I woke up to a picture of David and I when we were kids, a picture of David and my mother, and a picture of Mom and my grandfather. The three most influential people in my life.
The three most influential people in my life who are no longer in my life. All of them are no longer.
I woke up knowing that today was October 15th: a date that four years ago redefined the very genetic makeup of who I once was and would redefine who I am moving forward.
David was the last living person, the only living person, who genetically was made up of the same DNA, of the same experiences, who would get mad for the same reasons, cry for the same reasons, laugh for the same reasons. If you have siblings, this will likely make a lot of sense to you. So when he took his own life, he also took a piece of mine with it.
When he died, a part of me died. The only difference is part of me is very literally now the walking dead. I never wanted to be part zombie, but then again I assume nobody really wants to be a zombie. A werewolf, or vampire maybe. Zombie? Not so much. I guess I should be somewhat positive that it’s only part-zombie.
It’s been four years, and four years later I can tell you: I am no closer to understanding what was going through David’s mind when he made the decision he did. I’m confident now that I never will. It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things anyway.
My point is that when David died he, without permission, altered my genetic makeup and that of so many other people around him. They, too, are now different people with this scar and wounds that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. They, too, are part-zombie.
I could have just let it be a private matter and carried this silently as people returned to their normal lives while I internalized this loss and tried to cope with it my own. But that’s the problem. We can’t go at this alone. We won’t heal—we’ll rot and increase the chance of infection.
We need to stop the infection. And to stop the infection, we need to talk about what is causing it. One thing I am certain of is not talking about it IS a root cause of the walking dead affected by suicide.
Four years ago, I took a gamble: I essentially decided to put it all out there and share my story, hoping that I wasn’t going to tank my career, or become “that guy.” To be quite frank, it didn’t matter anyway. If they weren’t going to accept me for what I had become and what I was feeling, oh well, screw ‘em. I knew when I wrote the first blog and then the second and third, I had a vehicle for my depression and feelings that was allowing me to fight my personal infection. It appears to have resonated: I am able to better understand my depression and also am able to better listen to yours.
Four years later, not so ironically on the anniversary of David’s Suicide, I am glad to say that the site you are now looking at has been completely re-vamped to grow our discussion and to allow all of you who have privately and publicly shared your stories with me to now share them with the world.
We’re going to do something revolutionary at the gala this year: We are going to show you LIFE.
I hope you join us and bookmark these pages—there is so much more to come. The next stage of my journey and continued fight against depression will be through your conversation and your stories. To those of you who have said I might have inspired you in some way, I say to you I am ready to be inspired, to share in your experiences and understand the things you are doing to help yourself or somebody else. To collaborate and to become the one voice for those who don’t have one because they are locked up fighting the emotions in their head telling them they are less than exceptional.
Today is October 15th, 2015. Four years ago today, I lost my best friend, my brother, my idol, my wingman, my co-pirate, my everything to suicide.
David, I think your decision to leave us was the worst decision you’ve ever made. Your life impacted so many people while you were alive. I hope you can appreciate me telling our story because I am guessing if you could you would have done things differently, even if it was only to tell me how badly I am screwing things up. I love you. I miss you. I am so absolutely frustrated by depression and suicide.