Depression and Suicidal Ideation

Michael Hedrick
February 05, 2016

I’ve been stable or near stable for nine years now. There are times though when things get thrown off course. It might be the result of some personal rejection or some spiking paranoia or the changing of the seasons or just because, but I’ve seen depression firsthand. 

I know what it’s like to not want to get out of bed, let alone leave the house, because you’re just too tired, too overwhelmed to deal with whatever’s out there. 


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There have been days where I sit on my porch staring out at the neighborhood, thinking about heading into the woods with a gun, not to hunt but to do something permanent. 

I think about what would happen if I killed myself. I think about how my family and friends would feel, how the barista at the coffee shop or my editor at The New York Times would feel, what would they do if they found out the weird but friendly guy they worked with or served coffee to had killed himself? 

I sit on the porch and I disappear into a rabbit hole of pretty dark stuff, thinking about what kind of impact I have had on the world and if anyone would truly miss me. 

Then, I carry on because it’s the only thing I know how to do. I wake up, I do my work, I visit with friends, and I wait for bed. 

The point is, I get depressed. I know what it’s like to have a plan in mind for the end of things and I know what it’s like to feel like there’s no point to any of it. 

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to go a while ago, probably around the time I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It’s this feeling like I’m not afraid of death, but biological self-preservation kicks in and I keep living; I keep waking up because I figure anything could happen. 

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to not feel like you have any worth to the world, and I know what it’s like to live blankly, just existing, because it feels like there’s no reason for any of it. 

I’d love to offer some advice for getting over that feeling, but I haven’t quite figured it out myself. I usually just eat well, take a hot shower, and get a good sleep and keep waking up in the morning because it’s really the only thing you can do. 

I don’t have a catch-all depression killer that works wonders, but I’ve come to accept the feeling. I know that in a matter of days or weeks it will pass. a friend likened it to feeling like your in the ocean and then the tide goes out and you’re above the water again, but inevitably the tide will come back in and you’ll be under water again. It ebbs and flows. 

I never realized the immense truth of the saying, “There are good days and bad days,” or, “Life is a rollercoaster,” until I fully embraced the reality of my mental illness. 

I know it’s hard, but I also know that you can get through it. 

Just know that if you’re feeling like you’re drowning, it will pass; it always does. The only thing you have to do is keep waking up in the morning. 

Too much life is hard. I know that all too well, but even if you have a plan just go to bed and see how you feel in the morning. It might be ok then. 

Happiness is exhausting anyway.