I woke up today really extraordinarily sad, and I could find no reason. A few days ago I was fine. But today I have this gnawing, unrelenting despair that makes me wonder if there is such as a thing as depression and hope.
I then read the article on Ex-Nascar driver Kevin Grubb, found dead today of an apparent self-inflicted gun wound. Maybe that is where my pain is from, I don't know. A sense of foreboding, forewarning. Every day in the news I read about it and it reminds me of my own struggles and family losses, the pain that so many around the world feel on a daily basis that can find no relief from, do not get treatment for, and see no way out of...
Somehow, though, the pain inspires me and lifts me. I know the reason so many are in pain is that we do not understand the brain - how it works, what feeds it, what makes it function correctly, and how it gets 'out of whack', for a lack of a better choice of words. And once out of whack, the spiralling can take place unless something is done to stop it.
And what we do not understand, we often fear, which only makes the suffering worse.
I believe my calling is to take depression away from loneliness, despair and sorrow - to a place where we use our pain towards something productive. In my worst of days I can write in bed, I can use my brain to bring something creative and wonderful from my angst. It is from some of my most worst and trying times that I come up with my most creative thoughts and solutions.
So I celebrate this Month - Mental Health Awareness Month - what I call, and encourage many to start doing, the Global Month of Hope. We are planting a field of sunflowers in Ghana, Africa to raise money and awareness for depression around the world. We don't understand what causes depression and how to cure it, but that does not mean we can't.
The sunflower was chosen as a special symbol for many reasons. You can read more on http://www.depression.org/ or http://www.thefieldofhope.org/.
My heart goes out to the Grubb family. To the family of David Kellermann, who was acting CFO of Freddie Mac when he saw no way out. And my heart mourns all of the work lost by these fantastic people, folks who never saw their true potential and whose families lost out on a life filled with their angelic presence because of their own personal struggle with unbearable pain.
I believe a day will come when there are no suicides. We will understand the brain wiring better and will come up with treatments that are effective, just as we are doing for heart disease, cancer, and other serious diseases. The brain is the most complex organ in the human body, yet we have done so very little to understand how to treat brain imbalances, merely touching the tip of the iceberg.
What I know is every day that I feel like this I give thanks and try to do something that I know will make a difference in the lives of others, and that is what I will do today. Not perfectly, and unfortunately some people will not be happy with the way I do it, but I will do the best I can and the best I know how and have peace with that.
All of my love goes out to those struggling with this disease, or who are helping family members cope, and my prayers to all for brighter days. On days you all feel like this, I suggest planting a seed, simply caring for yourself, or doing something for someone else. Better days will always come.