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JEAN

Even though it has been almost two years since Steve took his own life, there are those who still do not agree with my talking freely about his suicide. Yes, the embarrassment and stigma associated with suicide is still alive and well.

I have done a lot of soul searching and sometimes question whether publicizing the cause of Steve's death is the right thing to do. In the end, I believe Steve would have wanted it this way. He was a firm believer in helping others as was evidenced by his career choices as a lifeguard, a coach and applying to FDNY to become a firefighter. Now, Steve will continue to help others even though he is no longer with us. Bringing the cause of his death out in the open has already helped many.

Whether it was from reading Steve's memoir, my Facebook and website postings or my blog, other suicide survivors have thanked me for my openness and said it has given them some small measure of comfort knowing they are not alone in feeling what they are feeling. Other survivors have shared with me they now feel empowered to talk about how their loved one died, even though it may have been years since their loved one took his or her own life. Keeping it a secret or denying it for so long had weighed so heavily on their shoulders. Then there are those who have shared with me that they have contemplated suicide, but after reading about the pain and collateral damage left after a loved one takes their own life have told me it has given them pause as they have said they would never want their friends and family to have to suffer the pain of their loss. They told me that they had previously thought their loved ones would be better off without them, a sentiment expressed by Steve in some of his final writings. However, my writings have convinced them otherwise.

The burdens carried by suicide survivors are way too heavy as it is and having to hide the cause of our loved one's death, is way too much for anyone to have to bear. Who better than a suicide survivor to articulate the pain and sorrow that results from the suicide of a loved one? I have been given a gift to articulate my thoughts in writing, so, I will continue to tell Steve's story so long as I feel people are helped by it. I believe Steve would have wanted me to choose this path so that something good may come out of his pain and suffering.

The cost of telling Steve's story has been high in lost relationships and I have sacrificed my own privacy. Now when you Google my name, you will find all sorts of references to me, something a few years ago would have caused me to freak out. Now I look at that in a positive light in that Steve's story is reaching more and more people.

Is it worth it? Yes, and I will end with two quotes that continue to inspire me in my mission to raise mental health and suicide awareness in spite of what others think or say.

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"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
St. Francis of Assisi
"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew."
Saint Francis de Sales
"A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl."
Stephan Hoeller
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
Thich Nhat Hanh
"What you thought before has led to every choice you have made, and this adds up to you at this moment. If you want to change who you are physically, mentally, and spiritually, you will have to change what you think."
Dr. Patrick Gentempo
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
Leo Buscaglia
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail."
Nelson Mandela
"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place."
Unknown
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
Lao Tzu
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Eleanor Roosevelt
"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely."
Henry Ford
"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."
Winston Churchill

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Source

The World Health Organization estimates that 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. I am one of those 121 million people. Maybe you are too. Maybe you know someone close to you who is affected by depression.

Although it may seem trivial to some, I have found great comfort in dark times in some of the following inspirational quotes about depression. To know others have experienced the darkness of depression and have seen the light at the end is sometimes all we need when we feel we are alone.

Quotes About Depression

For many people, in addition to feelings of sadness, numbness, and hopelessness, depression also comes with feelings of isolation and loneliness. It is my hope that the following quotes about depression will help sufferers feel less alone and misunderstood, and help find the words to talk about depression with others.

 

Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.

— Dorothy Rowe
  • "Depression is the inability to construct a future." Rollo May
  • "If you don't think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days." Kris Carr
  • "A big part of depression is feeling really lonely, even if you're in a room full of a million people." Lilly Singh
  • "It is very hard to explain to people who have never known serious depression or anxiety the sheer continuous intensity of it. There is no off switch. I was overwhelmed by something I did not understand - my own brain." Matt Haig
  • "That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key." Elizabeth Wurtzel
  • "Depression, suffering and anger are all part of being human." Janet Fitch
  • "At times, I feel overwhelmed and my depression leads me into darkness." Dorothy Hamill
  • "We can alleviate physical pain, but mental pain - grief, despair, depression, dementia - is less accessible to treatment. It's connected to who we are - our personality, our character, our soul, if you like." Richard Eyre
  • "It's often difficult for those who are lucky enough to have never experienced what true depression is to imagine a life of complete hopelessness, emptiness and fear." Susan Polis Schutz

 

Motivational Quotes

These motivational quotes are great for developing the will to take action, even in the face of mental and emotional suffering. If you find one or two of the quotes 'click' with you, why not write them out on a piece of paper where you can see them in your daily life?

 

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

— John Wooden
  • "Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook
  • "Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was." Richard L. Evans
  • "It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly." Isaac Asimov
  • "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" Robert Schuller
  • "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." St. Francis of Assisi
  • "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." Mark Twain

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If you or someone you know is suffering with depression, don’t wait. Contact Catholic Charities and let one of our licensed counselors help so you can live a happier, healthier, and more productive life.