“Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don’t believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.”
~Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
by Beth Saadati, with guest songwriter Heidi Haase
The deep sadness—sometimes hours, sometimes days, sometimes weeks of depression—began when a beloved daughter died by suicide. It’s lingered seven years. Although the intensity of the sadness has decreased, intermittent waves of grief still crash, still threaten to pull me under, still leave me grasping for a lifeline to hold onto while I wait for each wave to break and recede.
During one severe surge a couple years ago, my lifeline was a song—a song written and recorded by Heidi Haase, a beautiful family friend whose personality, character, and appearance reminded me more of my oldest daughter than any other high-school student I’d taught. I played the song again and again. I let the words sink in.
And I wished Jenna also could have heard and taken them to heart.
So today, on World Suicide Prevention Day 2020, Heidi and I extend that lifeline to you—for any day of the year you may need it, for every wave that tries to drown you, for all the pain friends and family cannot see.
Reason with yourself.
Listen. Believe. Be brave.
You’re not alone.
You’re stronger than you know.