything. Add all sorts of other circumtances to the mix and there’s still not a pill that will make it easier.

But just knowing that others know there is light helps. Just being reminded that others are suffering and dragging themselves along gets me to continue dragging myself. misterpeasea, life is bigger than you seem to realize. And saving lives bigger still. It doesn’t fit only within a certain protocol. Pain and weariness are bigger than depression. And sometimes we just need a little reminder that will help us make it through today.

Drusilla on February 27, 2010 at 12:37 AM

I understand that, apparently he has or still is battling/suffering depression. That doesn’t mean that those of us with loved ones who suffer from depression don’t endure an agony of our own.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 12:16 AM

Believe me, I know. In fact, that is usually one of the primary factors in depression — i.e., guilt knowing how your behavior affects your loved ones.

Also, I’m that you’re right that misterpeasea is still battling depression, because it’s a life-long battle.

I won’t speak for him as to whether the harshness of his response has anything to do with his depression, but I will tell you that MY first two posts were made with indignation and anger — at Dr. Zero and some commenters who appear less sympathetic (or is it empathetic?) than you. This was unwarranted. But, that’s the depression revealing itself. I read Dr. Zero’s piece and experienced a visceral, overly-defensive reaction to it, because it’s not the first time I’ve heard such arguments/sentiments applied to me. Maybe I should have simply taken it with the intent with which it was written. However, it is still important to point out that such sentiments/arguments are worse than useless for those dealing with clinical depression — which is what I had assumed Koenig was dealing with.

Eyas on February 27, 2010 at 12:40 AM

Drusilla on February 27, 2010 at 12:37 AM

I’m on your side, Drusilla. It’s hard for you, but you are doing what you have to do, and that’s so good.

Blessings to you, friend.

Intrepid on February 27, 2010 at 12:41 AM

I’m usually hesitant to pass advice on the issue; but if your son has not been prescribed an MAOI, I would recommend at least trying it. The risks are overstated, especially for a physically fit young person, and it may work where more commonly prescribed meds have failed.
Eyas on February 27, 2010 at 12:03 AM

This is worth considering. Take great care to monitor things and have a doctor that knows what he’s doing. You may need to seek a university medical center. Dietary restrictions appear oppressive, but reactions may hinge more on individual quirks. Stay away from the obvious stuff. Modest quantities of other things are likely OK.

I’m really, really hoping I’m misunderstanding you.
Chewy the Lab on February 26, 2010 at 11:56 PM

I should’ve qualified this to include stimulants. The statistical growth of these things is what I meant — not directed at individuals with obvious mood disorders. Public schools are known to push these things without medical qualification.

Feedie on February 27, 2010 at 12:43 AM

I’ve been in those dark waters. Just climbed out of them a few weeks ago. And every day, I’m grateful that I didn’t drown

SnarkVader on February 26, 2010 at 10:34 PM

I’m very grateful you did the crawling out part, and that you didn’t do the drowning part!
I truly understand that sometimes it takes more guts to do the former rather than the latter…good for you! And good for you that you understand how much more hurtful it would be to those who love you to take (what may seem to you, at times), the easy way out.
To me, taking one’s own life is the ultimately selfish act, while stepping back from that endless precipice is the ultimate selfless act.
Maybe it’s the late hour, but all this koombaya chit has me a little misty eyed:DZ, I’m pretty non-plussed here…I think, based on the comments (mine included…jeez I’ve never told anyone this chit, and I put it on “Oye-Vay????”)???,
You not only hit a literary home run, but a humanitarian one as well. Bless your eveh lovin’ heart!
Time for Chewy to go night night!

Chewy the Lab on February 27, 2010 at 12:46 AM

I read Dr. Zero’s piece and experienced a visceral, overly-defensive reaction to it, because it’s not the first time I’ve heard such arguments/sentiments applied to me.

I understand this. There are circumstances and/or conditions other than depression that are suffered and have triggered similar responses in me: anger and the feeling that the person doesn’t get it, can’t understand what it’s like, is unsympathetic, etc., when I know that wasn’t the intention.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 12:48 AM

To me, taking one’s own life is the ultimately selfish act, while stepping back from that endless precipice is the ultimate selfless act.

I just think some aren’t capable of stepping back and there’s a difference.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 12:49 AM

Thanks Doc. For some reason, this reached me tonight. Thanks AP for promoting it, or I would have missed it.

jimmy the notable on February 27, 2010 at 12:54 AM

ChewytheLab, Beachgirlusa, Intrepid, and especially Robert17;

Thank God for loving, enduring, unbelievably patient people like you. I wish I had had someone like you. I just hope you know how loved and appreciated you are to your loved one with depression (even though it might not always seem that way).

Eyas on February 27, 2010 at 12:54 AM

I’m sure Doctor Zero has good intentions. But the effects are ambivalent at best. And so all you well-intentioned folks who are going to forward this in email or pass it around. You know what? Don’t. You have no idea what the effect will be.

misterpeasea on February 27, 2010 at 12:08 AM

Ya know, this is a poyfect example of first impressions being correct. I chose to take misterpeasea’s comments in this thread at face value in fact, cutting him a tad’ o slack for just being crass, but not maliciously so.
Um, sorry changed my mind. this clown is a total sleeze, IMO. Sorry he’s tainted the thread, and I hope I haven’t fallen prey to some inartful trap that brings this down into the gutter, as I think it has been a very civil, very thoughtful discussion…I just can’t take this veiled chit any more. Sorry.

Chewy the Lab on February 27, 2010 at 1:00 AM

I wish I had had someone like you.
Eyas

You do. We’re all right here if you need us. Many of us HA posters have formed some great online friendships, exchanging email addresses or Facebook and the like. We’ll be glad to do that if you like.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 1:03 AM

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 12:49 AM

I absolutely agree. But, if anyone is even considering taking their own life, I want to rant and rail and tell them how selfish that is…I’m certainly not going to give them permission and say, it’s ok, I know life is painful.

But, Beachgirl, I know that isn’t what you meant. i think we’re actually drinking out of the same side of the sippy cup.

Chewy the Lab on February 27, 2010 at 1:04 AM

Ya know, this is a poyfect example of first impressions being correct. I chose to take misterpeasea’s comments in this thread at face value in fact, cutting him a tad’ o slack for just being crass, but not maliciously so.
Um, sorry changed my mind. this clown is a total sleeze, IMO. Sorry he’s tainted the thread, and I hope I haven’t fallen prey to some inartful trap that brings this down into the gutter, as I think it has been a very civil, very thoughtful discussion…I just can’t take this veiled chit any more. Sorry.

Chewy the Lab on February 27, 2010 at 1:00 AM

I see.

Well, on that note, I’ll leave before I take back nice things I’ve said and leave shitty things in their place. Ta-ta.

Eyas on February 27, 2010 at 1:04 AM

Yeah, that’s the real sad part.

I do wonder about when life is a burden and we – the ones left with the burden of guilt – counsel against ending that burden, if our motives aren’t selfish. i.e. whether we are not saying ‘do not shift your burden unto me/us’, as living saves it from us. I don’t approve of suicide, but I do wonder about that.

Spirit of 1776 on February 26, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Eyas on February 27, 2010 at 1:06 AM

‘nite all.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 1:09 AM

‘nite all.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 1:09 AM

Do not post here a lot, but I enjoyed your writing.

4reds on February 27, 2010 at 1:10 AM

Eyas on February 27, 2010 at 1:04 AM

Um, did you note that this was directed at misterpeaseas and not you??
Please don’t take offense where there was no “fence.”

Now, let’s kiss and make up, Kay?

Chewy the Lab on February 27, 2010 at 1:13 AM

Thank you, Doc, for sharing this thoughtful slice of inspiration and hope.

For those who think Doc’s piece is a magic pill for those suffering depression, you may want to look at it a bit differently.

katy on February 26, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Thank you, katy, for gracefully expressing that sentiment.

Elizabetty, Lourdes and misterpeasea are associating suicide with depression in this situation because Andrew Koenig suffered from clinical depression

No offense, but this won’t help. And it might hurt. Depressed people aren’t logical. They aren’t open to new things. They aren’t interested in being cheered up. You can’t cheer them up. It’s chemicals in their brains. Unless you’ve taken drugs that affect those chemicals, you really can’t comprehend how much you are controlled by them.

misterpeasea on February 26, 2010 at 10:08 PM

I completely understand and agree. Speaking from experience.
It took a long time to accept that stuff like this and many of comments are written with only the best intentions and the sense of condescension is all me.
Some of them are straight up condescending, but that’s just the way life is.

(The above positive statement is sponsored by various pharmaceutical manufacturers. Thanks, pharmaceutical manufacturers!)

racecar05 on February 27, 2010 at 1:16 AM

Wow. Beautiful piece, and oh so true.

changer1701 on February 27, 2010 at 1:20 AM

I’m sure Doctor Zero has good intentions. But the effects are ambivalent at best. And so all you well-intentioned folks who are going to forward this in email or pass it around. You know what? Don’t. You have no idea what the effect will be.

misterpeasea on February 27, 2010 at 12:08 AM

Well — You have never have any idea what the effect will be, regardless of anything you try with a suicidal person.

But if someone you know is suicidal, you just have to make some effort to help. Doing something, rather than not daring to do something to help someone else is key.

Doc’s whole essay might not help in many cases. But to express one or two dignified, humble, or humane sentiments like some of the ones in this essay — and avoiding overcomplicating — might well open a window for a deeply depressed friend or relative.

Just from my own personal experience, I have found, what works in helping to walk-back a person away from a precipice is to be simply present; be available to listen; be kind; show whatever quiet strength and dignity you may be able; take your own ego out of the picture if possible in case the suicidal person becomes angry or provocative; and just take the suicidal person seriously.

Perhaps shine a light with one or two of Doc’s beautiful things if the circumstance is good for it.

Edouard on February 27, 2010 at 1:26 AM

Incredible piece.

Hawkins1701 on February 27, 2010 at 1:36 AM

Doc Zero, thank you. This is one of the best things you’ve written. My brother tried to commit suicide many years ago, and it was truly a shattering experience. Now I know why your writing has such depth–because you’ve been through those dark valleys.

I don’t think that Doc is trying to lecture or condescend, but he is instead is trying to extend a hand of hope. I have suffered from deep and debilitating depression. I know that sometimes I can hear what one person is saying to me when I cannot bear to hear another person say the same thing. The difference is how I perceive the motive and character–are they offering words to try to heal lightly a deep wound? Well, then the words become platitudes. Or are they offering words from their heart out of compassion or their own experience of pain? Then the words reach me.

INC on February 27, 2010 at 1:47 AM

I don’t think that Doc is trying to lecture or condescend, but he is instead is trying to extend a hand of hope.

I agree.

I know that sometimes I can hear what one person is saying to me when I cannot bear to hear another person say the same thing.

Well said. I do that too, I wonder if we all do, if it’s just human nature?

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 1:56 AM

Outstanding essay. Depth, nuance, compassion, inspiration.

For you who are prone to suicidal depression, the time to absorb the wisdom of these words is when you are not ill. Inscribe them on your heart for a time when you will need them. It is too late when the vortex is pulling you under. You are delusional. You are beyond rational thought. You cannot read, you cannot think, you cannot see. You can only feel: excruciating, unimaginable, unendurable, and unending pain. When you are in that place, you know these precious words will only mock you. So learn them now.

God bless all of you who have survived a loved one’s suicide. The rage and guilt, the pain, the shame, the brick wall of incomprehension. It’s not anyone’s fault. Remember that we pass on, we don’t pass away. One day you will meet again, and then you will understand.

entropent on February 27, 2010 at 3:12 AM

Some here have bought the lie of a medical establishment that has run out of answers and likes to medicate problems away, that all depression is chemical. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Severe depression can, indeed, be brought on by imbalances or “bad wiring,” but is much more often the cause is entirely psychological. This is evidenced by the vastly increasing numbers of clinically depressed people in the Western World. When people had family and God and purpose in their lives they were much less likely to wander down the road that leads to depression. We, on the other hand, teach our kids that they are a cosmic accident destined for nothing but eventual nothingness then send them out into the world hoping they won’t come to any logical conclusions about what we taught them.

Our society has managed to destroy the family and remove God from day to day life for many, and with that has removed purpose and hope for millions. Our society grows more and more nihilistic and selfish by the day and the old answers that the existentialist offered up just aren’t cutting it anymore. So instead of existing for a purpose, we attempt to entertain or drug ourselves out of thinking about the big, empty nothingness inside of us.

29Victor on February 27, 2010 at 3:20 AM

Thanks Doc for this excellent post.

Just wondering how many commenters suffer from clinical depression or manic-depression?

Has Doctor Zero been diagnosed with clinical depression or manic-depression?

Eyas on February 26, 2010 at 11:33 PM

I have been diagnosed with bipolar depression.

No offense, but this won’t help. And it might hurt. Depressed people aren’t logical. They aren’t open to new things. They aren’t interested in being cheered up. You can’t cheer them up. It’s chemicals in their brains. Unless you’ve taken drugs that affect those chemicals, you really can’t comprehend how much you are controlled by them.

misterpeasea on February 26, 2010 at 10:08 PM

You don’t know that it won’t help. When I have been most depressed, I haven’t been interested in “being cheered up”, in the sense of having someone who doesn’t understand tell me that things aren’t hopeless when I “know” that they are. But knowing that other people cared about me enough that suicide will cause them enormous pain almost certainly saved my life more than once, keeping me alive until I could get more serious help. That might not be enough for a lot of people, but it was enough for me.

So yes, this post will help at least a few of us. No one said it was a magical cure that will fix everything.

Probably the one thing that is most important for me is that I have promised family that I will call them to talk before I do anything. I know psychiatrists and therapists will always tell patients to do that, but I’ve never found that very compelling, and I doubt many others do either. A promise to a parent, or a brother or sister is a much harder thing to blow off, even if you are depressed. Again, speaking only for myself.

RINO in Name Only on February 27, 2010 at 5:49 AM

Excellent essay, Doc. Your writings and thoughts are superb. Seriously.

This story helps me get through the tough times:

One Night justltl had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, justltl looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you you’d walk with me all the way, but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. What’s with that?” The Lord replied, “Look justltl, I love you and find you mildly amusing and would never leave you. But do you have any clue how tough it is being God? You think that I, being a supreme being and all, never need a little break? During those times when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I rode you like a rented mule. I appreciate it.”

justltl on February 27, 2010 at 5:53 AM

And justltl said to the Lord, “Jaysus! Are you serious?”
And the Lord winked at justltl and said to him, “Ah…no.” “Now quit yer whining and giddyup.”

justltl on February 27, 2010 at 6:11 AM

As I have told gamers who complain about how difficult those games I did run were: ‘Death is easy. Life is difficult.’

Everyone born in mortal life shall die.

Making a life worth living is what we are here to do, no matter how we got here that is our task. It is why we were born, our parents wanted to pass that gift to us so that we may learn from them and acknowledge the gift of the hardest task of all.

At multiple points in my life I was faced with how easy accepting oblivion would be. It was not simple agony that leads to that path, though I did have that with my own body turned against me time and again. I am not a social individual, one who adores being with people and gains energy or solace on a normal basis from being in company. The company of a companion or good friend I can do, and a bit more for those small communities I could make a home in. But of those I had neither in the first times where I walked in darkness.

Those blinded by the light absolve their pain in it and become numb to life. Those who wallow in despair and pain become that and life is hated. I cannot do either and when in the Dark I headed just enough to the Light to walk in Grey. Eyes forward, step by step and each day its own challenge I swore to myself this is the path to keep: no rapture and no encompassing agony.

My body I can treat well and it still found ways to fail me, I do not ask for that, do not seek it, blame no one, and only seek the knowledge of what it is I get and how to address it. Spare me pity and consolation, you insult me no matter how kindly you intend the words. I dare not become raptuous and lose myself on one side, nor succumb to the depth of agony and despair on the other. Point me not to the ‘good’ just the ‘better’ shall do, and if you cannot distinguish that they are different then you do me no good with kindly words well intentioned.

Seek not to tell me such a burden will be lifted. Life is the burden we all carry. Some hop and skip off to a land where their first trouble makes them sprint from light to dark. Others can march into blind darkness, turn a corner and become engulfed by light. I do not skip nor trudge, but march the middle path. And I do, indeed, march with purpose.

Death is so very easy.

Life is so very difficult.

And that burden I give up to no one as I march the middle path and I shall take no easy way out to one side or the other. I am equal to my life, tell me not that it is not up to my task of living. I got stuck with my life and, much, much more importantly, it got stuck to me. I shall have a life that is mine, crafted by me until I breathe my very last as my life gives up hope on me, never because I gave up hope on it.

ajacksonian on February 27, 2010 at 6:57 AM

I don’t think that Doc is trying to lecture or condescend, but he is instead is trying to extend a hand of hope.

I totally agree, and I sincerely apologize if anything I wrote might have appeared to imply that.

Although nobody close to me has intentionally taken their own lives by committing suicide, I have lost a cousin, a boyfriend and a friend to drug overdoses
To me that just a different means to come to the same end except they all knew how they were hurting the people who loved them every time they used and just didn’t care.

racecar05 on February 27, 2010 at 7:07 AM

Hmmmm.

As someone with a very unhappy childhood I can really only offer one thing:

You have to learn to forgive and let things go.

It’s a basic teaching of Jesus but you don’t have to be Christian to consider it. I’m not. But my life didn’t really start until I learned it. Unfortunately there are many people who still cannot and they are bound by chains stronger than steel until they do.

memomachine on February 27, 2010 at 7:42 AM

I love you Doctor Zero. Whoever you are.

Thank you. This was beautiful.

SueM on February 27, 2010 at 7:42 AM

Very well said.

But, some people are broken from birth. They fight demons in their minds and in their hearts. Some are monsters, some are hapless victims who can never see a sunrise or hear the sound of birds in the spring. They just can’t.

Okay. And some are normal until they reach a certain age and something pushes them over the edge. Some of them can make it back. Some of them can’t.

Depression of that magnitude reaches psychotic proportions. Tell them not to do it, that they’ll be missed, that they have everything to live for. It doesn’t matter. They’re in so much pain that all they want is to die.

It’s not about shaking up the world and making a statement. It’s not about being romantic. It’s about not being able to withstand the pain anymore.

eyedoc on February 27, 2010 at 7:58 AM

My best friend suffered from bi-polar disorder & when her husband finally told me, I just couldn’t believe it.
A few years ago at Christmastime, she commited suicide w/ a gun in her parents’ basement.
I remember trying to be a good friend & listen & try to be a voice of reason, but it never worked.
I remember going through town where she lived one day trying to find her & I couldn’t so I went home.
I never saw her again & for a long time I blamed myself bcs I thought perhaps something I could have said would have caused her to think.
But I know that is not true.
So many of these people still cannot manage their condition, even if they have many loved ones helping them.
It is so tragic.
My prayers go to this family bcs I know their pain.
I still miss my friend so very much.
She was such a light in all our lives.

Badger40 on February 27, 2010 at 8:01 AM

There are many different reasons why someone could reach this state, and no one solution. Drugs, therapy, religion, etc. might offer help to some people, and I’d suspect these people don’t end up committing suicide.

But I do strongly agree with those who’ve already said that there are those who aren’t ignorant of the beauties of the world and the natural, serene, sublime qualities of life that Doc tried to identify. And because they are aware, and cannot partake because of internal forces they deem beyond their own control and which are anathema to even their own sense of right and wrong, they’re left with no recourse other than to think they’re a mistake, even to themselves. Try finding and reaching these people. My sense is they end up like Mr. Koenig. It’s a tragedy when life is wasted, for whatever reason.

JiangxiDad on February 27, 2010 at 8:03 AM

ajacksonian on February 27, 2010 at 6:57 AM

Gamer? As in old-style RPG? Of the Gygax style?
I confess, I am a ‘retired’ DM & I have lived a lot of places.
Anyone ever notice that in the world of RPGs, there seems to be a large amount of very creative, but easily depressed or disturbed people?
Many gamers I have known are ‘off’ in some mental way.
From the minor to the serious.
I wonder if there is any connection to obsessing with things like that & certain conditions.
Even a sane person can get caught up in such things.

Badger40 on February 27, 2010 at 8:05 AM

Drugs, therapy, religion, etc. might offer help to some people, and I’d suspect these people don’t end up committing suicide.

From my experience knowing 2 people w/ bi-polar disorder & one psychotic, when they are taking their meds, they are their wonderful normal selves.
It is when they go off their meds that they do not even resemble the person they really are.
Many times with gentle reminders to continue their meds, these people can do well & cope.
This is why it is important to never abandon, at least emotionally, your friends who have these issues.
I truly believe that by just being there & listening you can make a difference.
It may not always work, but we cannot give up on them.

Badger40 on February 27, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Bless you Doc. That was beautiful. I’ll keep it with mine if I should need it someday.

RobCon on February 27, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Try finding and reaching these people. My sense is they end up like Mr. Koenig. It’s a tragedy when life is wasted, for whatever reason.

JiangxiDad on February 27, 2010 at 8:03 AM

NOT meant to imply such people can’t be helped, only meant to say many such people have erroneously concluded they can’t be helped.

JiangxiDad on February 27, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Doc,
Thanks for another great post.
Years ago, I dated a woman whose father had commited suicide. There was a deep sadness about her that no psychiatrist could remedy. The man was a classicly educated professor. He had published works and was widely known in his field. However, he had no faith.
I’ve had many physical challenges in my life. Recently, there was a 13 month period in which I had 5 surgeries. Where it not for my faith, I don’t know where I’d be right now.
I have a new client that is 70 years old and suffers from pancreatic cancer. This man is a man of God. He suffers with a grace that is remarkable.
Doc, as this increasingly secular world continues to head toward economic disaster, your post is timely, indeed. When people lose their earthly posessions, their health, their youth and their hope, I pray that we all turn to the only REAL hope, the rock of ages.
Doc, God bless you and all here at Hot Air.

mountainmanbob on February 27, 2010 at 8:39 AM

increasingly secular world
mountainmanbob on February 27, 2010 at 8:39 AM

The main problem.
God bless you, too.

Badger40 on February 27, 2010 at 8:49 AM

Beautiful, thank you.

Mojave Mark on February 27, 2010 at 9:25 AM

From my experience knowing 2 people w/ bi-polar disorder & one psychotic, when they are taking their meds, they are their wonderful normal selves.
It is when they go off their meds that they do not even resemble the person they really are.
Many times with gentle reminders to continue their meds, these people can do well & cope.

Badger40 on February 27, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Yes. Although “gentle reminders” will not always work. The “catch-22″ is that, when stable on medication, a bipolar becomes convinced they have been cured, and no longer need medication.

It is no shame to have a physical disability. But your mind is the core of your identity. To lose control of your mind is to lose control of who you are. No one wants to believe that their mind is so “defective” that they will require medication for the rest of their life. The issue of the need for medication for a bipolar is a matter obscured by a jumble of pride, shame, fear, and helplessness.

It is so much easier to believe the fiction that, once stable, one is cured. It’s why so many bipolars will always go off their medication. It is the nature of the beast.

entropent on February 27, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Some here have bought the lie of a medical establishment that has run out of answers and likes to medicate problems away, that all depression is chemical. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Severe depression can, indeed, be brought on by imbalances or “bad wiring,” but is much more often the cause is entirely psychological. This is evidenced by the vastly increasing numbers of clinically depressed people in the Western World. When people had family and God and purpose in their lives they were much less likely to wander down the road that leads to depression. We, on the other hand, teach our kids that they are a cosmic accident destined for nothing but eventual nothingness then send them out into the world hoping they won’t come to any logical conclusions about what we taught them.

Our society has managed to destroy the family and remove God from day to day life for many, and with that has removed purpose and hope for millions. Our society grows more and more nihilistic and selfish by the day and the old answers that the existentialist offered up just aren’t cutting it anymore. So instead of existing for a purpose, we attempt to entertain or drug ourselves out of thinking about the big, empty nothingness inside of us.

29Victor

Very well said. I agree 100%

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Thank you, Doc. That was beautiful.

lionheart on February 27, 2010 at 9:54 AM

When Boner (Koenig) left growing pains, the character joined the Marine Corps. That was the same year I left home and joined the Marine Corps. As always, when those people who were on TV shows during your childhood die, it kind of hits home a bit. Darn shame.

gator70 on February 27, 2010 at 10:14 AM

In keeping with Dr. Zero’s excellent peice, I came across this book reading in fashionable, hip and ultra left Brooklyn New York this week.

Mar 4, 2010, 8:00PM to 9:00PM
Location Brooklyn, NY USA
Cost $5.00
Address 543 Union Street (at Nevins)
Details Death Become Them, Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous, and the Notorious, journalist/author Alix Strauss will discuss in an illustrated lecture based on her research for her book Death Becomes Them, the phenomenon and history of suicide and the seductive appeal of celebrity suicide in Western culture. Over the course of her lecture, she will present fascinating details leading up to the last days of icons of celebrity suicide such as Virginia Woolf, Sigmund Freud, Spalding Gray, Kurt Cobain, Diane Arbus, and Vincent van Gogh. After reading from selected passages, she will discuss the methodology, pathology, and psychology of these luminaries, with an eye towards understanding why such brilliant people all chose this particular end. She will also touch on societys needs to mass mourn, the cultural phenomenon of funerals, and the role that mental illness and addiction play in suicide.

Along with the reading and lecture, Alix will also do a quiz, complete with prizes. Specially packaged copies of Death Become Them, which come with a Quija Board Key chain or a Happy Childhood Memories Spay, will be available for purchasing and signing. Those who buy copies will also get a special gift a small bottle of Funeral Home perfume, a coffin filled with skeleton mints or a waterproof mascara.
Alix Strauss is author of Death Become Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous, and the Notorious. She also a media savvy social satirist, and featured lifestyle and trend writer. She is the author of the award winning short story collection, The Joy of Funerals (St. Martins Press).

RobCon on February 27, 2010 at 10:27 AM

This is such a beautiful cri de coeur.

Thank you, Doctor Zero.

Josephine on February 27, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Unquestionably the most beautiful and thought provoking piece I’ve ever read on a political blog.

Thanks.

Dorvillian on February 27, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Anger often accompanies despair in suicidal people I believe. They want to make someone else hurt as much as they are hurting, and suicide is sure to accomplish that. I know of one person who shot himself in the head in the middle of his brother’s birthday party.

Disturb the Universe on February 27, 2010 at 11:08 AM

It’s not just a matter of please don’t leave us…. but also, please get help.

One of my friends, every year for his birthday, requests us to donate to a suicide prevention hotline. I’ve had friends who have thought about suicide, attempted suicide, and in one case, was successful in completing it.

I know some are taking issue with Doc Zero’s post, but think of it as trying to get people to pause, to stop the action – to get people to ask for help. Some of us haven’t experienced this first-hand, and don’t know what to do. We are trying the best we can. In the case of some of my friends, for the most part my piece has been trying to convince them to get help [and in some case making sure a local friend got them to the hospital when that was necessary].

meep on February 27, 2010 at 11:10 AM

I am sure someone has already linked this but it’s very touching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK3zs7EV6Tk

You never know how reaching out will effect someone.

Cindy Munford on February 27, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Edouard on February 27, 2010 at 1:26 AM

29Victor on February 27, 2010 at 3:20 AM

missl on February 27, 2010 at 7:11 AM

And of course DZ — all excellent.

AH_C on February 27, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Suicide is always, and I mean ALWAYS, the easy way out for the individual, but it causes the survivors lives to change drastically, and not always for the best.

Suicide is probably the single most selfish act anyone can pull off.

I’m sorry if you don’t like how that sounds, but it’s true.

uknowmorethanme on February 27, 2010 at 11:19 AM

I seem to have something in my eye…

Bob's Kid on February 27, 2010 at 11:26 AM

The Koenig family members are all in my prayers today. What a terribly sad time for them. May God surround each of them with His love and protection, and comfort them in this time of sorrow. And may He also bless Andrew’s soul, and grant Andrew the peace that evaded him in his short life.

Drusilla on February 27, 2010 at 12:37 AM

And Drusilla, please know that you are not alone in your struggles. People you don’t know and will probably never meet are thinking of you and praying for you.

AZCoyote on February 27, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Dr. Zero, this is perhaps the finest piece I have ever read of yours, God bless you sir and my most sincere condolences to the Koenig family…

doriangrey on February 27, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Thank you for that, it was beautiful.

hmfearny on February 27, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Suicide is probably the single most selfish act anyone can pull off.

I’m sorry if you don’t like how that sounds, but it’s true.

uknowmorethanme on February 27, 2010 at 11:19 AM

I agree.
My grandfather committed suicide w/ a gun.
It was 3 yrs later that we found out he didn’t die of a heart attack (crazy family).
I have always felt cheated as a grandchild that he took this way out-I was 14yo.
I would have loved to have known him.

Badger40 on February 27, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Thank you, Doc, for a beautifully written plea. My prayer is that soomeone will read it and pause to consider. It broke my heart to see Walter Koenig on the news in his grief. He and his family are in my prayers.

kingsjester on February 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM

To me, suicidal depression is a small dark room with no doors or windows. There seems to be no way out and no way for the light of hope to reach inside. Confined in that cell, the occupant doesn’t see the light on the outside that pounds at the walls, straining to get in. Sometimes a ray of light makes its way through the wall. Sometimes it doesn’t. To call the light useless because it doesn’t always make it through is foolish. We all need the light and we can all work to be the light. The more of us who choose to be the light, the less darkness will fall on those around us. Thank you, Doctor Zero, for being the light.

SKYFOX on February 27, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Thank you, Dr Zero.
Our words to others can have a profound effect. After a divorce that had me reeling and absolutely sure that I was without any worth, I applied for a job as a hospice nurse.
One week after I started a co-worker said to me, “I am so glad that you have come here to work for us.” Those words were like magic, and lifted me so much that five years later they can still bring tears to my eyes.
The hospice patients and their families were my life preservers, helping them, helped me. It is an honor for me to have this job. I bear witness to the love that is big enough to care for others when they are at their most vulnerable and most needy. I am the lucky one.

tessa on February 27, 2010 at 1:18 PM

A great piece Doctor Zero, beautiful and moving. Many thanks for sharing it with us. And thanks to the posters for offering stories and for the positive and helpful comments.

tartan on February 27, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Thank you.

MLEH on February 27, 2010 at 1:40 PM

I can’t fault anyone for wanting to be finished with this insane existence. Life is full of nothing but suffering and disappointment. If someone acts on their decision to kill themselves there shouldn’t be any reason to mourn them. They have simply opted out and you might as well respect that decision, especially since you can’t change it. None of us actually asked to be born in the first place.

daesleeper on February 27, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Suicide is probably the single most selfish act anyone can pull off.

I’m sorry if you don’t like how that sounds, but it’s true.

uknowmorethanme on February 27, 2010 at 11:19 AM

I don’t think this is the case. The truly suicidal are beyond the point of rational choice, because they are delusional. Those who commit suicide are far too wrapped up in their own pain to have any facility to empathize with survivors. If there is no choice involved, is it really selfishness? These people are simply mentally ill.

And of course, it is never useful to say this to someone suffering depression. Condemnation and guilt are never helpful.

entropent on February 27, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Having had several friends and family members (and patients)who suffer from depression and mental illness, what seems to offer the most help is a combination of the right medication and hope. Hope can come in the form of faith, love, purpose or direction but it seems to me to be equal in importance to medication. I think Doc Zero is spot on offering the hope part because it is often not apparent to the one who is suffering and it falls to us to attempt to help the sufferer see it. Unfortunately, some people are not reachable but that is never a reason not to try. If nothing else, it can help those left behind to know that they did everything they could think of.

One example of the strength of hope is my sister-in-law, who is schizophrenic and always on/off her meds and in/out of the hospital. The period of her life when she was the most independent and the most productive was the 10 years she took her meds regularly and was directly involved in the day-to-day upbringing of her daughter (her ex had custody but she saw my neice daily). When my neice left town to attend college out-of-state, my sister-in-law eventually stopped her meds and ended up being dragged by the police from a bar where she was hiding from the “CIA” to be placed in a mental health facility that she has never left. She was even suicidal for a while. Unfortunately, being warehoused with three squares a day, a guaranteed bed and monitored medication attends to her physical needs but gives her no direction or purpose and little motivation to try to find them. Having seen how powerful having direction and purpose were for her has made me realize how important they are for everyone.

inmypajamas on February 27, 2010 at 2:34 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOyXOOZHcvE

One of my favorite songs. Seems appropriate.

Caiwyn on February 27, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I can’t fault anyone for wanting to be finished with this insane existence. Life is full of nothing but suffering and disappointment. If someone acts on their decision to kill themselves there shouldn’t be any reason to mourn them. They have simply opted out and you might as well respect that decision, especially since you can’t change it. None of us actually asked to be born in the first place.

daesleeper on February 27, 2010 at 2:24 PM

This is sad. Especially since I’ve been there. I hope you read the post from Doctor Zero again…

Please don’t leave us. We need you.

Being needed, matters.

Parade on February 27, 2010 at 2:45 PM

During those times when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I rode you like a rented mule. I appreciate it.”

justltl on February 27, 2010 at 5:53 AM

Hee! I knew I’d heard that story wrong.

Rosmerta on February 27, 2010 at 2:47 PM

No offense, but this won’t help. And it might hurt. Depressed people aren’t logical. They aren’t open to new things. They aren’t interested in being cheered up. You can’t cheer them up. It’s chemicals in their brains. Unless you’ve taken drugs that affect those chemicals, you really can’t comprehend how much you are controlled by them.

misterpeasea on February 26, 2010 at 10:08 PM

You were VERY SELFISH to write such a post and act as if you’re the “King of Pain” and the be all and end all in depression. It’s peeps like you whom make me sick. It’s all about me, Me, ME. Not everyone can understand depression and everyone has their own crushing story on how THEY survived depression, but you opt to take a swipe at Doctor Zero and say his words won’t help. They will some, they may not others!

Helen Keller could have seen Doctor Zero was coming at it with a kind and open heart and yet you had to awfulize. Disgusting. Next time pause and think about what you write and keep it to yourself if you’re just a selfish sad sack.

Gob on February 27, 2010 at 3:05 PM

misterpeasea on February 26, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Your selfish post made me more angry than those who say suicide is selfish. It can be and it can also NOT be and even though I disagree, I can see why some peeps feel that way. You, on the other hand had to be the nasty ant at the picnic. Hideous!

Gob on February 27, 2010 at 3:09 PM

I can’t fault anyone for wanting to be finished with this insane existence. Life is full of nothing but suffering and disappointment. If someone acts on their decision to kill themselves there shouldn’t be any reason to mourn them. They have simply opted out and you might as well respect that decision, especially since you can’t change it. None of us actually asked to be born in the first place.

daesleeper on February 27, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Life is what you make of it.

Disturb the Universe on February 27, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Life is what you make of it.

Disturb the Universe on February 27, 2010 at 3:13 PM

That is even more depressing than what I wrote…thanks.

daesleeper on February 27, 2010 at 3:18 PM

That is even more depressing than what I wrote…thanks.

daesleeper on February 27, 2010 at 3:18 PM

I guess it is depressing to own up to your own responsibility for your own misery.

Disturb the Universe on February 27, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Beautifully said.

John on February 27, 2010 at 4:10 PM

This has been a fascinating thread. First I of course have to give kudos to DZ for an amazingly moving post. I’ve never suffered with depression (though of course I’ve had the blues, who hasn’t) and don’t pretend to understand what it’s like. I am a bit taken aback by some of the responses…several other posters have it right when they say that this piece was not meant to be the end all be all on depression. And yes, I have shared this with others, because I find it beautiful, and very well written. I think it is encouraging to EVERYONE…I know I was inspired by it.

As for myself, I often turn to The Killers when life seems particularly bad: “If you can’t hold on? Hold on.

Keep passing the open windows.

WaltzingMtilda on February 27, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Funny how things work. I’m updating my blog and decided to go thru my blogroll. Slublog lead me here.

And it resonates very personally. I’m in that place right now – wondering how to stop the emotional pain I’m in and thinking that maybe hurting myself woudl take away the pain.

I know that I would leave behind unimaginable pain for my beloved husband – and that thought stops me

Thankfully I am already in therapy for the issue that is causing this emotional pain. And I know I’ll get thru this latest assault of cruelty from people in my life who shouldn’t be this way….

Thank you Doctor Zero. For sharing your own thoughts about your own experience. You may have saved a life today – mine.

KrisinNE on February 27, 2010 at 4:26 PM

KrisinNE, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I am grateful to hear that Doc Zero’s words helped you.

If you live in NE, you might also discuss SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) because it may also be hitting you. I’ve lived in the Chicago metro area, in NH and I experienced it.

INC on February 27, 2010 at 4:55 PM

misterpeasea, I think people should send this article out to as many that will be willing to read it or have someone listen to it read to them. If this article touches the heart of one person who is on that road to destruction and turns around and figures out that his or her life has meaning and purpose then the article has done what the good doctor had hoped it would. You’d be amazed how a kind word can heal a broken heart or shattered life. Been there, done that, seen it happen. Courage is the step of faith that takes you into the future.

ranzofola on February 27, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Kris–after mentioning discuss SAD, I forgot to to include the phrase with your therapist or doctor. There are special lights available to help with winter. I used to have one that was small enough to use as a desk lamp. I also put full spectrum bulbs into every lighting place in our house into which they would fit.

INC on February 27, 2010 at 5:05 PM

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