I want to share my darkest time with you. I want to use a self-destructive, awful, emotional and simply awful time in my life for good.
At around the age of 18, I had had enough of my life. I saw no way out of the depression and anxiety that was my everyday. I never left the house, I hated myself, self harmed and I wanted the pain to be over. The physical and the mental pain was more than I could bare. I used to think a lot about how it would be if it was all over. I used to think about how I would do it, how I would end it. A deep rooted part of me knew that I was never going to do it, and that is what kept me safe, but also the thing that scared me. If I couldn’t end it, I would have to carry on.
I was angry – at myself and at life. I resented everyone that I saw who had a smile on their face. I hated myself, and my life.
How did I break out of that? I’m not sure I have a definitive answer to that one.
Now, how glad I am I fought through that feeling. Of course, I still know that there was not a chance on this earth that I would have carried out any form of suicide attempt, however how far away was I from that final push? The final negative that made me feel it was the only way? I just couldn’t say. I was alone, scared and wishing I didn’t have to wake up the next morning and face it all again. But I fought it. And I stand here today a better person. I got help, and I now know happiness. Yes, I still suffer with depression, but in the main it is controlled, and I am coming out the other side, with no debilitating thoughts like I used to have for at least a few years. This is progress I never thought I’d see. This is a life I never thought I’d have.
Many people are still in the critical mental state of feeling a hopelessness beyond compare, and feel that they cannot go on. If this is you, I know this feeling. I want you to know that there is a brighter day, and there are ways to let this go and make it a thing of the past!
I used to remind myself daily during that time why I should live, and what I had going for me. Slowly, these things started to have roots within me, and I started to believe in themselves, and choose to live them.
Reasons I chose to live:
- I have known happiness, I have laughed, and I have known what it is like to be unburdened by depression and anxiety, even if for a short while. This made me want to fight to feel this way all the time.
- My dog – she is my everything. She saved me. She has rescued me more times than she will ever know. And the unconditional love she gives me, the lack of judgement, the fun we have, the encouragement she gives me, the exercise I’m encouraged to have, and the loyalty she shows me make me want to live.
- Using my brain for the good. I know I have so much to give the mental health community, and I know that in sharing my experiences and what works and what doesn’t, and in communicating my turmoil, I can help others. And others can help me! I am lucky to love writing.
- The good things about me. And there are lots! I am not all doom and gloom you know! I’m funny, interesting, intelligent, loving, loyal, dedicated, friendly, polite, honest… The list goes on. There are so many positives about me, that I shouldn’t focus on the negative.
- My family. I have a family who love me, who support me and who could not be without me. Yes, we’ve had our ups and downs, and yes the mistakes of my parents have sculpted a lot of my negative mindsets, however we have made progress, and underneath it all, there is love.
- I am brave, and I believe in my bravery to persevere!
- My friends. Oh boy do I have good friends. They are supportive, fun, interesting, intelligent, and they love me for who I am. I am lucky enough to have friends who understand me and let me be exactly who I am without judgement.
- I have passions – I love to read, to walk, to explore. I want to do more of these!
- There is so much yet I have to do. I have not travelled, I have not helped enough people, I have not learnt enough. I am not done.
- I care too much about myself – I want to respect my life, and myself. I want to live.
- This world is bloody beautiful, isn’t it? I mean when you really think about it. An acorn that grows into a tree. Our human body. The mind of an animal. Land and sea. Technology. God/Evolution. Whatever you believe in, this world is beautiful, and so special, and actually quite mind blowing. I don’t want to miss what it has to show me next.
- The stupid little things – the TV programmes I like, the old couple I wave to over the road, my car, my favourite chocolate bar, my favourite pub. Id miss them all
- The prospect of having children would be sacrificed. And that is the most important thing to me. I want to nurture my children, love them, and teach them how to be kind, brave and understanding. I want them to never know the struggles I did.
- Actually, I am lucky. I have money, a car, a roof over my head, family and friends, loved ones and my health. That’s much more than lots of others have.
There’s many reasons that I choose to live everyday. And everyday I remind myself of these. But I do remember a time when it was not so easy for me to think of reasons that I want to live. In fact, I couldn’t think of any. I was so lost and alone, and could not see a way out of the black hole I found myself in. I wanted to give up. I wanted the pain and the negativity to stop. But I fought it. And I tried. And you must too. There’s so much to live for, always!
And so I now set you a challenge. Please tag 3 of your favourite bloggers, and ask them to share the reasons that they choose to live, ensuring that we use the tag and category: ‘ichoosetolive’. I want to ensure that people who feel alone and at a loss as to how to make things better in their life, and those who see no way forward unless they end their turmoil, have somewhere to turn to see all the reasons that it is imperative to keep fighting. Together, we can create a community that supports those with suicidal thoughts, and those who self-harm, and even those who just feel a sense of helplessness and the lack of inspiration to really love their lives. Even if our fellow bloggers have never known depression, what makes you get up everyday? We can call help What a difference we may make!
I would like to ask my 3 favourite bloggers to share their reasons to live… The Daily Dump, Online Dating is Shite, and Oh that woman.
(For some reason I’m having trouble tagging so I shall message them to let them know of their nomination!!)
There is always another chance, a fresh start, and an opportunity for change, it is called tomorrow.