Okay folks, I hate to make this post all serious and such, but I feel like I need to talk about this. As I am sure everyone knows, Robin Williams killed himself today. I’m sure some folks think it’s wrong to phrase things so bluntly, but screw them. Terminology doesn’t change a damn thing. Before I go any further, let me explain some things. First off, I suffer from depression and anxiety, so I know how shitty it is. I know there are days that you feel like the whole world is crushing you under it’s weight. I know that there are times when it just seems like nothing will ever be good again, that your shitty life will never get un-shitty. And I know what it’s like to want to die, to escape the pain of existing, to feel that the world would be better off without you in it. But, I also know what it feels like to be one of the people left behind. When I was 17, my mother killed herself. My entire world just imploded. The fact that my mother wasn’t very good at being a mother made no difference (took so long to be able to admit that without an avalanche of guilt). Twenty years have passed since then, and I still miss her and struggle with the guilt of having failed her somehow. The reason I am sharing this is simple–depression lies y’all. When it convinced my mom that we would be better off if she were dead, it lied. When it convinced her no one would care, it lied. It’s complete bullshit, all of it. Suicide doesn’t take away your pain, it just passes it on to your loved ones. It leaves people feeling as though, somehow, it is all their fault. My aunt blames herself. I blame myself. My grandmas blamed themselves. So you see, the pain may end for you, but you’re just giving it to everyone you leave behind. And it never really goes away. I still miss my mom every day, and I still struggle with the guilt and self-loathing her death left behind. Depression is an asshole that lies and lies and lies, and the more you listen to it’s bullshit, the more you lose yourself. See, the trick is to remember that depressions biggest and most over-used lie is that people would be better off if you were dead. It isn’t true. As bad as life could be with my mom, I would still give anything for her to have stuck around. When I am announcing my misery from the rooftops of my self-pity, I try to lie to myself, to believe depression’s whispers. But I can’t, not completely. Would my 6 year old niece be better off if I were dead? I try to tell myself she would, that I am just one big walking, talking bad example, a true mess. But deep down, I know it’s bullshit. My niece doesn’t give a rat’s bahookey that I am not where I want to be in life. She doesn’t care that I have a crappy job or that I’m too fat or any of that sort of crap. What my niece cares about is that she loves her tantie, that tantie sings songs to her and cuddles her and acts silly with her. If I start losing that knowledge, all I have to do is think of how her face lights up every time she sees me. When I try to tell myself that my brother would be better off, or that the few friends I have left would get over it if I died–I simply force myself to think of all the things that prove that it’s not true. The look of love on my big brother’s face when he spotted me at his surprise party. The way my friends tell me how good I am at cheering them up when they’re sad. And the way they make me a part of their kid’s lives, allowing me to be Aunt Kenzie to their awesome offspring. So no matter how awful things get for me, I will NEVER allow depression to make me hurt the people I love by killing myself. The pain depression gives is a pain that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, so why the hell would I pass it on to my loved ones? I guess what I’m getting at is this: depression is an asshole, but it doesn’t have to win. You fight it, and you keep fighting, and that is how you beat that S.O.B. Don’t give up. Don’t give in.