I’ve been listening to the Mental Illness Happy Hour a lot lately, and a lot of times, it’s uplifting: it’s comforting to hear from other people who have dealt with depression and such, and between the guests and the surveys that Paul reads, I see that I don’t have it so bad. Admittedly, at other times, it’s super depressing. Because my god, some of these poor people have had it so bad.

I’ve posted a lot lately about depression and anxiety and mental health in general, and I know there are people who think it’s some drama-queen attention seeking or some such bullshit; and that’s fine, because those people can fuck right off. I post things like this because I know that it can be helpful for other people to see it sometimes, in the same way that it can be helpful to hear other people’s stories on a podcast. Most of the time, social media (Facebook in particular) is all puppies and rainbows, because everyone puts their best foot forward and only shares the good stuff. But that’s not real life; people are secretive about their demons, and it can be easy to forget that others are dealing with the same kind of problems.

In part because I have tweeted about this stuff a bit, I’ve wound up talking to other people about it. Along the way, I’ve learned that I know several people who have attempted suicide, and it just fucking guts me to think about how much these people must have been hurting to get to that point. It kills me to know there are almost certainly other people I know, who haven’t talked to anyone about it, but have been in the same place, suffering alone.

Please don’t suffer alone. Please call the suicide prevention hotline (1-800-273-8255), call me (202-374-5348), call a friend, call someone. Please, please call someone.

Please talk to a therapist. If you don’t like the first person you see (it happens), please try someone else, and find a therapist who’s a good fit for you. Here’s a list of organizations that can provide referrals. If you’re in Chicago, I can give you the number for the guy I’ve been seeing for over a year. Your insurance probably covers it, and you know what, I’m willing to help pay your copay if you can’t, because that’s worth more than any of the shit I spend money on.

Depression lies. Depression will tell you that things won’t get better. Depression will tell you that you’re not worth it. Depression will make you forget how good life can be, because depression is a motherfucker.

If you haven’t dealt with depression, or you have in the past: go ahead and put that number in your phone, in case someone you love needs it later on (1-800-273-8255), or consider donating to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.