Note from Ruby: This post is part two of two posts that Sheena, of Not a Punk Rocker, shared with BFMH. The first part was posted here just two hours ago. In case you missed it, it can be found by clicking this link: Not a Punk Rocker – Teenage Depression: The Kid, Part 1 | The Official Blog For Mental Health Project.
Trigger Warning: Suicide
A year ago today, my son tried to end his life. It didn’t work.
If it had worked, I would have gone right after him. I have no doubt about that.
Depression is something I deal with every day. I have had major setbacks recently, mainly due to the timing of several things falling apart at once, but I am working on them. This time last year I was also in a bad state, though not as low as I am now.
Matthew, on the other hand is the opposite of where he was in February 2013. Thank God, god or whoever you choose for that. . .
[M]edication is an integral part of his routine. If he is late taking it, such as sleeping in on weekends, he notices he is crankier than normal. It helps him feel better. He likes to feel better, so he takes it without complaint. Just part of his day: Wake up, take pill, make coffee, play tunes, walk to school. Medication is only part of the puzzle, which he understands. That’s where therapy comes into play. . .
I held my breath a lot during that time, and several times since. I would worry about coming home and finding him gone, one way or the other. I would worry about him going back into the spiral of depression and me missing the signs, like I had before. Everything had me worried, and scared, and anxious. My psychiatrist worked with me during this time to get my meds straight so that I could deal with the situation better. . .
He is open about his struggles, though he has decided he doesn’t want to write them up at this time. More than once I would hear him discussing depression or medication with friends while on a video game. They asked questions, he would answer. He was helping in his own way to break the stigma among his peers . The vision his friends had of the “emo” kid being the one who gets that low was shattered when the easy-going class clown, with no enemies and seemingly friends with everyone, decided one day that life wasn’t worth living. . .
Matthew inspires me to want to get better myself. Not just in my role as his parent/caretaker but seeing where he has come from to now. If he is able to come back from where he was and do the work needed to face his mental health head on at 16 and 17, then why shouldn’t I keep trying too? There is still a long road ahead for him, and it may not always be easy, yet he still goes forward rather than stop out of fear or failure.
Read the rest of the story by visiting The Year That Almost Wasn’t | Not a Punk Rocker.