DEAR ABBY: I've been thinking about suicide a lot lately, more than usual. I'm not angry about anything, just in pain. I keep getting knocked down after I try so hard to pick myself up. I tried calling a hotline, gave up on that. (I guess they're busy.) I can't afford doctors and psychiatrists.
The weather's changing, and I don't do well in the cold. I always get down when the temperatures drop. I love my home, but sometimes I wonder if I'm really happy here. I can't imagine leaving.
My kids live within a couple hours' drive. They have beautiful kids of their own. I'm going to miss them dearly. I no longer feel I have anything to offer in other aspects of my life. I wonder why I have to just exist. I've heard people say when someone dies "at least they're not in pain anymore." That sounds pretty good to me.
I guess I just really wanted to get this off my chest. I don't expect a miracle, but thanks for listening. -- ANONYMOUS IN ARKANSAS
DEAR ANONYMOUS: You're welcome. I'm glad you shared your feelings. You are not alone, and there is help for you. Pick up the phone and call 800-273-8255. It's the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and it is staffed 24 hours a day by people who can help you to form coping strategies for your depression. I don't know what number you called the first time -- you may have misdialed -- but there IS help available, and no one is "too busy" to provide it. You simply have to reach out for it. Please don't wait.