To Be Young & Restless

My mom has watched the Young and the Restless from the very beginning, most often daughters follow in the soap opera preferences of their moms, so yes, I watch it too, only not everyday. Both mom and I were shocked to learn of the recent death of Kristoff St. John who played Neil Winters on Y&R for years. It is said that he never recovered from the suicide of his son, falling into deep depression as a result. The cause of his death has not been determined, my prayers are with his family.

The later half of my life has been reeked by the suicide of friends, from a co-worker in the 80’s to what devastated me the most, TiTi Branch, co-owner of the Miss Jessie’s franchise. There are others too, all leaving a sense of shocking disbelief. Then there are the celebrities, Robin Williams, Alexander McQueen, Don Cornelius, Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, and countless others. How do you begin to understand?

As family and friends of loved ones, it is critically important that we notice and take signs of depression seriously. Suicide often leaves guilty stains on those left behind, wondering “what could I have done”; I know I asked that question regarding all of my personal losses. By no means am I laying blame, but I am asking that we notice, and take action where we can, and by all means if you feel yourself slipping into depression, take the first step by talking to a trusted individual.

Just like our heart, liver, and kidneys, the brain is an organ that can become ill, but certain steps toward self preservation can help to keep it healthy. Note the following suggestions:

Spend time with friends and mentors who inspire you.
Go to bed at a decent hour to ensure a full 8-hours of sleep.
Listen to inspirational music.
Listen to inspirational podcasts.
Make an appointment to see a therapist, if even just 1-time to talk and hash out your life and your goals.
Go to church.
Practice deep breathing exercises.
Take long candlelit baths.
Visit museums.
Find a new hobby, photography, painting, sewing, etc.
Cry it out.
Go to the doctor.
Donate to favorite charities.
Watch funny movies.
Read poetry.
Go for nature walks, drives.
Take yourself to dinner.
Get a pet.

These are only a few of many suggestions to aid in a well mind, body, and soul. It takes work, especially when you feel the world is caving around you. There are times when hurt and pain go even deeper, the help is there, psychologists/psychiatrists are as vital as a cardiologist. And always, a phone call away is the National Suicide Prevention Holine: 1-800-273-8255 available 24-hours a day, every day.

So in closing, I say, take care of yourself and those around you, literally.

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