For anyone remotely familiar with country music, it gets a hold of your heart, and it never leaves. My beautiful Dad always referred to country music stars by their first name where I grew up. They were not just famous in Nashville but in our home as well. When Dad said Marty, Johnny, George, Dolly, Glen, we always knew exactly who he was talking about. It was just common sense, around our home anyway.

Recently, we all heard of the mental disease that took the life of one of Country music’s famous duo, The Judds. Mother Naomi, and daughter Wynonna have been making music and touring together since the 1980s, as a nation, we have listened, loved, and learned life lessons from their songs, because they were so real, and resinated with us. Among many of the multiple reasons there were so famous was their down-to-earth attitudes. They were the same kind of people that you or I are. Normal everyday, hard working folks just trying to get by. They were two little gals from Kentucky that finally made it to Nashville, and everyone rejoiced for them. They were as real as you and me.

Naomi chose on April 30 to “not continue to live,” as her youngest daughter Ashley stated in a recent interview, and she mentioned that her mom chose a firearm as a weapon. The grief and trauma associated with finding her mom will live on for years in her head, and I my heart goes out to her.

Even during all this dark sadness, there is a LIGHT in how the two girls handle the grief and hurt. I recently listened to Ashley talking with Diane Sawyer, and I couldn’t hold back my tears as she described days with her Mother, as some were light and beautiful, some were darker, with a mix of many emotions. Some days, she could see her children and be so full of love and praise for them, and other days she could barely get out of her pajamas or leave the house.

Naomi’s story is like so many people’s stories. She spent her entire life trying to overcome her childhood, With all the fame, all her fan, and money to buy anything and everything she needed or wanted, and still…….none of it could save her from the evil lies that years of abuse had cemented in her head. Now, if you have never been in that position, never felt so low, so empty, so lost, or unwanted, then, please stop reading this post now because you won’t be able to understand how a person gets to that point in their life.

FACT: Over 40 million people in the united states suffer from a form of depression, that stems from a traumatic, abusive, or chemical imbalance.

Her story is too familiar to me. No matter what I have done in my life, what I may have accomplished or succeeded in doing, I still feel as though I have fallen short somehow. That what I have done isn’t enough. That I am not enough or worthy. Mental Disease is a DISEASE! No different than alcoholism, drug addiction, or a dozen other vices that get their grip on a person and won’t let go.

No one wakes up one day and says, Hey, I’m a little bored; I think I will see how badly I can mess up my life”. Years of abuse, whether it be physical and or mental, remain inside your brain. Always. It never goes away. If you don’t learn how to deal with it, if you don’t address it, and help others to know how to address it, it cannot get better. You will not get better, but there are a few steps that could help you learn to coexist with it. I am one of those people, my older brother is one of those people, and you can reduce us to nothing with your words or actions fairly quickly. If we even begin to feel that you don’t like us or want us around, we are gone faster than you can turn around twice. Why do we run? Why do we take the flight mode and not the fight mode? Because standing in the POOL OF REJECTION is lethal. Our minds cannot do it any longer. We both have worked hard to survive “a hurricane” that destroyed our childhood minds, and crushed the carefree, young, playful, spirit we should have had.

When a person is feeling small, insignificant, feeling down on life. They DO NOT need you to yell at them and tell them why they should get up off their backside and stop feeling sorry for themselves. They do not need you to list all the reasons why they should be happy and stop feeling unworthy or not good enough.

You see, the lies in their heads are BIGGER than anything good they have accomplished. They strived to push the evil gremlins back inside their head, carve a smile on their faces and keep moving forward, buy the moment they hesitate, and allow their minds to wonder off UNGUARDED, they dig deep into the secrets of their souls, where the pain and abuse dwell forever. It reminds that person repeatedly, again that THEY WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH AS THEY ARE, AND NOT WORTHY ENOUGH FOR ANYONE TO WANT TO BE AROUND for any length of time. When terrible thoughts start to crowd the mind of a broken spirit, they tell themselves that no one would miss them, and it would be easier not to be here. These people who suffer from depression, can barely get out of that mindset alive once or twice, let alone a lifetime of those black thoughts.

SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION…for a temporary problem. We all know this. The ones hurting know this, but it won’t register in their memory bank and stay there when they need it most.

You cannot yell at someone for not feeling adequate, nor can you scream them into feeling better about themselves or make their abusive childhood disappear. That will only drive the demons deeper, and they will isolate themselves more. You can’t lose your patience with them, or grow frustrated because you have to repeat over and over how much you love them or how much they mean to you, because their brain is unable to absorb it.

When you are near a person who gets that low, the only thing you can do is keep them talking and gently VALIDATE their feelings. You don’t have to agree with all they are saying or how badly they may feel about themselves, but You can tell them, that you understand why they are feeling sad and that their feelings do matter. Tell them , that they matter to you, and slowly walk them out of the darkness, if you can, and back into the light.

We are all different; each and every human has their own good and not-so-good qualities. Some will look at you and really see you. They will look into your eyes and know that you aren’t perfect, but you are worth their time, worth the loving. Others will do their best to keep you beneath their boot, keep you down, in submission, keep you said and broken so they can feel superior.

Even GOD cannot stop people from losing their will to live, as we are not puppets in his hand but people with free will and a free spirit. That being said, I do not believe that the GOD I WORSHIP counts suicide as the only unpardonable sin. I would rather believe that my Jesus has calloused carpenter hands and he will never exile anyone from Heaven’s gate that was so low they took their own life. I chose to believe that he would judge on the knowledge and the condition of their hearts and minds at the time of the bad decision.

Rest Well, Namoi; your troubled mind is governing you no longer.

I extend my heart to Wynona, and Ashley, with grace and love to you both and enveloped in prayers. Songs live forever; the melodies, and the words, never die. Her legacy will continue to live for generations to come.