We are all Promised Rainbows after the Flood
The question this week comes from a boy who is having suicidal thoughts. He knows they aren’t right, but they are real. He knows he is blessed. He has a good home, parents that love him, friends, yet his mind feels dark. “Will this feeling ever go away? I can’t live like this.” His question is simple but the weight of his feelings are almost more than he can bear any longer.
I wrote him a story about another boy who also suffered from clinical depression to help him out.
I also asked two of my friends to share their thoughts as well. They have a lot of experience in this matter.
I hope this helps him and anyone you may know who is suffering.
This is a true story based on true facts about a friend of mine who wants to help others who suffer from depression.
My little sister’s normally contagious smile bounces joyously into my blind drawn darkened room. “Come on, get up!” She bounces energetically toward me; excited demands being shouted as if getting up was the easiest thing in the world to do. The blanket of depression laying over me creeps up over my head where I hope to stay hidden. Hidden from the world. I’m embarrassed by the uncontrollable feelings that keep me trapped in this isolated pain.
“Let’s go dance in the rain.” Her voice sings while the clashing of metal slats tell me she’s yanking the blinds up. The wet gush of cool wind, from the now open window, whipping at my exposed toes prophesies of colder days to come. More dark clouds to keep company the ones in my mind. Desperate to escape this mental hell, I cautiously peek, into the world where joy has slowly, through the weeks, drifted further and further from me. My sisters face is turned toward the rain, blissfully enjoying all the sounds, smells, and sites I too once enjoyed.
“Look, there’s a rainbow.” Her blonde hair whips playfully in the wind as her excited eyes turn to look into my empty ones. Recognition, the dull empty eyes I now view the world from, she immediately knows something’s not right. “What’s wrong with you?”
“I can’t even see the rainbow.” So much sadness pours out of my eyes. The moisture equal to that of the cries mother nature sheds outside my window.
“Come,” She pulls me from the bed. “Let’s go talk to mom. Rainbows are promises of better days ahead. Just cuz you can’t see this one doesn’t mean you won’t ever see another. You just need a little help, like you did once before.”
And this is how my loved ones help me each time depression sets in. The first time it lasted longer because I didn’t understand what was happening. The next time we all understood, clinical depression, and it didn’t take as long to recover. My brain just needed a little more help. And sure enough, I have seen more rainbows.
This is some advice from another one of my friends. She is just so beautiful! I have known her since she was a little girl and she has always had a huge contagious smile on for all those around her. Meanwhile, she has had her own inner struggle. And she has shared it to uplift and inspire others.
My advice is listen to the people that truly love you. It’s hard, but they are there to help you get better.
Taking therapy has been a challenge. You open up all the wounds. But finding the right therapist is the key. I tried another therapist. She didn’t really work. But the one that I have now is the best. It’s totally okay to switch therapists to find the one that best fits you.
You can read more about Veronica’s journey here. https://www.instagram.com/veronicacederlof_/
My friend Jamie Slade does all sorts of work throughout the community educating and helping those with any kind of mental challenge. She works for Tooele Valley Behavioral Health. I asked her for some advice. I asked her what some of the signs of suicide can be. So that we can help our loved ones who are struggling. Her is what she said:
I just wanted to invite you to the Stansbury Prevention Meeting on September 26th. It will be at the Stansbury Clubhouse at 6pm and I would love to have you join us as we discuss substance abuse and suicide prevention in Stansbury.
I got your message wondering about signs parents can look for in teens who may be suicidal. I’m sorry I haven’t responded yet, I was at Austin’s wedding yesterday! There’s a really great Suicide Prevention course called QPR that I teach, along with a handful of others in the community. There is a monthly QPR in Tooele, and we also teach any groups who request us (church groups, businesses, etc). The course has great information on the verbal and behavioral signs and clues that people may give in the days or weeks leading to a suicide attempt. I’ve listed them below:
Suicide Clues And Warning Signs
- Threats to hurt or kill him or herself
- Current talk of suicide/making a plan
- Strong wish to die–talking, writing, posting about death
- Anxious and depressed, not sleeping
- Abusing substances
- No reason to live, no purpose in life
- Feeling trapped with no way out
- Withdrawing from friends, family and society
- Anger, irritability, engaging in high risk behavior apparently without thinking
- Statements of hopelessness and despair
Direct Verbal Clues:
- “I’ve decided to kill myself.”
- “I wish I were dead.”
- “I’m going to commit suicide.”
- “I’m going to end it all.”
- “If (such and such) doesn’t happen, I’ll kill
Indirect Verbal Clues
- “I’m tired of life, I just can’t go on.”
- “My family would be better off without me.”
- “Who cares if I’m dead anyway.”
- “I just want out.”
- “I won’t be around much longer.”
- “Pretty soon you won’t have to worry about
- Any previous suicide attempt
- Seeking access to a gun or hoarding pills
- Impulsivity—increased risk taking
- Giving away prized possessions
- Self-harm or putting their lives in danger
- Unexplained anger, aggression and irritability
- Out of the ordinary behaviors— pay attention if something changes significantly (skipping school, grades, friend groups, etc.)
- Eating habit changes
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Unexplained headaches
- Unexplained stomachaches
- Lack of focus OR hyper-focused
I’d say the biggest thing is to be aware of what’s normal for a person, and what is abnormal. If someone is normally a really cheerful and happy person, and they suddenly become very withdrawn and unhappy, that’s a sign. It can go the other way as well. If someone is normally reserved and not a very happy person, and they suddenly become outgoing and happy, that could be a sign as well, because deciding to kill themselves may have lifted a weight off their shoulders and they feel happy now that they have a plan. That can make it really tricky to spot a person who could be suicidal! So it’s just really important to remember that any change in what is their normal behavior may be a clue. It’s really important to be tuned in with our friends and family so we can identify those changes. Most people who are suicidal communicate their intent to a family member, friend, or stranger either verbally or behaviorally in the week before their attempt, so the more people who can become aware and know what to look for, the better!
If you’d like to attend a QPR class and learn more about how to identify and help someone, I’ll get you the schedule for the public QPRs coming up!
Hope to see you at the meeting in a few weeks. I’d really love to have you on board.
565 West 900 South
Tooele, Utah 84074
Cell: 435-830-4416 (call/text)
The best talk ever on depression from Elder Holland Like a Broken Vessel