Boyd Matheson: What Suicide Prevention Week can teach us about our perspective on perspective

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  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 11:29 a.m.

    There is not enough room to portray the perspective that has helped me; but briefly it is a complex view obtained from my childhood and from my marriage.

    From my childhood the depression, stress, anxiety came as much from religious expectations as it did from social pressures; and yet, the perspective I gained from my religious upbringing plays an integral role in my ability to survive. It is my belief that death is not the end of our being; only a change. With that belief; it is easy to see that even a lifetime of depression is not a storm that lasts forever; but there may be value in weathering the storm (not just fleeing from it).

    This that I call an "eternal perspective." in which this life is but a short moment although extremely valuable, has helped me not only survive; but to move forward to another perspective. A searching for "value" of this life.

    My marriage to a woman with both physical and cognitive disabilities has helped me learn to value ALL life; even those that society has outcast and proclaimed are of no value. Thus a perspective in finding value in life and value in each individual allows me to find my own value and thus a purpose to weather the storm of life.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 11:19 a.m.

    "However, many do know the overwhelming discouragement, loss of hope and feelings of worthlessness that accompany debilitating anxiety and deep depression."

    -- Boyd, I would add that many do NOT know the overwhelming discouragement, loss of hope and feelings of worthlessness that accompany constant threat of hellfire and damnation that comes from religious leaders, and often family members when one is LGBT and is regularly told they're "worthless" by those very people who should know better.

    Having been on the brink at one time myself, as a result of the teachings of my religious leaders, I do have an inkling of these things myself.

    Religious leaders need to stop denigrating and demeaning people for being who they were born to be.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2018 10:36 a.m.

    This is a topic I feel strongly about; and feel like i should comment on each article. But I also feel I should weigh my words with care. So, I open with an analogy:

    Mr. Matheson posits: ". . . it is against the laws of nature, and nature’s God, that storms last forever. Storms come and then go. . ."

    As Florence comes close to the Carolinas and is expected to "stall" and sit over the coast for days; thankfully not as strong as it once was; but nevertheless a storm that for many within its impact will feel like it's lasting forever. So, too, the storms of this life may feel forever while in their midst.

    I suffer from what has been termed Dysthymia, Persistent Depressive Disorder, or Chronic Depression. It is as the name implies persistent, it doesn't just come and go like an afternoon shower; or even a stalled hurricane; it has been with me for at least 30 years (probably longer). That is 30 years of daily suicidal ideation, 30 years of hopelessness and helplessness, and a status as a second class citizen.

    Thankfully I am not in a state of perpetual crisis; but crisis with my wife is a nearly daily thing as well.

    What perspective helps me? Must answer that in another post. . .