Faith, Uncategorized

When You Can’t Just “Get Over It”

Let me begin this piece by offering my condolences to the family of Robin Williams. May the Lord comfort you during this trying time.

This one was a tough one to write.

A man (more specifically, a celebrity,) commits suicide. The world pauses to remember his life for a moment, choosing to reflect on the good memories.

For the most part, this is true. However, I have also seen some things that made me cringe this week. Things such as,

He was rich! What did he have to be sad about??

We shouldn’t be giving this much attention to a LOST man that killed himself!

The first thing I want to address is that depression is not just waking up one day feeling sad. Depression is a long-term, debilitating disease. It’s serious. Real depression is not something a person makes up for attention. Suicide attempts are not a sick person’s way of saying, “hey! Look at me!” Serious thoughts and attempts at suicide are a cry for help.

I get it. You’ve never struggled with depression. You’ve never been close to someone that has tried to commit suicide because they think “the world would be better off without” them. You don’t understand the disease. I understand that. But please, think before you comment on these things.

I’ve been the person that has lived with someone suffering from depression.

I’ve been the child that never had her parents at any of her school concerts or parent-teacher conferences (in high school.)

I’ve been the person that opened up her email to find a suicide letter, and thought it was too late.

I don’t know how long my parents have struggled with depression, but I do know when I first realized something wasn’t “right.” My dad lost his job when I was in middle school and our whole family dynamic changed. My mom tried to brainwash my sisters and I against my dad, and when I chose not to “take sides” my mom decided not to buy me a Christmas present. As a pre-teen/teenager that’s like a slap in the face. To this day I remember what my sisters received that year.

The next big “red flag” I remember took place in high school. My mom, sisters and I were sitting in the living room. I looked over to the kitchen where my dad was sitting, and noticed he was clutching his chest. He thought he was having a heart attack (he had had one before.) While I was calling 911, my mom decided it would be better if she just took my sisters upstairs so that she wouldn’t have to do anything with the situation. I was the one who had to list off my dad’s medications and talk to the paramedics. The point of this story isn’t that poor, little me had to do all this, as if I am a saint. The point is, that my mother didn’t. She had even told my dad, on multiple occasions over text, face-to-face, and in letters that she wished my dad was dead. She had even said that she might even “push him down the stairs” one day.

She wouldn’t say his name. It was always “fine, go with HIM then,” and “why are you talking to that THING?”

My family lived like this for years. My dad lived in a bedroom in our house, away from the rest of us. He spent a lot of time in his cave (his gazebo on our patio.) He was alone in a house full of people.

My dad thought about ending his life on multiple occasions and seriously thought about going through with it at least twice.

One time he sat in our driveway and called a help number. He was taken to a hospital for help.

Once I no longer lived at home my dad and I did not have a relationship. I was shocked in 2011 when I received a suicide note from him via email. He had sent it to everyone on his contact list. My sister had called the police in time, and he spent a while in the hospital. My sisters were still living at home.

My dad moved out of that house once he was released, and went to live with my half-sister. She blamed the home-situation. While that had a lot to do with it, the fact is that depression isn’t about circumstances.

Depression determines how a person reacts to certain situations.

You can be wealthy and still suffer from depression.

You can have the perfect job and family, and still suffer from depression.

And yes, even Christians can suffer from depression.

I don’t know what the future holds for my parents. I do know that medication can help depression, but it’s not a cure.

I don’t know if my dad will ever be “free” from thoughts of suicide. I don’t know if my mom will ever be free of all of her demons either. I used to think my mom was the one family member to suffer from mental disease, but now I look back and realize my dad suffered too.

But I do know this. Depression is a disease. It’s not a game. Sure, I feel suicide is selfish, but I know that it’s not an easy decision for some people.

Depression is like standing at the edge of a cliff, turning around and seeing total darkness.

Be kind. You don’t know what the people you meet are struggling with. Be the person to reach through the darkness and pull that man off of the cliff. Smile at a stranger. Be kind to the homeless.

Dad, if you’re reading this I hope you know that I love you and pray you will find the peace you need.

If you or someone you know struggles with thoughts of suicide, CALL THIS NUMBER! 18002738255

And please, PLEASE, don’t be that person that tells someone to just “get over it.”

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Causes, Faith, Uncategorized

How To NOT Sound Intelligent When Talking About the Israel-Gaza Conflict

Have you picked a side in the current Middle East conflict? Have you voiced your opinion all over social media? Here are some things you should say and do to sound unintelligent, uninformed, and completely lose your audience:

(Yes, I have actually seen all of these examples.)

1.) Hamas is full of freedom fighters, not terrorists.

2.) Hitler was right. Kill all the Jews!

3.) Israel and all Jews will rot in hell!

4.) Where do you live? I’ll come kill your family and see how you like it!

Say all that, and then end your rant with this gem:

5.) Israel is a terrorist apartheid state! The Palestinian people are innocent victims and Israel must be stopped at all costs!

Throw some profanities and more racist comments in there, and you’re really looking peaceful and tolerant.

Keep it classy, people.

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Faith

What Have You Done For the Poor and Lowly?

Do you just walk by the man sleeping under the bridge?

Or do you stop and share the Gospel with him?

Do you look down upon him with disgust?

Or do you offer him a kind word?

Do you take one look at him, in his filthy rags and walk away?

Or do you offer him a blanket to keep him warm in the frigid winter?

Do you just shake your head at the innocent children that sit next to him, starving, waiting for their next meal?

Or do you offer them a sandwich?

I understand that many homeless people are without because of their own faults.

They still need food. They need a smile. They need compassion.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say into you, Inasmuch as ye have done unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40

So, what do you do?