On a cool summer evening five years ago, I heard children playing outside my window, and the soft humming of evening crickets blending with their laughter.
I should be going for a walk, I thought. Instead, I was lying on the couch, unable to move, paralyzed from grief and gut wrenching sadness.
Just get up, Lindsey. Put your feet on the floor and stand. My conscience pleaded with me to fight the pain. I slid my heavy feet to the floor and stood. But the weight on my shoulders felt like an elephant pushing me down, and I fell to the floor, defeated. I felt like I was drowning, and I could barely breathe under my own sobbing. I screamed as if someone was torturing me, trying to fight the demons taking over my brain.
If only I could be dead right now. Then the pain would just go away. I thought about calling 911 because I was close to harming myself. But then I thought about my children, my parents, and all the people that loved me. As I clung to my crumb-infested carpet, (vacuuming was a chore I long abandoned), my sobbing softened, and I oddly thought about that hiker who cut his arm off to save himself trapped in a crevasse. If he can cut off his arm to save himself, I need to save myself too.
Survival instincts kicked in and I found my phone wedged between the couch pillows. I called everyone close to me — my brother, a few friends and my therapist. No one answered and I left voicemail messages.
"I need help," I said in a shaky, uncertain voice. "I think I'm having a breakdown. I need help. I don't know what to do. Please call me."
Within minutes my phone blew up, with panicked return calls. Friends called other friends on my behalf. A friend left her office and raced to my house. She found me still on the floor and scooped me up like a baby. I cried in her arms and she rocked me back and forth. Just her being there snapped me back into reality. The pain didn't seem that bad as it was just 30 minutes before.
I was safe. Within hours, I was on medication and within a few days, my pain lessened.
In the wake of Robin Williams' recent suicide, the memory of my break down resurfaced. I have never battled clinical depression until that day, and one doesn't have to be a "depressed" person to have depression. It can hit you with little warning.
I hesitated writing this blog due to the media's over saturated, sensational reporting of depression. But perhaps my story may give you some comfort, if you are battling the same demons. Perhaps you can't get over someone, or you are still suffering from the effects of your divorce or break-up. We all go through it. Even the funniest man in Hollywood.
If you feel like you are hitting rock bottom, you are NEVER alone. EVER! Call your friends, family, depression hotlines, or 911. Shoot me an email if you need to talk about it.
You are so loved and there is always a way out. The pain always passes. Pain can never last forever.
In loving mental health and huge hugs.
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