Not a Punk Rocker – Teenage Depression: The Kid, Part 1

Note from Ruby:  This piece is part one of two posts that Sheena, of Not a Punk Rocker, shared with BFMH.  The second part is scheduled to go live on this site two hours from now.

Trigger Warning: Suicide

Tuesday, February 26, 12:45 PM.  I am at my office, avoiding a staff birthday luncheon, when the phone rings.

It’s a number from [my son’s] school.

My first reaction was to sigh, my second was to pick up the receiver and get it over with.  What was it now?  Had he failed a test, not turned in homework, gotten caught on unauthorized websites or something else?  Was he sick?  If so, how bad?  Could he wait an hour for me to get there from work, or should I hire a cab?

All this was going through my mind as the Assistant Principal introduced herself.  That was the first sign it was not academic or illness.   Now I am thinking unauthorized websites, or something totally out of character like fighting. . .

I would never have been able to predict what the AP said next, even with hindsight of the last 18 hours.

“He texted that he had overdosed on pills and was planning on killing himself.”

His resting heart rate was at 136 and climbing and he was drowsy; they were calling to ask me which hospital I wanted him to go to. . .

Mental health is not a forbidden or “secret” subject in my house as it was when I grew up.  The details and the depth might not be shared all the time, as in my not knowing my son was feeling suicidal or him not knowing about my bulimia, but general depression and anxiety are discussed.  No, not every night at dinner, but the need to seek help or ask for it.  I like to think for a mother-son team where one of the parties is 16 years old, we do pretty well with communication.  Not perfect, but better than some relationships I had seen with his peers.

So why didn’t I see this coming?

. . .

If you search on my blog, you will see more recent updates on the kid, but as part of this blogging initiative I plan to reblog in order and provide more information as we hit the anniversary.  It will soon be one year since his attempt.

One year.  Hard to believe.  A year that he didn’t think he wanted to see and, for several hours, days and weeks, I wasn’t sure I was going to get to have with him.

Read the rest of the story by visiting Teenage Depression: The Kid, Part 1 | Not a Punk Rocker.