I was on my way to work out this morning at LA Fitness, listening to the Tom Joyner Morning Show when I heard that Don Cornelius, the founder of Soul Train, committed suicide this morning via a self-infected gunshot to his head. Tom Joyner was in denial that his friend could commit this act despite the fact that his on-air coworkers were trying to convince him otherwise. Sometimes you never know what thoughts are going through a person’s mind behind the public images that he or she displays. I can’t publicly speak on Mr. Cornelius’s behalf, but I know best from my own personal experience.
Six years ago this week, I attended my first counseling session when I was battling depression. I was struggling with financial debt, a lingering cold that would eventually be diagnosed as bronchitis, and wrestling with low self-esteem. My counselor asked me two important questions that I remember well: 1) “Do you have any friends whom you can confide in, friends with whom you can share your problems?” and 2) “And do you?” My responses were 1) “Yes, I do,” and 2) “No, I don’t.” At the time I was afraid to reveal to my loved ones that I was feeling depressed, having thoughts of suicide ideation. Since that experience, I’ve learned that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Believe me, it was not an easy thing for me to do, actually it was several years in the making, but grateful that it happened by the grace of God.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Cornelius’s loved ones during this time of bereavement. I also would like to take a moment to say a prayer to anyone who is struggling with suicide ideation, depression, anxiety, or any mood disorders. Mental illness is a serious disease that affects everybody regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, and sexual orientation.
Take care and be blessed.