Trigger warning: depression, suicide
Times are tough. Life is tough. Sometimes this darkness overrides me and drowns me from reality. My mind spirals out of control: What have I contributed to this world? What good have I done? I will never be good enough, smart enough, skinny enough; I will never be enough. My mind continues to spiral out of control. Everyone's life would be better without me. I am reminded of every critique, fight, or feeling of insignificance. I am reminded of all of my traumas. I am reminded of how my parents spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their baby girl, and this is where I am?!
I am a failure. I am worthless. I sob into my husband's arms. It's 3 AM. I am nothing. "But my husband loves me", my mind starts to fight, but the darkness fights harder; "my husband would be better off without me, everyone would”. I begin to imagine my funeral; I picture it so vividly. I see my sisters singing, crying, grieving, and thinking, "where did I go wrong?" I see my mom sobbing, and my dad in shock. I see no one else at my funeral.
I feel guilty for a moment, but then realize that life goes on. My grandmother died, and we all moved on. People die all of the time, and life goes on. I am replaceable. I am just one person. My subconscious fights harder and harder - "you are here for a reason; you have a purpose." Part of me wants to believe in that voice so badly, and part of me thinks I'm not worthy enough. I've seen a therapist for over seven years, but I knew I needed more help. This time was different. My husband called every psychiatrist in our region. None were accepting new patients. None. They, too, did not think I was worthy of help.
I go to work with a smiling and cheerful mask on my face. No one knows I am suffering, which is the real danger of mental illness; you don't always see it. Sleepless night after sleepless night. I wake up at 2 sometimes 3 in the morning if I sleep at all. I am on autopilot. I have no feelings, no emotions. I'm just "here".
When in bed, my dark thoughts get darker. I think to myself, how many times am I going to contemplate taking my life before I take action. My depression screams, "This. Is. It." I have a plan and a date. I start composing a list of things to complete before I leave this world. I see my therapist, but I feel like she, too, does not need to waste time on me, which has prevented me from opening up. I am beyond help. She gives me a psychiatrist's name, and I call - she's accepting new patients via telehealth. I sob. I have hope.
I schedule an appointment for later that week. My psychiatrist and I and trial medications finding the perfect fit, and we did. I start taking care of myself more. I get regular movement, I stretch before bed, and communicate my feelings more. I can stop my spirling from getting out of control. I am in control, not my depression. My husband has been dealing with this for ten years and has done everything he can to support me; he has been my greatest motivation to stay in this world. Since working with my therapist and psychiatrist, I have told my family about my mental health history and was so wonderfully surprised by their endless love and support.
I am sharing this story because 99% of the people who know me would have never guessed I was suffering. Depression is hidden well behind a smile and bubbly personality. Most people think suicide is a form of weakness, the "easy" way out. I cannot tell you how much mental convincing it took to devalue my existence. It was not because I was weak; it was because I was sick. I wanted to die because I had convinced myself that everyone's life would be better off without me. Depression is a strong darkness, and I have been dealing with it since I was a child. I am so grateful for the help and support I received, but I understand not everyone has that. Medication saved my life. I saved my life. There is so much stigma around mental health, and I hope this vulnerable post gives you a sneak-peek of what someone suffering from depression can look like.
I have dedicated this month, National Suicide Prevention Month, with my family's support, to write letters of encouragement and hope to those in mental health institutions and those who see therapists and psychiatrists. I am living proof that depression is severe, and that help is life-changing, (well more like life-saving in my case).
On this day or during this month, I encourage you to reach out to your loved ones. Remind them that they are valued, loved, and supported. Remind them that they are irreplaceable and serve a purpose in this world and in your life. Remind yourself the same. We are all pieces to a beautiful picture, and each piece has its place and purpose. You are never alone in your experiences. You are never the only one suffering, and you do not deserve to suffer. You are worthy of help. You are worthy of life. You are worthy and you are a warrior who can fight through this.
All my love,
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