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Personal. Here’s what you may not know about me.

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Hey Good Lookin'! I hope you're having an awesome day.

If you've been with me awhile, you know I try to keep it light and bright and fun here. I always try to make you smile when I write these notes and when I write my emails.

There's a reason for that.

I'm honestly not sure where this is going to head today, but I feel like I need to share. So I'll plop this out there and then let you decide.

Over the years, I've shared about how I've struggled with anxiety for many years. In fact, in 6th grade, I went to the doctors where they said that my stress levels were causing me to start to get ulcers. Yeah. Sixth grade.

Pretty much after that and into high school, as the overachiever that I am, it developed into major depression along with anxiety.

It got progressively worse until in January of 1992, when I was hospitalized to protect myself. I had decided to die by suicide. My dad was very confused by my change of attitude. I had become nearly giddy after weeks of sadness (which is apparently a common sign to look for). But first, I promised my dad that I would go with him to a counsellor's appointment, so we went. The counsellor spotted that I was in the final stages, despite my outward appearance. I was sent to the hospital.

I got a nice 21 day stint in the hospital, including all of the fun bits, like losing my shoelaces (because I could try to hang myself with them) and lots more. I got to do Occupational Therapy – making sun catchers and arts and crafts. I had private and group therapy. And, of course the meds. All the meds. The worst part was I did not get much fresh air. I love fresh air.

In the 26 years since then, mostly around the holidays and winter, it comes back with a vengeance. (This is why oftentimes you can go weeks without hearing from me during those times.) Yes, I discovered much of the depression is / was medical. Thyroid, vitamin D deficiencies, etc. (Always get those things checked if you have depression.) But even as those are regulated, the darkness remains – on a lesser scale, but it's still there.

I honestly have not looked at the news about Kate and Anthony. I am still personally reeling from Owen Wilson's suicide attempt in 2007 and the loss of Robin Williams in 2014. And, I know that reading the details is not a healthy thing for someone like me. With a past like I've had.

Each a brilliant, sensitive, creative entrepreneur, JUST LIKE US.

This is NOT a club we want to join!

I know the stats. And they are ugly.

Each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide. 

Again, I don't know where this is going, but I do know through friends and family members how horrible it is to find someone they love gone, by their own hand.

In most cases, they had NO clue that it was coming. They were blindsided and shackled with that memory of finding their loved one and the confusion and guilt that accompanies it —  for the rest of their lives.

That's part of the problem. It's NOT being talked about. When I was at my darkest, I honestly though that I was doing the right thing and that the world would be a better place WITHOUT me in it.

Over the years, I've talked with dearest friends who I know suffer from depression. And, I've also talked with my husband and my kids, too.

I've explained to them the impact that it would have on me if they were to die by suicide. One friend, I spoke with after he was hospitalized, said that he had never thought about the impact on his friends and family. He said he would never put me through that. I hope he keeps his word. Because I love him. And he makes my world a better place.

I reminded them each that I am always here, always, to talk to if those thoughts come.

I opened the door for them to come to me, without fear of judgement, and they know that they will ONLY get love and help.

One thing you know about me is how much I love to travel. I talk about it all the time.

Do you want to know a dirty secret of mine? Only my closest friends have known until now.

I keep planning out trips, and adventures (even little ones), on my calendar so that I have something to look forward to.

Because I know that on my darkest days, I NEED to have something to look forward to.

No, I don't believe that I would or could, at this point, hurt myself, for many reasons, but mainly because I know the impact that it would have on my children and my husband. We've talked about it.

The doubt, confusion, pain, guilt, and a lifetime of terror and nightmares. I could not hand that to them.

But …I do not know the future. If I do have thoughts, I know that I can re-focus on the good things I have coming, when I have things to look forward to.

It's just a trick I play on my own mind.

It's obviously not as simple as that. I wish! I just wanted to share and that's where that headed.

I do one other thing. When I get very very low, I go through pictures of my life from when I was 18 years old until today. And, I think “I almost missed ALL of this because of one moment. One decision.”

I look at pictures of my kids, my husband, my friends, and the silly things we have done together.

And, I cry. And I cry. And I cry. The kind of big ugly cry that needed to get out with lots of snot.

And then I sit in gratitude. Because I didn't miss it.

So, that's probably more than you ever wanted to know about me.

And if half of my lists unsubs now that you know all of this, it's ok, as long as one or two of you are nodding your heads and feeling a bit more understood and loved today.

If you're appalled that 123 people in the US die each day by suicide, here are some ways to help. If you need help yourself or for a loved one, check the PS for resources. I will add more if you comment with the ones you love.

I'll be back with all kinds of goodness soon.

Big hugs,

Nicole Dean

PS.  If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

I also like: https://afsp.org/find-support/ and https://save.org/

Suicide crisis lines by country:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines

26 Comments

  • Steve Pohlit
    Reply

    Nicole I am happy you are writing this rather than reading about you. Thank you for sharing. As you mentioned there are several well known people in the news and based on the data a lot more that most of us do not know about.

    I hope this reaches a lot of people and I will share it and if this helps even one it will be worth it

    Blessings
    Steve

    • Nicole
      Reply

      Thank you so much for commenting (and also sharing), Steve. <3

      The website where I got the statistics said that the numbers are very low compared to reality. I can't even imagine...

      Appreciate you.

  • Lana
    Reply

    I’ve deleted weeks of your emails because I’ve been so busy and just didn’t have time to read them. I have no idea why I chose to read this one.

    I’m so glad I did.

    Thank you for authentically sharing such an amazing story. We all have ‘stuff’ and sometimes just knowing that other people like us have their own ‘stuff’ makes the seemingly insurmountable a lot more like a simple bump in the road.

    Thank you.

    • Nicole
      Reply

      Thank you, Lana. I feel the same about that connection. I was scared to write this that I might offend or hurt people, but I thought about the person who needed to hear it, and I decided to go ahead.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read my emails – when you have time. 🙂 I totally understand busy! Hugs and thank you again.

  • Diana Frame
    Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Too often I’m guilty of thinking that all the successful people I follow online have everything going for them, perfect lives and successful online businesses. Sure, it’s easy for them to succeed!

    Not too long ago my adult daughter was in a deep depression and tried to commit suicide. It was the worst time of my life. Things are much better now but that dark time always lurks in the back of my mind. Could it happen again? Will I be able to help her? It’s so hard to understand.

    I wish you the all the best life can bring and again, I thank you so much for sharing your story. You have made me realize that I have no excuse for not moving forward with my dreams and goals! You are AWESOME!!

    • Nicole
      Reply

      Diana, I am so thankful that your daughter is doing better now. Yes, watch her. Keep talking with her. And, keep planning for the future together.

      As I mentioned in my story, I had promised my dad that I would go to the appointment. As silly as it sounds, I didn’t want to let him down by not keeping my word. But yet, I planned to die that night. (As if that wouldn’t hurt him more, right?) It doesn’t make sense, but knowing that I had that to go to that appointment postponed it long enough for the right people to hear me.

      And, yes, I had tried before that to let people know how much I was hurting and it was not recognized.

      Anyway, thank you for the kind and brave sharing on your part. May you and your daughter make many happy memories in the coming years to look back upon. <3

      YOU are awesome, too!!!

  • Lou Ellen Goodwin
    Reply

    Dear, dear Nicole…
    Your story and your beautiful letter are both heart-warming and heart breaking for me…on every level imaginable.

    Your heart and your soul are filled with love and compassion…it’s in everything you say and do…your emails are so clearly filled with your intentions…wrapped up in lots of white light.

    Most importantly, I want to express my gratitude for your brave sharing, which is so very touching. Many people will feel the same, I’m sure. How could anyone not?

    We all need to be filled with love, positive support and encouragement. I’m sending all of those your way.

    You are a true Blessing…

    Love,
    Lou Ellen

    • Nicole
      Reply

      Lou Ellen,

      Thank you for taking the time to come over here and for spreading so much love and kindness.

      This is so special and I have read and re-read your note over the past few days, soaking it in.

      Much love to you.
      Nicole

  • Lori Dean
    Reply

    So sweet you are, thank you bunches for the sharing of a bit of your life with these demons. It will help me also. You are an awesome woman, grateful to have you as a step daughter-in-law for sure. And yes for both Kate and Anthony the “Giddy” word came up, I know these signs also, that is the final one, as they feel this way because they have decided how to end their lives and feel relieved and happy with this final decision, giving away prized possessions is also a final sign, So sad. Thanks again for sharing. Love You All.

  • Angela Wills
    Reply

    I had absolutely no idea that many people die each year by suicide. That number blows me away. I just did a quick search and it seems a lot of the top causes of death are preventable with lifestyle changes and with suicide, mental health help.

    I’m so glad you got help! And I’m so glad you are so brave as to share this post to help be a voice for a major issue. Hugs and I’m so proud to know you!

    <3 Angela

  • suzi
    Reply

    Thank you Nicole for this beautiful article and for your courage!
    Your an inspiration.
    Please keep showing us the way,
    Suzi

  • Kit
    Reply

    What a beautiful email and post here. Your story is raw and real and I am sure will touch the right people on your list and possibly save a life. I don’t suffer from depression but know those who do and have seen the struggles you’ve shared. You are a beacon of light and so brave to share. Thank you for your honesty! <3

  • Kat Sturtz
    Reply

    Hugs. I’ve lost several family and friends to depression and suicide, and others who survived to make different choices after their darkest nights. Thank you for sharing.

  • Patti
    Reply

    Nicole,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I personally have never struggled with this but I have a daughter (who we adopted) that does. She has a mental illness and there are very few places in this world that truly understand.
    I am grateful for your transparency and for understanding the impact this has on the whole
    family.
    So glad you have been able to manage this and are still here with us, sharing your gifts with the world!
    Hugs to you my friend ❤️
    Blessings
    Patti

  • Abi Carmen
    Reply

    Dearest Nicole,

    Being raised as an observant Jew there was never a choice for anyone in our community to even think about suicide as it was forbidden by the Torah since we are all made in Gods image. Regardless, I have had friends that lost children to this terrible ‘disease’. The most recent suicides of two famous and well-liked individuals give us pause and remind us just how little we know of other people’s pain and challenges.

    Two thousand years ago, the Jewish sage Hillel warned: “Do not judge your fellow man until you have reached his place.” We have to approach others with sensitivity and care, never assuming we know what they are feeling. Too often, the face we put on in public masks what we’re truly feeling, preventing us from connecting with others and sometimes stopping us from recognizing or helping to alleviate another’s pain.

    All that being said, know that my door is always open when and if you ever need to talk, you know I can always make you laugh if nothing else.

    Happy in Mexico,
    Your Friend, Abi

  • William R. Humphreys
    Reply

    Hello Nicole,
    I have always liked you as a friend.
    Dating back to your days with Jimmy D..
    I love your smile it so bright, I love the way you write, I love the way you present yourself and things in your life, how you share your experience with your family. I love the way you are you. I have hundreds thousands of emails but your emails are at the top some what special of all on my email list to be read. While a lot of other emails find the Email Trash can Spam. Yours is a moment of looking at and doing some serious thought sometimes relating to a
    Robert Allen Aha moment or take action.

    With your email of June 9, I love you for your honesty, your humor (snot crying) and being yourself and helping other people.
    Your loss would hurt a lot. How I feel to get me to unsubscribe from your list you would have to hit me in the head with a shovel bury me 6 feet under and I would still have you on my email list because it is a honor and you may send me away to
    get out my predicament.
    A friends love
    Your smile brightens many live
    Bill

  • Alice Seba
    Reply

    Love you, Miss Nicole.

  • Carol
    Reply

    Oh Nicole,

    Thank you for your very courageous article. I don’t live in the US and very few suicides in this Caribbean island. That’s a lot of people who die in the US from suicide. I admire your courage and you keep on been strong.

  • Carol Smith
    Reply

    I am from a family that has suffered from bi-polar for five generations. We have avoided the ever-present danger of suicide until last Christmas when my brother’s 21-year-old grandson shot himself. It has a profound, long-lasting effect on all of the family. I was fortunate enough not to be a victim of this insidious disease but I am on my second round as caregiver. That role is indeed difficult and requires a constant check on your own stability. If you find yourself in this position, there are support groups in many cities.

  • Alexandra
    Reply

    Thank you so much for your brave and sensitive article!

  • Kathy
    Reply

    Thank you so much for speaking your truth, and sharing with me (and many others) a new and valuable perspective.
    I think the little travel incentives you give yourself to look forward to are a fabulous coping mechanism and an inspired form of self care.
    Thanks to you, I now have more concrete skills I can use when I’m faced with a loved one battling severe depression. I can help them understand how much better the world is because of them, and how much (MUCH) worse my world would be without them in it.

  • Avery Wilmer
    Reply

    What a beautiful and brave post, Nicole. You are a true warrior. <3

  • Susan
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing, Nicole. I’m sure your words have touched others as they touched me. Best wishes to you and yours.

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