I learned tonight that a(nother) friend from seminary succumbed to despair and depression and took her own life last night.
This young woman was tormented all the years I’ve known her by feelings of inadequacy; pressured by perfectionism and the feeling that she wasn’t worthy without continual herculean effort toward everything she did. She believed those little tapes we all have rolling in our heads, telling us that we’re not good enough and that we’ll soon be found out.
This was not a case of the depression going undiagnosed or her being left along by people who cared. We all spent hours with her through the dark nights (afternoons, and mornings.) We listened, assured our unconditional love and encouraged.
But something kept whispering to her that we weren’t being genuine and I don’t think she ever believed us. Not really.
We encouraged and even drove her to doctors and therapist appointments. We visited when she admitted herself to the hospital. The doctors struggled to balance her medications. We struggled to help her stay on them.
But last night, despite all our love and caring and time; and all the work of the doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, a sweet, talented and lovable young woman slipped away.
I pray that in death she has finally found the peace she couldn’t ever find in her all too short life.
She was only 26.