Every year, on this day, I take some time out to remember my friend Rodney. Rodney committed suicide via a gunshot to the head on June 15th, 2002 after a long struggle with depression. He was a dear friend, Mac fan, and talented writer. I miss him dearly.
Every time Apple releases something incredible or posts record sales, I can’t help but think about how much he would have been enjoying it. That is, as much as depression or the medicines used to treat it allow you to enjoy anything.
Some who know me know that I live with bi-polar disorder (manic depression). I have spoken about it before. I have been hospitalized for attempted suicide myself many years ago.
There is no real cure. After many years of medication and therapy treatment that had varying degrees of success, I now use a combination of mindfulness meditation and non-violent communication to help me navigate through it. It has been the most successful of all.
That said, there are struggles. I would be a liar if I said that I don’t understand what it was that made Rodney ultimately pull the trigger. Despite having a successful job, a loving wife, a nice house, and being a respected writer for several sites, none of those things matter when the chemistry in your brain decides it is time to go and that it will never get any better.
This day also happens to be my wedding anniversary so it is always a bit bittersweet. In fact, I normally wait until the 16th to post this but, for some reason, that did not feel right this year. I guess because the fact is that he died today. That there is no glossing over it. That denying such is in some way denying that life is filled with both things gained and loss. That both are OK and deserve all of the emotions appropriate for each.
Finally, if you or someone you know is suffering from a mental disorder, I urge you to use compassion and empathy when speaking with them about it. But, please do so. Ask them to seek whatever help they can. Let them know how you feel.
Not sure what more to say other than thank you for listening to me fight through the tears once again.
Fuck suicide. Fuck it to hell.
P.S. The best way to celebrate a writer is to read his writing, most of which is linked or archived on Low End Mac.
Note: For a few who have asked, here is the book that has guided me on using mindfulness meditation to treat my mania and depression: The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Also, I would be an idiot for not mentioning… National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – With Help Comes Hope
I had the pleasure of several e-mail exchanges with Rodney, and had hoped to meet up with him at a Macworld Expo some time in those very early Aughts. I wouldn’t say we were friends, but I certainly miss his wit and writing.
I will echo Patrick: suicide is not the answer. There are people who want to help you. Please utilize those resources.