Snowy Reflections…

This is the last Monday of 2010. I’ve been thinking a lot (nothing new there)! I’ve been thinking about my past. Specifically the black hole of darkness I found myself lost in a few years ago. I can’t remember how it started or how it ended but I remember how it felt to feel so hopeless, useless, miserable, filled with endless sadness. Doctors would say I was depressed. That feeling is so much more than that label. Sometimes when I think about how I felt I shake inside because that pain was so intense and I never want to feel that way again. I never want to find myself in that dark place where no light can exist. Surrounded and soaked in shadows of misery. God, even now my heart races thinking about how I felt back then. I can’t help but cry for my younger self, for the loneliness and pain that followed me wherever I went.

There are only two people in my world who know about what I went through. They don’t know every detail, because really only I can know that, but they know enough. They know about me being suicidal. They know as much as I could bear to tell them. It’s painful to talk about it, hell it’s painful to write about it, but I want to because it’s not something to hide, to feel embarrassed about, and it is definitely not something to be ashamed of. I’m not going to scream it out to the world, but I’m not going to pretend it didn’t happen. My sadness is a part of my story, a huge part of it, and I hope that when I do talk about my depression it will help others to feel less alone because I know what it feels like to feel like you don’t want to exist.

To want to crawl into a quiet place away from the chaos choking you and just close your eyes and disappear to another place. I know what it feels like to question your life. To feel like it is a choice, and you can opt out of it. I know what it feels like to be in so much agony and have no way of making it stop. You can’t sleep. You can’t eat. You can’t concentrate. You forget how to smile, how to laugh, how to live, how to feel anything but misery. You forget what it means  to be happy, to feel happy, to feel anything but pain and numbness. God, everything was just too much, too overwhelming. I’d get tired from trying to just get through my classes pretending my insides weren’t churning away in agony. I’d wear a mask of serenity and the minute I walked into my room I’d lock the door and take it off. I’d crawl into my bed if I couldn’t make it that far I’d crumple on the ground and cry. I cried oceans during that time. The tears were endless and I couldn’t figure out how they never stopped. It wasn’t anything big or anything small. It was everything. I had no control over my life and my emotions just overpowered me.

I felt so achingly alone. Even with my friends and my family I felt like I had faded into the wall. Invisible and unreachable. I couldn’t tell anyone because I was ashamed that my once strong self had become this mess of flesh. I was ashamed to be depressed. Ashamed I couldn’t fix myself on my own. I was ashamed of my weakness, and that made me crawl farther into my quiet place and day by day the real world became less real to me. My grades were slipping, my stress levels were high, my body was suffering from the weight of my thoughts. I was hurting so badly from the inside out and even when people asked if I was okay, I couldn’t manage to tell the I wasn’t. My eyes were screaming for help, but my voice said I was fine. Inside I was begging for someone to see me, to dig further, to save me. No one did. Not because they didn’t care, but because I wouldn’t/couldn’t let them in. I couldn’t grab onto them and tell them I needed their help. My shields kept them out, and so no one could hear my desperate cries for help. They only heard silence.

I think that all of this was the climax of a young woman who had spent her life feeling different, feeling like an outsider, feeling like happiness would never be hers. I was the kind of child who spent my days lost in dreams of how my life should be, how my family should be. My thoughts were always too much for my age. I always felt more than others. Like a sponge I soaked everything up and internalized it. My depression was a long time coming, but I never realized or understood that because I was a child. I was lost and scared and didn’t know how to deal with the chaos living in me. It was eating away at me and I just couldn’t take feeling like this. I couldn’t take this constant overload of misery and pain. I couldn’t breathe. I would have panic attacks walking to class. I would cry all the  time. Everything was too much, and I wanted, I needed a way out. I just wanted it to stop. I wanted to quiet the noise around me. I wanted to sleep, to rest my soul. I just didn’t want to be here anymore, and the only way I could see to escape was to die.

People say suicidal people are weak, but if they’ve never found themselves in the darkness that is all too familiar for us, then they have no right to speak such words. Being suicidal is not about weakness. It is about finding no other option for the agony you are in. It is about feeling that there is no other way, no other answer, no other choice to end the torment you feel inside. I thought I would be doing the right thing for myself and all the people I loved. I didn’t want to hurt them, but I just couldn’t bear to keep hurting like this. I didn’t know how much longer I could be like this. I just wanted to stop the hurting inside of me. I wanted peace and quiet. I wanted to get away from the world that tortured me. I needed to escape. I wasn’t weak, I was broken. I just wanted everything that hurt to stop. I wanted to be able to rest and get away. So I started to think about how I would end my life.

I couldn’t believe that I was suicidal. My friend from high school had killed himself over a girl my freshman year of college, and I couldn’t understand how he could do that, but here I was planning to do the same thing. We had different reasons that got us to that point, but the pain and the darkness was the same. Endless and terrifying. I wanted to sleep into death. If you’ve read my Dear God entries in a way I think those were my last attempts to find a reason to stay. I thought about my mother, I worried about how sad she’d be. I had held on for her, but even she couldn’t keep the pain away. I wrote my Dear mom entry for her, and I planned to write my letter for her explaining how much I loved her, and for her not to blame herself. I just wanted to stop. Everyday I would leave my dorm room and there would be so many instances were I would think inside I could end it now. I could walk into traffic. I could just jump off the side of the building. I had decided one night that I would sleep my way into death. I stared at that bottle of medicine for a long time. Fighting myself to do it, no don’t do it. I planned it all out, and I cried a lot because I really was serious about this. I just couldn’t see any other way to stop hurting so much.

I decided I would take all the pills and go to sleep and just never wake up. I didn’t know what day or what time, but I knew this was how I would do it. I would see all the people I love one more time, and then I’d do this for me. I got scared because I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to stop hurting. I was scared that I’d give in to myself and commit suicide so I wrote a letter asking for help, and went to a behavioral clinic. I was so scared. I went by myself because I couldn’t tell anyone. I went there, and I cried so much that day. I cried and talked, and poured my heart out, and that person planted a seed of hope in me and helped me fight to keep living. Helped me to choose life, to choose to find flickers of happiness in my life, and reasons to keep me here. I can’t even remember his name, but I remember what he looked like. He was kind, there was kindness in his eyes and in his voice as we talked. I’m not sure how long I was there, but when I got home I knew that for now I wouldn’t kill myself. I would try to live, and hope that in time I’d get better. All along I had felt like I was one of the living dead, but there was life in me. All alone I was alive, I just need to give myself that chance to live again. To be one of the living again. I know it feels like you are dead inside so why not just die, but you are not dead inside. Your heart is still beating, you are alive, an you’ve got to push through. You have a life that only you can live.

Things didn’t change in a day. It took a long time to get to where I am now, but that seed grew, found roots, and became something solid –me. I think depression will always be something I have to fight. It hides away and tries to overtake you, but you have to keep pushing it down and not letting it rise. I want to live. I know that I want to live for as long as I get. I wish I had reached out to my sister and best friend. Three years later I finally told them about everything. I should have done it sooner. A huge reason why I want to go into counseling and non profits is that I want to help give people hope. I want to help them realize how much they matter, how they are not alone, and how much they have to live for. That their life is not a choice or an option. It is a necessity. They deserve to live their lives fully.

I want to tell them my story, and for them to know that I’m here for them. I’m here to cheer them on, to reach out and help them stand up, to be there and light their way out of the darkness. I’d like to be their lighthouse, and guide them to safe places. I’d like to help them pay it forward and light someone else’s way back.

I’d like to help someone move on to the next chapter of their life, and not stay stuck in that dark one. It is not endless, like all things it has an ending. It seems so unbearable but it deceives you. You can make it through, just don’t give up. Hold on, and let others help you get better. Talk to someone, talk to me, talk to your family and your friends. Just please don’t give up on your life. I know what it feels like to find yourself trapped and this is the only way out, but you don’t want to do this because there is no going back. Please live, there is so much to live for if you open your eyes, mind, and heart to it.

Live,

~Tsunamiblues

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~ by tsunamiblues on December 27, 2010.

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