My Lord, what a day. I woke up this morning, checked my Twitter feed, and immediately started freaking the fuck out, because my little sister is currently on a research vessel off the coast of Chile. I called my mom, who’d received an email from her early in the morning saying she was okay, and so then I promptly started freaking out about tsunamis from the earthquake. I twittered about it, and, thank goodness, I had quite a few readers quickly reach out to tell me that the open sea is probably the safest place for her to be right now. I guess ships at sea barely even feel tsunamis — they’re not a problem until they hit the shore. I was incredibly relieved, but my thoughts and prayers are with those impacted in Chile and the surrounding areas. I can’t imagine waking up to this news and not having heard from my loved one in the area, and I know that’s the position other families are in today. And for godsake, people of Hawaii: DO NOT TRY TO SURF THIS. (I know someone will anyway.)
Yet another reason to count my blessings: Marie Osmond’s son, Michael Blosil, jumped from his downtown Los Angeles apartment to his death Friday night. He left behind a note, indicating that his lifelong battle with depression led him to feel he had no friends and would never fit in. This absolutely broke my heart. Any suicide breaks my heart, and it feels like we’ve had so many high-profile suicides lately.
I feel close to this story. I remember when Michael checked into rehab in 2007, and I remember being so impressed with the way Marie handled the situation. I wrote about it back then. “My son Michael is an amazing young man, shown through his courage in facing his issues,” she said. “As his mother, I couldn’t be more proud of him.” I was so very impressed with her grace in the situation, and the way she chose to demonstrate her love for her child. I was impressed with the way the family rallied around their son, how there was no shame or denial, just acknowledgment of his illness and support for his recovery. I’m devastated for her that this was the eventual outcome.
As someone who’s lived through it again and again since my teenage years, I now understand that overcoming depression is a day-by-day fight. I now understand that, when life feels hopeless and dark and cruel, when I feel I cannot and should not have to wake up every day and fight this thing, something sinister inside my mind is lying to me. I understand that I need to reach out to loved ones and allow myself to be cared for and to fight tooth and nail to keep my head above water. It’s still sometimes a brutal fight, and it’s one that I was not in any way prepared for as a teenager, not with all the therapy in the world. I realize today that it is solely by the grace of God that I’m still around, and I feel nothing but sadness for those who lose the battle with such an insidious illness. I wish the Osmonds and Blosils strength and serenity as they navigate this loss.