suicide prevention month
We are going to get a little deep today because this is a cause that is super important. I will not be using photos in this post at all. It is more important to read the words and discover how you can help. Every single year we lose too many wonderful people to suicide and I truly do believe that everyone can be helped! I am going to get very honest about my battle with suicide, (sorry mom), in hopes that someone, somewhere, can relate and understands that you are valued, loved, and needed.
I have spoken about this before where I mentioned that I had suicidal thoughts after my miscarriage, but nobody knew how deep it went because I wouldn't always talk about it. Yes, the first month after my miscarriage I would wake up and think about it a lot. It felt as if I really had nothing to live for, that this pain was seriously never going to go away. I would tell myself that this is normal, it will pass, you can move on, but what happens when its been 6 months and you still don't feel better??
Around the time that I reached the 6 month mark of feeling miserable is probably when it was at its worst. I had gone through a summer of drinking uncontrollably. I had quit my job and taken a lesser position at a different company because I didn't really feel like putting much effort in. I would wake up, go to work, and go through all the motions and still, I felt nothing. I mean literally nothing. I didn't feel joy, sadness, anger. At this point I was just numb. The problem with being in this state is how easy it can be to fool everyone around you. Sure, they all knew I was still dealing with the trauma from my miscarriage, but they didn't know. I would laugh at the right times, I would make jokes with people, I was eating more because I knew that's what they wanted to see, and I was smiling. When you are that numb to things it's very easy to fake it. It is easy to do what's expected of you and go through the motions.
It was in this timeframe that my sister found out she was pregnant. I look back on it now and think "wow, you made it through. you are strong." Of course I was happy for my sister. She had always wanted to be a mom and she already had one child, so obviously they were going to try for a second, but it didn't sting any less when she told me. I remember being in bed the night she told me, just laying there and staring at the ceiling as tears fell down my cheeks. Crying and asking the universe why. Why do this to me now? Why add something to my plate when I was already struggling so much? Why make it someone who is so close to me? Yes, they all seem like very selfish questions. No one had done anything to me. They were simply living their lives and were fully within their right to do so, but this is from the perspective of a depressed person.
Here is the thing about depression. I was happy for my sister. I was excited to be an aunt again. I love Charlie with my entire being, so to have another one was amazing, but when you are depressed it's hard to see past your own pain and that gets construed as selfish. Maybe it is, but unless you have been depressed before you can't really understand or comment. I said all the right things. I ALWAYS made sure to ask my sister about the baby, how she was doing, and if she needed anything. I meant those things with my whole heart. I wanted so desperately for her to know that I was happy for her, but that didn't mean I wasn't still fighting everyday and I think my family knew that. As much as they knew that, I think they were also getting frustrated. I found out later that people were downplaying their excitement over my sisters pregnancy for my benefit, but the way it was said felt like resentment and not something to help me. I was even accused of being upset because I wasn't the center of attention anymore.
Was I upset because I wasn't the center of attention anymore? The honest answer to that was yes, yes I was upset, but not for the reasons you'd think. They were all moving on with their lives. My baby had died, their grandchild, niece/nephew, cousin, and they had found a way to move forward, but I hadn't. I was furious that I was still so hollow inside. I was mad at them for not seeing how deeply miserable I was on the inside and mad at myself for not feeling better. I will say it again, when you are depressed it is not that you are selfish, it is so unbelievably hard to look past your own pain. It is hard to be excited for other peoples happiness when all you feel is misery. Misery does love company after all. It is hard to see people moving on, getting good news, and thriving in life when you are simply surviving each day.
I was trying so damn hard every single day that I was exhausted from trying. At the end of everyday from October to almost January I would think of how much easier it would be to end it. How the pain would finally be gone. I wouldn't have to fake it anymore. I wouldn't have to keep surviving. I could finally be free. I don't have an answer for how to fix it, but I can tell you that my nephew Charlie was a huge reason why I kept fighting to get to this point. His pure and unconditional love for me was something I held onto tightly. The way he lit up a room with excitement when he would see me made me want to be the person he saw through his eyes. Maybe find someone like that in your life and hold on tightly.
The thing to remember here y'all is that depression is not a one size fits all issue. Every single person is different and its almost always the person who smiles at you everyday and is the funniest in the room that is struggling the most. Having patience when dealing with someone who is depressed is SUPER important. Letting people know how much you love them, value them, and need them daily is important. If you are someone who is dealing with these feelings, it will get better. Ask for help. There are so many free outlets available to you if you cannot afford a therapist. Seek out help. Seek out people you trust. The world needs you.
Help is available 24/7 at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255