The following post is about mental health disorders and suicide.
Please, read with caution as it is very descriptive and can possibly be triggering.
I think I often get the "eye roll" when I talk about these serious and controversial topics. I think that is partly why I enjoy talking about them. In my opinion, the topic of mental health disorders should be openly accepted and talked about more. Not only in your therapist’s office, but at home, with friends, and with each other.
But how do you explain something, like depression, anxiety, or even thoughts of suicide, to someone who has no idea what it’s like to live through it? To someone who has no grasp on the reality of this hyper negative world? Especially during this day and age of social media running the world, and bullying leading those who are deeply hurting inside to end their lives because of it.
With sensitive topics such as this one, it is important to choose your audience wisely. You could be opening up to the wrong people and this could lead you into a deeper spiral. I think most who are suffering are afraid to open up and to be vulnerable enough to express their feelings on this level for good reason. However, for me, it’s a way to shed skin, share insight, to release, and maybe even save a life.. maybe even save my own.
I will only speak on my own demons, though I have openly had discussions with many others who also suffer with their own. It is important to know that everyone’s lows are all different. Mine? Over time, my lows had greatly formed into an evil much bigger and stronger than myself. I’d say, at the point I realized it’s highest capacity, I was ready to throw my hands up and give myself away to its grueling force. The pain I felt, mixed with the anxiety I suffer from, in those excruciating times is something most don’t usually get to fully express. These demons that can take over are so dark and so heavy, they can easily suffocate you with sadness, anger, confusion, and despair, making it often impossible to breathe. In fact, at times, it is just that; impossible to breathe. Impossible to think of having to. After years of battling my demons and finding myself in agony on the floor time and time again, eventually my depression shifted into thoughts of suicide.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life. And when the thought of breathing and living another day became so painful that I just wanted it to end, I knew I was in trouble. In my heart and mind, no one could understand the unmeasurable pain that I was going through. I cried out to all the right and wrong people: friends, family, strangers, ex-lovers, doctors, and even suicide hotlines. There were days I desperately wanted to save myself, but there were also days I did not.
For some of us who suffer from these thoughts and feelings, the last thing we want to do is put our burden onto someone else. Or maybe we try to. We try to cry out, and instead of a compassionate heart, we reach for the wrong hand. Or maybe, we have the right tools and support system, we're just stuck on repeat and don’t know why. Maybe, we don't have access to the proper help and care we need (proper healthcare, resources, and even trying to find a doctor who actually cares, all can be a major disappointment for many of us across the globe). Personally, I knew I had to make a decision. And these were my options:
I never agreed with, nor fully understood, people who committed suicide until I reached my all-time low. When you reach the point where your chest is closing in and the pain feels like a lifetime of addiction that you are trying to withdrawal from before your heart stops, all you want to feel is relief. This is why many of us who make it this far end it here. We can’t bare another day or another moment feeling like we’re drowning in an endless wave of suffocating emotions. The pain is simply too much.
You may feel worthless. Alone. Broken. Rejected. The selfish, ungodly act of ending it all seems like the only way to peace. But it’s not. It is not the only way. Sure, choosing option one or two may seem grueling and unbearable, but as the poet Rupi Kaur once said, “what is stronger than the human heart which shatters over and over and still lives?”— anything is possible.
I pushed through. Despite the days I could barely do anything but cry and sleep, I made a decision to live. I knew healing was going to take time and effort. I knew there would be more pain along the way, but I also knew I had a purpose in life and dying at the feet of my own demons was not one of them.
I share this with those of you who are still reading, who may care, who may need a reason to keep pushing forward, because every day I choose to wake up, but not every day do I make a solid effort to live. Living with mental health disorders is not easy. For those of us who suffer with them, it may be because of unhealed past trauma(s) or because it is hereditary and was passed down to us. Regardless, living with (a) mental health disorder(s) requires the desire and action to heal from within. And healing does not happen overnight. It takes time, patience, consistency, and vulnerability. It requires guidance (I personally believe talking to someone, ideally a therapist, is absolutely necessary). Often, we need some sort of medication to break the barrier. It is not an easy task to face our demons and find the will power to push forward, but you would not been given this life if you did not have a purpose.
I am incredibly grateful and lucky to be surrounded by a great support system, but not everyone is. That is why I open my heart up to those who feel alone because they are alone, and may be at their wit’s end. I hear you. I see you. I feel you. I love you. If you have the option to choose; please choose to heal and to live, because not everyone is so lucky to have that choice.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (for youth and adults): 1 (800) 273-8255
Suicide Hotlines in the US can be found here.
International Suicide Hotlines can be found here.
*Though I am not a licensed health advisor of any sort, I open my heart up to anyone who may need someone to talk to. No judgement. No pressure. All love.*