Warning: Content about suicide
Dear Tara Condell,
It’s been a few months since I read the news about you and your letter still crosses my mind now and again.
Regrettably, it’s a bit too late now to share anything with you. I do believe that you have found some peace and happiness at the end of your journey, despite the circumstances involved. As someone who contemplated it and struggled with it for a very long time, I understand you felt like this was the only option for your true happiness and I only pray that you are peaceful now, wherever you are.
The part of your letter that touched me the most is when you wrote: “I realise I am undeserving of thinking this way because I truly have a great life on paper.”
It’s regretful you didn’t have the resources to cope during all of this. I wish you had someone to tell you that your feelings mattered. They’re not irrelevant. Telling someone they should simply be grateful and that they have it good is such an ignorant and lazy way of communicating with somebody who’s in pain. Unfortunately, it is often the people who are closest to us who say these things, like our parents calling us ungrateful or loved ones who take our feelings for granted.
Depression is not a first world problem. Not only is it a serious medical condition, but the aspects that contribute to it tie to the value and overall point of life — to feel fulfilled and happy. People may see our external circumstances and think we have it good or expect us to feel a certain way about ourselves. This is ignorant. We all have external and internal lives, and no one should assume they are always in sync.
The circumstances of one’s being shouldn’t determine whether their problems are significant or not. Nor should they be used to assume how someone is feeling and their perspective of life. This may sound crazy but the person who is struggling to make ends meet may very well be happier than their counterpart living in a furnished penthouse on an upper east side. That may be difficult for many to wrap their head around because their upbringing and culture might have taught them that mental illness and living an abundant life are mutually exclusive.
The reasoning is because there is much more to life than one’s exterior circumstance. That’s a substantial factor but, alas, only a fraction of the whole picture. You could possess all the money in the world, but it’s meaningless if you are unhappy and unfulfilled.
To those who are feeling a disconnect in life and struggling with mental illness and suicidal thoughts, I truly hope you get the help you need, because it is out there, believe me. In this day and age, we have more resources than ever to help us with these issues, like seeing a doctor or even reading books on the subject matter. These are the steps you can take to literally save your own life. It is an uphill battle when there are so many people who don’t understand you telling you what’s best for you. However, you have to stay strong and do what you think is best for yourself. That’s not selfish, that’s life.
I’m praying for your peace and happiness.