I’m not talking about the blue strings of light I love so much and mentioned in my last post but rather the feelings of sadness, depression, melancholy, and sometimes desperation that many experience this time of year. I just read that Stephen tWitch Boss died by suicide two days ago and I feel heartbroken. http://amp.cnn.com I didn’t know him personally but I always LOVED watching him dance on the Ellen show and to hear him talk and play games. He always presented sweet and funny and kind. A week or two ago I saw he and his wife interviewed and they talked about dancing together and then they did a dance-off together with two audience members. They seemed happy.
I told a friend yesterday that there feels like a lot of death and pain around right now. I’m approaching the 3 year anniversary of my mother’s death. A dear friend in Seattle found out just two days ago that her beloved Rottweiler has metastatic cancer. Another Seattle friend recently informed me of her cat’s death (both very loved by me and my sweet Claire Bear.) And then there was the recent news of another good Seattle friend’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s and another’s of stage 4 cancer. I guess there’s no wonder I feel pain and loss all around.
But the topper that makes me want to break down into a full sob is that tWitch’s death was by suicide at the young age of 40. I don’t have moral judgements about death by suicide (ie. I don’t see it as selfish or a sin which is ridiculous to me.) Instead there is the stark realization or knowing that one must be feeling an extreme amount of emotional pain to choose to end their life…and that breaks my heart.
Celebrity is an interesting thing in that we often feel connected to people we see a lot on television or in movies, etc. and feel like we know them, but we really don’t. Regarding tWitch, I assume more will come out about his mental health and probable struggles we didn’t know about before but now it just feels shocking, confusing, and so damn sad. I think the feelings for me are similar to when I found out Anthony Bourdain took his life.
Mental Health and the Holiday Blues
I’ve been wanting to write about mental health and suicide statistics in the US but haven’t done so yet…and I don’t want to today. In the rawness of loss and grief, statistics and researched information regarding mental health and suicide aren’t the words that comfort. What are? How do we deal with all the pain and loss around us? Especially this time of year when things are supposed to be all sparkly and full of love and connection. All the commercials and television shows that make you think everyone else in the world is enjoying the holiday season…except for you. Well, it’s not true. If you aren’t feeling the holiday cheer, you are not alone. There are many people who struggle this time of year. Here are a couple of ideas to help you through this time of year…
Ideas to Help you Cope with the Holiday Blues
- Be kind to yourself. Think about what you need right now, ie. rest, healthy food, a friend’s listening ear, a massage, an extra therapy session…whatever it might be and no matter how small, do it for yourself.
- Tell any critical voice in your head to go away or to hibernate.
- Know that the holiday season rarely looks the way it’s presented on television.
- Take a break from the news and social media for a little if it’s not feeding you.
- Contemplate the possibility that there might be really good things for you right around the corner.
- Remember, we don’t know enough to be pessimistic.
- Asking for help is a good thing!
- You are love!
I’m doing what feels good for me right now…I’m writing about my thoughts and feelings. I know I have tons to be thankful for and I don’t think I lose sight of that. But I’m realizing that I need to leave a little space in my heart for the other parts of life too which include pain, suffering and death.
Please please please, if you are struggling, reach out. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now: 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. http://988lifeline.org
And remember…you are not alone…we are all in this together! It just may not always feel that way.