Depression and Anxiety DGAF

CN: Suicide, depression, anxiety

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Chat online or call 1-800-273-8255

This piece started out as my personal experience with discovering the kate spade brand, which would slowly transition into the tragedy of Kate Spade’s suicide. She touched so many lives with her designs and created a brand that, even though she hasn’t been affiliated with it for years, still carries that original kate spade spirit.

That’s a problematic approach. As someone who also lives with anxiety and depression, and as as someone who really connected with the kate spade brand, Spade’s suicide hit me hard. I wanted to honor her contribution to this world, to so many women everywhere, but her contribution has been noted and has nothing to do with her illness.

See, depression and anxiety don’t care what you’ve contributed, who loves you, what you’ve got left to do. They don’t care. Period.

Depression and anxiety convince your mind that the people you love will be better off without you. And if you don’t have the cognitive training to fight those thoughts, the thoughts will bury you.

Even if you do have the toolkit to take care of yourself, sometimes the anxiety and depression have their days where they conquer.

And sometimes they win.

Sometimes depression prevents you from even getting out of bed. Sometimes anxiety is so convincing that you succumb to a crippling panic attack. Sometimes they feed one another, and sometimes they take your life.

But anxiety and depression are sneaky little fuckers. They don’t just kill you; they cause you to kill yourself.

You’ll notice that I haven’t said that Spade “committed” suicide. Spade didn’t commit a crime; she fell to her illness. Her anxiety and depression had their way with her. They caused her to wrap that scarf around her neck. They convinced her that she had no more reason to be on this Earth.

They won.

What I always see when someone ends their life are the comments talking about how it’s such a sad day for that person’s family, for their loved ones. We forget that this person struggled for years and fought so valiantly against their illness. Of course it’s difficult for the loved ones, and I’m not trying to dismiss their pain, but we have to consider how long Spade fought these battles.

I didn’t know Spade, so I don’t know when she was diagnosed, but my guess is years ago. My own personal diagnosis came when I was 25, but I struggled with anxiety and depression before the official diagnosis. When I look back, I think my anxiety started when I was a child, and depression when I was a pre-teen.

Consider that Spade, a 55 year old woman, probably struggled for many, many years, and understand that those years were a battle. Honor her family and their time of grief, but respect her struggle.

Spade’s suicide is particularly sobering, as I have the same illnesses that she did. This is going to get morbid for a minute, but hang in there for me.

The news of Spade’s suicide made me wonder when mine will come. I’m not currently suicidal, but I have struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past. I always imagine that I’ll die old and peacefully, I hope, but there’s this dark spot that I have in my brain. It’s usually where the depression hangs out in waiting until I’m having a particularly difficult day. That spot likes to convince me that I’ll end my life one day. That spot likes to try to take the wheel.

Some days I want to let that depression take over; I want to say “you win,” but I’ve been medicated and working with therapists for a few years now. I’ve got the toolkit to climb out of that dark place, but I also acknowledge the possibility that one day my cognitive training won’t be enough. There could be a day that I don’t want to fight anymore.

If you don’t struggle with these particular problems, but know someone who does, I encourage you to check in on them. Send a text, an email, Facebook message – whatever. Just let them know you’re thinking about them. Sometimes that makes a huge difference.

Here’s another huge pill to swallow: sometimes it won’t make a difference. Maybe it’s our cultural fear of death, but we can’t seem to wrap our heads around the fact that we can’t save everyone.

No matter how many times we say, “I’m here for you,” sometimes that isn’t going to be enough. Sometimes we need someone at 5am to come and physically pry the pill bottles out of our hands, and that’s a lot to ask of another person. If a person is in a suicidal state, they also may not think to ask for help.

Suicide isn’t 100% preventable. As morbid as it is, I understand Spade’s struggle. I hope she knows that she left the world a more beautiful place, but I hope she’s at rest. I honor her battle, and hope she found peace.

If you’re struggling with any kind of mental illness or suicidal thoughts, please visit the link or call the number at the beginning and end of this article. Reach out to someone for help.

Stay strong, friends.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Chat online or call 1-800-273-8255

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