[Noisebridge-discuss] Please reach out

jim jim at well.com
Sat Nov 19 18:24:40 PST 2011


    i understand that depression, like diabetes and heart 
disease and cancer, is widespread. mitch's email and JD's 
and JE's responses brought up a feeling in me that somehow 
the idea of reaching out is in itself insufficient. 
    sure, my response is a criticism, but i don't mean to 
carp, rather express my visceral reaction with a hope of 
improving the message. 
    i know there's a lot of good study on the subject, and 
i bet it's possible to find or create a cogent summary of 
a list of things a person can do that have a likelihood of 
helping (e.g. get good sleep, change your immediate 
surroundings, get some exercise like a walk, do something 
that takes you out of your thoughts, try to discover what 
you are subconsciously expecting that leads you to feel let 
down or failed...)--a few good doorways to consider. 

    so far my contribution seems to me to fall short, but 
the topic seems something akin to a hack possibility, some 
prospect of discovering practical approaches that work. the 
info about Dore Urgent Care seems useful, for example. 
    i'll ask my shrinks. 



On Sat, 2011-11-19 at 15:16 -0800, John Ellis wrote:
> Hi Duncan and friends,
> 
> One thing I noted about Dore Urgent care is they generally do not put
> people on a 5150 hold , even if they may meet the 5150 requirements.
> The idea is you agree not to actually harm yourself, even if you have
> suicidal ideation. This is different to some other centers in this
> city. Their services do do not feel like a psych ward.
> 
> In case your wondering, yes I have dealt with major depression for a
> long time. I'm doing okay at the moment. There is a constant pressure
> to do more and to succeed, but I don't always feel motivated to do the
> things that would mean success.
> 
> To re-iterate what others have said, If someone is experience major
> depression or thoughts of suicide, tell someone. Reach out and someone
> will help you, just ask.
> 
> Regards,
> John
> 
> On Sat, Nov 19, 2011 at 2:56 PM, Just Duncan <justduncan at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Very well written and thanks, Mitch.  I think for a lot of people, the
> > question of reaching out is more one of simply not knowing how... especially
> > without getting an awkward TMI response or more rejection... or to whom...
> > without ending up in the psych ward when that's not warranted.
> > Hackers aren't always the best at social skills, especially in times of
> > need.
> >
> > On Nov 19, 2011, at 12:40 PM, Mitch Altman <maltman23 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > For folks who don't know, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the founders of
> > Diaspora, committed suicide recently.  He was 22 years old.
> >
> > Ilya hung out at Noisebridge, and also led workshops and hackathons for
> > Diaspora at our space.  Most people who met him were quickly taken in by his
> > enthusiasm and do-ocratic charisma.  I became instant friends with him the
> > first day he showed up at Noisebridge shortly after he moved to San
> > Francisco last year.
> >
> > Hardly anyone had even a clue that Ilya was depressed, let alone suicidal.
> > He was bubbly, cheerful, excited about all the way cool projects he was
> > implementing, as well as the ones he had thought, and would think of.
> >
> > Last night was his memorial in San Francisco, followed a party in his
> > backyard in the Mission.  This party was typical of the epic parties Ilya
> > threw in his backyard over the past many months, bringing together so many
> > wonderful people -- incredible opportunities to have fun meeting and
> > connecting with each other.  The only thing atypical last night was that
> > Ilya was not there.
> >
> > Both the memorial and the party were full of people who knew and loved Ilya,
> > and who Ilya knew and loved.  Ilya could have reached out to any one of us
> > -- any time of day or night.  He could have reached out.  But he didn't.
> >
> > For Ilya to have held in and hid his pain so well that all of these people,
> > including myself, had no clue -- Ilya must have felt *so* alone, *so*
> > isolated, exacerbating his pain too greatly.  If he had reached out, maybe
> > -- maybe -- he could have lived another day.  But he didn't.
> >
> > I lived the first half of my life in total and utter depression.  No joy,
> > just shame, just self-loathing, dread and anxiety and fear of other people
> > -- total depression.  I know what it is like to be depressed.  I know what
> > it is like to live for one's whole life knowing and believing that the best
> > life might have to offer is the ability for me to endure the pain till I
> > eventually died.  That was the best possibility.  As with Ilya, I hid all of
> > this from the world as best as I could.  And most people had no clue I was
> > depressed.
> >
> > Yet, I learned, through making choices for myself, and learning from the
> > consequences of my choices, and with help and support of others, over a
> > period of many years, making more choices, learning, growing, crashing,
> > burning, making more choices, more support. . . -- I eventually learned to
> > live a life I love.  I love the life I live!  If I could learn to live a
> > life I love, then, certainly, it is possible for anyone to do this!
> >
> > It is more than possible -- it is way worthwhile, way rewarding, way
> > wonderful to go through the experiences of our life -- through the ups and
> > the downs, through the all-arounds, and all the pain and suffering and joy
> > and love and excitement -- and come to a place where you know that the pain,
> > regardless of its intensity, is yet another (perhaps seemingly unendurable)
> > experience, which gives way to more of what makes life even more worthwhile.
> >
> > Depression is an important part of life.  Everyone experiences it to some
> > extent.  But to those of us who know chronic depression, it is our own
> > unique hell.
> >
> > Unique as it is to each of us, we all share a lot.
> >
> > And we all have a lot to share with each other. Through the ups, and the
> > downs, the all-arounds.
> >
> > For someone who has no experience reaching out, it can seem to be the
> > scariest thing possible.  But it is possible.
> >
> > It is very possible.  Ilya is dead.  But you -- you are still alive.  If you
> > are contemplating suicide, please know that you are not alone.  You are part
> > of a community of others, many of whom know what it is like to be hopelessly
> > depressed.  Many of whom are more than open for you to reach out to (if you
> > only knew!).
> >
> > You *can* choose to kill yourself.  But it will be your last choice.  If you
> > are ready to kill yourself, why not try out one choice first?  What do you
> > have to lose?  I know it is scary, and perhaps way shameful, and maybe too
> > awful, and extremely difficult -- but, really, what do you have to lose?
> > Please know that you *can* choose to reach out to someone.  Please, know
> > that you can.  Please, pick someone and reach out.
> >
> > Why wait till your pain is so unendurable?  You can reach out now.  (Really,
> > you can.)
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Mitch.
> >
> >
> > [I also posted this to the Noisebridge blog:
> > http://blog.noisebridge.net/2011/11/19/please-reach-out/]
> >
> >
> >
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