Most people who know me would describe me as a happy, bubbly, and energetic person – which isn’t entirely wrong. But what many people find surprising (though I’m not one to hide or feel ashamed of it) is the fact that I’ve suffered a lot with my mental health and have been through some pretty dark times.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and it got me thinking about how things have changed for me over the years. So I thought I’d share a very personal part of my story with you, in case it can give anyone even a bit of hope or courage.
Trigger warning : This post mentions depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve struggled with my mental health in some way or another. I’ve had anxiety and related disorders for most of my life, used to self-harm on and off from the age of about 14, and I’ve suffered through depression 4 times.
7 years ago, at the age of 20, I was going through the worst bout of depression I’ve ever had. I was going through some big changes and facing a lot of uncertainty. I was miserable and desperate, I felt worthless and unimportant, and I hated my life. So much that I was very close to ending it.
Please know that I don’t say this lightly. I had had suicidal thoughts before, but never was I so close to actually… it’s hard to even write it… but you know what I mean.
One evening, I was alone and mentally in a very dark place, literal seconds away from ending it all – which in my case, due to severe allergies, would very possibly have been successful. I wanted to put myself out of my misery and that seemed like the only way. I was stopped only by a reply to a desperate message I’d sent to someone, that came in at just the right time.
I remember being so scared and crying hysterically when my parents came home. They could have come back to a very different sight. It gives me shivers and makes me sad to think about it now.
I was terrified to think of what I was about to do. I didn’t really want to die, but I wanted my life to end. It’s hard to explain. It goes far deeper than any words can express.
Being depressed makes you see things differently. It makes it impossible to have hope, and to imagine or even remember what it means to be truly happy. There’s a loneliness that cannot be described, an ache that cannot be fathomed, a darkness that cannot be shaken. And it consumes your entire being in a way that can’t be explained.
And through all of that, very few people would even know that something was wrong. I was still, in many people’s eyes, happy, bubbly, and energetic. It’s much easier to fake being okay than to speak about what’s going on sometimes.
It’s taken a lot of work and a long time to get to where I am today. Thanks to therapy, my family and friends who are a great support system, and my own determination and self awareness, I can say for the most part that the smile on my face is also a smile in my heart.
And a happy heart is priceless. ❤️
So I sit here, 7 years later, in my lovely home, snuggling my beautiful son as he sleeps on my chest, with my dog laying by my feet, waiting for my wonderful husband to come home from work. Glad and grateful to be alive. Thankful for my life. And aware that life is so incredibly fragile and precious.
I am living my simplest dream, and am able to feel true happiness and say that I love life. No matter what it throws at me – and believe you me, there’s plenty. But even so, it is beautiful and very much worth living.
So if you, my reader, are suffering, please reach out. To a friend, a family member, or even to me. There are many services available and I promise you it’s worth it. I personally recommend using kellimni.com – an anonymous online therapy chat service run by professionals that’s available 24/7. I’ve used the service a number of times and wish I’d known about it sooner.
And if you know anyone who might be suffering, please share this with them. A little bit of hope and positivity from someone who’s been through the darkness of depression can go a long way.
Let this also serve as a reminder that you never know what someone else is going through. So please, always be kind.
Sending love and positive vibes to all of you. And wishing you all a happy heart. 🙂
Until next time,