*Potentially triggering, talk of suicide and depression*
There have been times when I didn’t know if I could go on. When I failed at college, when my father got sick, when I separated from my ex husband. The darkness seemed to swallow me whole, and the depression took over my life. I looked in the mirror and wanted to break the glass with my fists, feel the blood dripping down my wrists to remind me that I was alive. I was convinced there would never be a light in the darkness. The days were all grey, and I was numb to the beauty of the world around me. All I saw were the crying children, diseases, the hatred of people towards their fellow men, the way we were killing Mother Earth. I forgot about the lovely things in life, the things that made it worth living. I wanted to die, and I tried to, on a cold night in November almost 9 years ago. I started taking sleeping pills, one by one, and it was only my mother’s intervention that saved my life. The next day we went to my psychiatrist, and I was told to shape up and get sober. Somehow, I managed to do both, though it wasn’t easy by any means.
I’m here to tell you it gets better. I can promise you that. I have a career, I live in a beautiful state, I’m in love with someone, and I have the cutest dog in the world. I never thought I’d get here when I tried to end my life almost 9 years ago. I thought life was hopeless, and I didn’t see how it could get better, or how I could get better. I honestly only saw a dead end. My therapist, my friends and my family all promised me that life would one day be something I cherished, not something I yearned to end. I didn’t believe them.
What made life beautiful again? It took a long time for me to see pretty things, like dragonflies and sunsets. I got sober. I started taking medicine and talking to a therapist. I made sure to write every day. I went on long walks in the park with my dog, and laughed at the way he pranced like a deer and found such joy in a pile of sticks. I made myself go out and see my friends, even if I was dreading it, because I always ended up enjoying myself. I started asking myself what I wanted from life and I found the answer: to help people. To heal people. With writing and, now, with massage therapy.
We are all connected. And that helped me get through it. My death would have impacted so many lives. My friends, my family, my coworkers, and even just the people I came into contact with randomly. I remember when I was at work one day and I told a man how much I had enjoyed the book he was reading - “The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” of Alcoholics Anonymous. After he finished eating, he came up to me and told me I’d made his day. There are little things that impact other people and their lives. The smallest smile can change a life, or even save it. Just remember that in the moments you feel most alone, in the times where you feel that you are only a burden to the people around you, there is always someone who is thinking of you and caring about you, and who would be devastated if you took your own life.
I know it’s not easy. Even now, there are days that I struggle with this darkness inside of myself. Days when I can barely get out of the bed, or take a shower. There are times when I gorge on fatty foods until I feel sick, or starve myself in a bid for perfection. There are moments when I imagine my coffin, and how easy it would be to just let go. But I remind myself that this is a fleeting feeling. That, while it feels like it’s going to never end, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Never stay silent. Always reach out when you feel that darkness taking hold. If you backslide into bad habits like self harm or drinking, don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow is another day, and you can always try again. Try to remember, even on the bad days, that your life is worth living and that you have a beautiful soul. That, there will be an end to the sadness and numbness.
I’m here to tell you that it will be okay again, soon.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: