The word enough has been bouncing around my head a lot this week. All day long it dances in and out in various forms. I see it in articles, in posts and in comments. It punches me in the gut every time I see it.
Didn’t Robin Williams love his kids enough to stay alive? Why would he take his life if he loved them enough? Clearly, he didn’t love them ENOUGH.
Didn’t his wife love him? She must not have loved him enough if she left him alone knowing he was depressed.
If his friends knew he was suffering , didn’t they care about him enough to organize a 24/7 watch to make sure he was ok?
Why wasn’t anyone doing ENOUGH?
When my own husband died by suicide, the word enough was lobbed at me more times than a tennis ball is lobbed across a net during Wimbledon.
You must not have loved your husband enough if you knew he was suffering and you didn’t stay with him. You flew a thousand miles away when he was on a downward spiral – why didn’t you care enough to stay? You must not have cared enough since you left him alone knowing he was having difficulty. Clearly, you weren’t doing ENOUGH.
He must not have loved you enough to have put you through all of this. He must not have been strong enough to handle life since he took the easy way out. He must not have been smart enough to find a solution. He must not have cared ENOUGH about his family and friends if this is what he chose to do to them (forget about what he did to himself – that night and all the years prior).
Enough. Forget about sorry. Enough seems to be the hardest word.
What does it even mean, enough? And even if we can decide what is enough, will it ever change the outcome?
What if the answer is that Robin Williams loved himself enough as a father that he wanted to leave this Earth when he and his children were sharing a space of peace and understanding and love. And not illness and sadness and the torment of a long goodbye? What if he loved his children enough that he didn’t want to put them through the devastation that an illness such as Parkinson’s Disease can bring? That the illness of addiction had brought? That the shadows of depression cast?
What if I were to say to you that I know that my husband loved me enough to send me away, by and through his behavior, because he didn’t want me to witness what he knew was going to happen a short time after I left. What if he knew that his quality of life was going to be so poor that the only way to make sure that I had enough of a chance at a happy life was to let me go. To make me go. To make sure I had had enough.
What if I were to tell you that I loved myself enough and my husband enough to know that I had to leave for my own health reasons. That if I stayed, I would not be healthy enough to face anything in front of us, including my husband’s mental health issues. I left because I felt like it gave both of us the best fighting chance at any type of future. Because I was close to saying enough. No more. I can’t do this anymore. If only to preserve what little remained of my own sanity.
What if I were to say it would not matter if I organized a 24/7 plan to make sure that my husband was being watched and monitored and accompanied – that at some point it’s possible that he would find a way to slip away and do what he had planned to do? That’s a tough pill to swallow, because I do believe in intervention and prevention, and I do believe lives and loves can be saved. But not always, sadly. Sadly, there sometimes just isn’t enough time. There is that pesky word again.
As for being smart enough or strong enough, well, I can assure you that anyone suffering from depression so severe that contemplating the ending of one’s life seems to be the only option, is stronger than any of us can imagine. And likely more exhausted than any of us can ever comprehend.
What is enough?
Enough pain. Enough despair. Enough loneliness. Enough confusion. Enough sadness. Enough of staring down a dark tunnel and not being able to see the light. Enough of being surrounded by laughter and not being able to hear joy.
38,0000 a year dead to suicide in the U.S. alone.
750,000 people in the U.S. attempt to end their lives each year.
Each of those individuals has at least one person who loves them. At least one person doing all they can. At least one person wondering how this ever could have happened.
At least one person saying enough.
Enough. A thousand times over.
Please come visit me on Facebook too! https://www.facebook.com/mamalawmadingdong