I read this morning that Trey Pennington, a man well known and loved by many in social media circles, had committed suicide.
When I learn about someone who has made this choice, I feel a deep kinship with them, because I too made this choice many years ago. I understand the depths of depression that drive one to that moment — that incomprehensible blackness, that inability to see your way though to the next moment when possibly the cloud might lift. When you have been through this many times, at some point even knowing that the cloud will lift is not enough — because you believe you will only end up back at this place once again.
I have managed to stay on this planet for what will be 68 years on September 11th. I was brought back to life in 1984 after I tried to leave. I continued to fight those demons for many years, and then again in the early 90’s I reached that point of deep despair once again. I write about my journey out of that blackness in Choosing to Be.
I no longer think about suicide, but I understand how one arrives at this point.
Some of us manage to stay and some of us decide we must leave. My friend Marty Weiner left earlier this year. He was a gift to this planet, a healer who helped me through times of dark despair. He shared with me that he too dealt with depression most of his life, and knowing this made me feel less alone.
I thought about Marty this morning. How much I wished he could have stayed. I found a video tribute to him, and as I watched it, I thought about Trey Pennington and how many people whose lives Trey touched are hurting today.
There are no easy answers, I know this. The day I decided to end my life, no one suspected that I would make that choice late that night. We can’t always be there, we can’t know the pain that is so deeply buried. All we can do is share our stories, listen with our hearts, and take action when we can to pull someone back from the brink. But we must also understand that in the end, it is not up to us.