Illusions of Every Day Life

During the last six weeks, I’ve found myself wondering how I missed seeing Barry’s despair. I’ve continually asked myself if I had seen that something was wrong would I have been able to change the end result. These questions plague me, but in all honesty, there is nothing to be done about it now and I should let these thoughts go.

Naturally, that’s easier said than done, but I did come to the conclusion that Barry allowed us to see what he wanted us to see. Unfortunately, that has left me with a feeling a greater loss, because I feel as if I lost sight of the real person somewhere along the way. He was a great actor. I know this because he fooled me completely.

Then, today, I discovered that we all act around other people. I’ve been doing it for six weeks. I’m showing family and friends the strong side of myself, yet inwardly I’m crushed. Everyone around me thinks I’m doing OK, but am I really?

This discovery came when I tried to write a simple “thank you” email to a friend who had sent me some books. I felt that I had to write more than just a thank you. I should be able to correspond about other things, but I realised that my life has been put on hold – the word I used in the email was “hibernated”. There was nothing to write about because I don’t do anything except get up, do my four hours at work, then sit at home and wait for the moment I can drop into bed, feeling exhausted. I’m not living life, I’m just existing. It’s almost as if I’m waiting for my life to end.

Everything I previously did has been pushed aside. Everything I previously enjoyed is no longer thought about. I’m losing weight, I’m losing my hair, I’m not interested in other people (although I try to pretend that I am), and my head feels like it’s filled with cement.

“I’m not depressed. I’m sad and I’m grieving, but I’m not depressed.” I’ve told myself this a thousand times. However, not only am I acting…I’m lying too.

Take a look at this list – Depression Diagnosis. I have every one of the symptoms, except the last one. And, I admit that I came close to that one too. “What’s the point of carrying on” is just a step away from suicidal thoughts.

I am depressed, terribly depressed. There, I admit it.

The signs of suicide are not always visible. The person thinking about ending their own life won’t always give hints or threats. Sometimes, the person lives a lie and pretends that everything is just fine. This is what Barry did. This is what I’m doing now. So…how can other people trust what they see? How can they fix something they don’t know about? The only way is for the person suffering depression to say something…talk to someone. Parents need to talk to their children. Children need to talk to their parents. And, if circumstances don’t allow this, phone a helpline and talk to a stranger. It’s important. It’s necessary. It could make a huge difference to your health and your life.

If you are depressed, please talk to someone today. And if you’re the onlooker, and your gut tells you that something is amiss, approach the person concerned and ask if you can help them.


One thought on “Illusions of Every Day Life

  1. I am thinking about you every day, Karen. Please don’t feel you need to say anything special to me. It would be extraordinary if you were able to carry on “as normal” at this stage. No wonder you are feeling the way you do. I have to echo what you said about how important it is to seek help when you’re depressed. When I was 17 I was badly depressed but didn’t want to worry my family, I felt that I was already enough trouble to them. Things became so bad that I contacted an organisation in UK called The Samaritans: They helped me so much. I can credit them for turning my life around, for being a voice of commonsense amidst the insanity of those times. So many awful things happened to me back then that I have blanked a lot of it out. It was only when I heard about Barry’s suicide that I remembered, and felt a surge of gratitude to the lady Samaritan who helped me so much. If anybody from UK is reading this and you are in that terrible prison of depression, please contact the Samaritans. They can help. I hope you have someone to talk to too in all this, Karen. We are thinking about you.

  2. Gary, Daniel and I talk to each other. It sounds morbid, but it’s actually comforting. We all know how each other feels. We all share a love for the person we are grieving.

    Last night, Daniel said that he still finds it hard to believe, that he still thinks that Barry’s just on holiday and he’ll be home any day. We all feel the same. Yet, we all know the truth.

    Don’t worry, Helen, I am watching my family closely. And, I’m aware of my own roller coaster feelings. If things get out of control, something will be done about it.

    Thank you for caring.

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