Run to Live, Live to Run

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"I See My Marianne Walkin' Away..."

I'm going to be totally honest and say that I was truly sad to hear about the passing this week of Brad Delp. Who? Ok, I know not many people knew the guy by name or even face, but God forbid if you didn't recognize the voice about 5 seconds into a song. "Peace of Mind", "Long Time", "Amanda" and of course "More than a Feeling" were some of Boston's greatest hits, and Delp was the voice behind them. I don't admit this much, but I was a huge Boston fan growing up. Along with Journey, Meat Loaf, Styx and Night Ranger, this was the stuff that I sang in the shower, while I was listening to Nirvana, the Pixies and Pearl Jam with all my friends. It was even more sad to hear that Brad took his own life at the all too young age of 55, it just makes you think, and it made me want to go out do something, anything creative to enjoy this life for all that it's worth.

I'd just like to take this time to talk to people who don't take know much about or take clinical depression seriously, or think that a person should or could just "snap out of it." Clinical depression is as much of a biological disease as heart disease or stroke, but instead of killing by blocking an artery, it kills by creating so much pain that a bullet or a bunch of pills actually looks like a better option that standing it another day. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the US for men, killing 40% more people every year than Alzheimer's disease. The big difference, of course, is that when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's nobody thinks it's a put on for attention, or that if they'd just get their act together they wouldn't have the disease to begin with.
If you think that you or a friend might have clinical depression, don't screw around or waste any time, that's the most serious symptom you're likely to get -- that wondering is the equivalent of chest pains in heart disease. Respect it and talk to a doctor, or get your friend to a doctor. If it's a friend, people are most likely to do something about it if all the barriers to not acting are taken away, so call around yourself, get the names of some professionals and present their names and numbers to your friend on a piece of paper, making sure to include a suicide hotline number, or just your number or anyone else's who's willing to be there and listen. Ask them to keep it with them in their wallet or purse. Then follow up and, in a polite and friendly manner, nag the hell out of them until they do something.

Here is a good resource to start...

There even may be a few of you reading this who wonder if you might be depressed, and maybe some who even feel a little envious of what Brad did. If that's you, please understand that this is not a normal way to think, your thoughts and your life can be different, and it's worth it to give it one small chance by going to see your doctor or a therapist, or just talking about it to anyone. You can quit at any time if you don't like it, but if it does feel like too much to bear, just give some outside help a chance to improve things for you or someone close to you.

Here is a very cool and unique tribute from a young fan to Brad and Boston, and there's many others on the youtube page...I especially like this one because it shows the very wide and infectious power of the music, no matter how old you are...Rock on and RIP Brad, I do sincerely hope that you have finally found your peace of mind.

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