Suicide, depression and treatment

I loved my grandmother.

She was kind, loving, tragic and bought me fancy stamps when I was a kid.

In 1982 or 83, when I was released from jail, I hitchhiked up to Barrie, Ontario (that’s in Canada) to spend the weekend with my aunt and uncle, and grandma, who was living with them because her husband was hospitalized with Alzheimer’s.

She didn’t know I’d been incarcerated, just that I went missing for a few months.

On Sunday morning, my uncle and I went to the local store to get some stuff (he’s somewhere in that pic and was a tough hockey player) and he got a phone call: “Mom’s taken a bunch of pills, get home.”

So we went.

We got her into the car and I will never forgive myself for not sitting beside her in the back seat. Instead I was a petulant youngster, pissed off and angry.

We got to the hospital and two nurses tried to coax her out of the car into a wheel chair.

I said she’s dying, picked her up and carried her in.

Twenty minutes later she was dead.

The suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have brought me back to that uncomfortable place and sunk me into a deep depression, that isn’t fair for my family, so I’m going to get professional help for the next week.

I’m grateful that I have access to skilled professionals at Damascus in Brisbane.

  • Karen

    So glad to hear you’re getting help, Hang in there Doug, you are in good company! I can completely relate to your story as my grandfather and his sister both took their lives as well and we/I have a long history of mental illness. Just so you know, I hang on your every story and always look forward to the next! Keep em coming!!!

    • Karen

      ALSO, thanks for sharing your story! I believe the stigma of mental illness is waning and allowing those of us who suffer to speak out without shame.

  • Simone Hertzberger

    Also here in The Netherlands we rely on what and how you write about food safety. I hope that you can continue your excellent work. Get well soon and thank you for everything you do and are.
    Greetings from dr Simone Hertzberger Chief editor of the Dutch/Flemish Food Safety Magazine.

  • Cerceris

    ‘Been thinking about you. Grateful to hear you’re taking advantage of the additional support resources. When you are able, consider giving your petulant, younger self a break. His understanding of the urgency of the situation in the face of ineffective coaxing by the nurses/ aides seems to foreshadow the guy you are today — caring about the dreadful impacts that poor food safety practices can have unknowing consumers and __doing something about it___.

    And in that vein, if you don’t know SciBabe’s blog, she took a mighty swing at the TN raw milk adherents today —

    — Brad in Cincy

  • Doug Powell

    thanks for all the comments and support I’ve received. I know I’m not alone, and it makes me more humble rather than running with the excess of hubris. I value all of your input, and am truly thankful.