This picture is of my brother-in-law Cary on my wedding day. As you can see he was handsome. He was also a talented musician. He played by ear which drove me crazy. People who studied to read music are irritated by people who can play by ear. Cary discovered music in high school and it was his passion. The only problem was, Cary didn’t have a plan B. Cary had a a job working with his Uncle in a sign business. He did really well at it, but it wasn’t his plan B. It was just a job until his music took off. He didn’t go to school and unfortunately no one explained to him how difficult it is to make it in the music business and how important an education could be for him. Cary was very hard headed so even if someone had told him, he probably wouldn’t have listened. When fame didn’t come in his 20’s he kept waiting. When it didn’t come in his 30’s he kept waiting. But slowly depression started creeping in. He didn’t understand it. He tried to fill that depression with other things, mostly women who were wrong for him. His depression grew. Despite being told that he needed to “get something for it”, he pressed on. Eventually he would see a Dr. but by then his depression was very deep. His 40’s came and with them more depression. He wasn’t married. He didn’t have the career he envisioned and by then he was waist high in horrible depression. He would see a couple of physicians, but nothing seemed to help. In his mid 40’s he lost his Mom. She had always been his biggest supporter. It sent him into a tail spin and at that point depression washed over him like a tsunami. He was overwhelmed. Life got increasingly difficult for Cary and he could see no way out. On September 1, 2014 Cary ended his life.
Cary chose a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Cary left devastation in his wake. He left a legacy of suicide to his family. For that I will always be angry with him. You see, this didn’t have to happen. This was completely senseless.
Cary was hard headed. Cary had a Mom who supported him. He had an uncle who would do anything for him. He had a father who was there for him. He had a brother who would do anything for him. He had friends who adored him. Over the course of his life I know that his brother (and I’m sure others) talked to Cary about seeing a therapist and going to college, going to church and changing his life direction. But he couldn’t hear it. He was stuck. He was convinced that his brother simply “lead a charmed life” and couldn’t possibly understand. That was not true. His brother did some hard work with therapists to overcome many issues. He put in the time and the work. Cary didn’t. Cary very easily became overcome by his emotions but he was too stubborn to reach out to get help. He was too stubborn to see things another way. To that end, he fell deeper and deeper into depression until it simple overtook him and he took his own life.
I’ve condensed a long life into a few paragraphs. There was so much more to Cary’s life. So many more pieces that others could fill in. But my purpose is to bring awareness to this horrible issue of depression. It is overwhelming. So many suffer with it in silence for lots of reasons. No reason is acceptable. Help is all around. Reach out. There are so many places to go – pastors, rabbi’s, hospitals, public health, friends, family, teachers even police officers. Tell someone. Keep telling someone until someone hears you. If your Dr. is not helping find another one. Depression is like cancer. You must fight it. You can’t give into it. You must keep fighting until you defeat it, because the alternative could be death. Don’t be hard headed. Don’t get stuck in patterns. Seek new forms of help. Seek new patterns. Go out and take a walk. Exercise is so good for you brain. Talk to people. Talk to anyone. Call a suicide hotline. If you are considering suicide I wan’t you to think about your family sitting at your funeral. Do you really want to do that to them? Is this truly on ONLY answer? No! There is hope.
I’d love to tell you about the hope I have. I too have struggled with depression. The stories are too long to share here but it has been a lifelong struggle with depression and anxiety. I have fought every step of the way. I have seen physicians and therapists. I’ve read books and tried to learn more about it. I have fought hard because giving myself over to depression is not an option for me. I love my family too much.
We miss Cary terribly but his death is always marked by this incredibly selfish act. For that, I will always be mad at him. But I don’t want Cary’s death to be just another on the nationwide list of suicides that happen every year. He may have chosen this selfish, and permanent solution but by God I’m not going to let it end there. I’m going to make sure that at the very least others learn from his tragedy and hopefully someone will read this and make a different choice, a choice for life. Hopefully someone else will ready this and choose to fight. Cary’s life does matter even though he may not have believed it did and I’m going to make sure to use his story to make a difference.
If you are considering suicide or just suffering with depression please reach out. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and their website is www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/