"Don't should on yourself" was a phrase often repeated while I was in the hospital and during outpatient group therapy. I'm struggling with that today.
I went to the break room for a soda. There were a few women at a table chatting. We exchanged "hellos" and I turned to plink money into the machine. [Few important notes for context: I am fairly well known and seem to be well liked at my office. The women at the table were people I consider nice and friendly. None of them know that I struggle with depression, ocd....etc and certainly do not know that less than 6 months ago I was hospitalized fearing I'd kill myself. They only know the chatty, bubbly me since when I am not well, I withdraw and hide.] Before I could pick up my soda, and walk the 15 feet out of the room, their conversation had gone back to I suppose what it had been when I walked in and everyone stopped to greet me.
"Well, people like that you can't help." "He killed himself. How selfish!" "You can't help them if they don't want it." "What's wrong with people like that. Get over it."
Here were these women, who I've done charity events with, who've hugged me when my husband cheated, who would never say anything to hurt my feelings (at least not in front of me), speaking about someone who lost the battle with depression with scorn and .....disgust. I sliently went back to my office. I closed the door. I set the soda down and cried into my hands.
I cried not only because of what they said. I cried because of what I didn't say. It was a golden opportunity to teach those women about a life threatening illness that may one day threaten the life of someone they love, not just like. I can't help but feel that I should have said something.