*Warning: This is not a normal, Andee, happy-clappy, feel good post. If you are not ready for heaviness, please move on. I won’t be offended.
News of Jennifer Huston’s disappearance blasted from Portland Metro media one week ago. The wife and mother of tinies stopped at an ATM, refueled her car, and vanished. Hundreds in the community searched for her Lexus and she was a main status topic for local Facebook friends.
After a few days, Jennifer’s body was found. Investigators said she took her own life. And the mob of judging began.
But I will not judge Jennifer. Because it just as easily could have been me. And, I’m guessing, half of the population out there.
Clinical depression isn’t a case of being “bummed out” a good portion of the time. It’s a neurological condition affecting victims with a variety of symptoms, most common being the feeling of helplessness and worthlessness. Therapy and medication can be saviors, but not everyone has easy access – either financially or because their depression has convinced them outside help isn’t necessary.
Long time friends and readers know of my depression. You know I’m in therapy, and while I joke about it the majority of the time, there are some counseling topics I choose to keep to myself. Now, however, I’ll share one.
Two months ago I took a solitary trip to the ocean thinking it would bring me out of the current mental state I was in. Unfortunately, alone time caused my anxiety to worsen. I looked out at the sea and thought, I could just walk in and keep walking. I wouldn’t have to stop. No one would know. I could, you know. I could.
Obviously, I didn’t. For me, the saving pull was that I could never leave my girls without a mother. It was a tiny tug on that trip, but powerful enough to bring me home and schedule an immediate appointment with my counselor.
Turns out, the medication I was on didn’t mesh well with my brain. What was supposed to pull me out of anxiety caused my depression to deepen. Scary, huh? I’m good now, in case you are wondering. We found a prescription to bring me back to my happy-clappy-silly-sarcastic-caring self. The woman God intended for me to be.
Sometimes, though, I think about my life before therapy and medication. I remember all the times it seemed easier to die than to live. And I thank God in heaven I didn’t end up like Jennifer.
I plead with you to not judge Jennifer, either. You don’t know her brain chemistry. You don’t know what was happening in her life. Just because you make certain choices does not mean others make the same.
Pray for Jennifer’s husband. Pray for her children. Pray for her parents. Pray for yourselves. Pray for empathy, for sympathy, for compassion.
Take heart God loves His children even when they can’t love themselves.
***EDIT Please know this post was written before the news of Robin Williams suicide. I believe the sentiment remains the same for a big celebrity as well as a local mother. We cannot judge. Jennifer and Robin, I hope you have found peace.******