Photo Courtesy of Natural Pastels on Pixabay
Last week, the world was jolted and saddened by the death of lovely and very wealthy Kate Spade, iconic purse designer—by her own hand. A woman who looked as though she should grace the cover of a Betty Crocker box. Charming, smiling, coiffed, looking perfect in every way—except inside.
Then, before we’d recovered from that piece of news, again we reeled from reports the handsome and enigmatic celebrity chef and television star, Anthony Bourdain, did the same. Only three days later.
Both outwardly were beautiful, talented, and possessed money we could only dream of, and a life to go with it. But they were also both achingly empty and bereft on the inside, to feel the only way out was hang themselves to end whatever pain they wanted gone.
Let me say I knew neither Kate or Anthony, and I don’t much read magazines or follow tabloids. But when I saw this news splashed all over the internet, my heart broke for them and their families. They were tortured by whatever demons were bothering them, and felt there were no other options.
Listen. I’ve been where they were, knowing that familiar depression that cozies up to you, settling in like a personal dark cloud following day and night. The burden becomes so heavy you feel you’ll crush under its load. I’ve never spoken openly about this, but I tried to commit suicide at 16 by taking sleeping pills, but only took 10. My mom found pills missing from the bottle, and shooed me out to the garden to weed and work off the effects (Things were much different back then)! I nearly toppled over while weed pulling, but lived.
Another time, I half-heartedly popped 30 baby aspirin because I liked the orange flavor, and it seemed like a pleasant way to go. Obviously, that didn’t work either. I’ve thought about this numerous times over the years, but I’m fortunate to be squeamish and hate the sight of blood.
What changed? I came to the end of myself one night and realized my life is not my own. As long as I kept trying to control everything, my efforts would be futile and I’d always be striving for something I couldn’t quite achieve.
Here’s what happened in my situation. One night, I prayed and asked God for forgiveness for my sins. I asked his son, Jesus Christ, to come into my heart and life and save me. I asked him to take control of my life that night and from that point on.
Instantly, I felt electrified as if struck by white hot light beginning at the crown of my head to the tip of my toes—a cleansing lightning strike. Or standing naked under a cascading waterfall, but instead of water rushing over the outside of my body, the rapids were within.
I wish I could say all was peaches and cream after that night, but a lifetime of wrong thinking and self-abuse doesn’t clear up overnight. It still took quite a bit of work, prayer, and changing my thought life before I felt normal again.
Kate and Anthony, I wish I could have impressed upon you that you are wholly and truly loved by God—no matter how much talent or money you possess. You had the weight of the world upon your shoulders, but no one knew. I’m sorry there was no one close enough to you to know the pain you were suffering. No one who could encourage you, uplift you, tell you how much you are loved by your Father in Heaven. Perhaps they were too intimidated by your money, your celebrity, and they felt too small and you loomed too large.
We were better off in sharing your art, and your willingness to step out on a limb and be unique. I’m sorry it was these very things that may have destroyed you.
Rest in peace, Kate and Anthony.
Do you or someone you love suffer from depression? Let me know your story. I’d love to hear from you!
Penelope Silvers is a freelance writer, author,
and radio host of Penelope’s Book Chat on Blog
Talk Radio. She lives simply and sanely on Florida’s
beautiful nature coast.