1000 Little Thoughts

IMG_4837I’m going to start this out with a trigger warning…what I’m about to talk about isn’t easy for some people to hear or read. And if you’re family…I’m sorry I kept this from you, but this was  mine to keep and mine to share when I was finally ready.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about suicide, suicide prevention,  and suicide awareness since the release of the Netflix series “13 reasons why”. I’ve heard some say it glorifies suicide and there is concern as to how “angsty” or “emo” kids and young adults would react. I’ve also heard others say it depicts the true nature of what those who have attempted and who have succeeded possibly feel and would want the world to know. I will tell you right off the bat I have not watched the series and I most likely will not. I am choosing not to watch the series for one reason and that reason is my mental health. I’ve struggled for a really long time to keep myself above water per say and I’m not about to fuck it up over a Netflix series. Am I happy that this type of conversation is beginning to happen? Hell yes…and here’s why:

What I can tell you is that suicide is not meant to be selfish or attention seeking . In fact most people who end up attempting do it usually as an act of desperation. Desperation to finally be free of the haunting words,feelings, and images they constantly see and feel.  Desperation to not feel numb anymore or to finally be able to rest. The desperation to allow the ones you feel you’re hindering to move on and live a better life. It’s blinding and manipulative to the person committing. It’s also the only way out of it all that they can see. People don’t do it to cause suffering. They usually do it to try to end suffering- both theirs and the ones around them that they feel they’ve become a burden to. I’m sure anyone else who has been in the type of situation could tell you multiple other reasons as well. I can only tell you what I know, what I felt.

I think for me it started in 8th grade. I just remember waking up feeling worthless and like I didn’t deserve to be around. I felt like I was a pain in the ass for people to deal with and that I had nothing to give to the world. I was a failure who couldn’t make anyone happy and disappointed everyone. Those feelings just got worse and worse through high school. I knew it wasn’t true. I had hard evidence saying the opposite. But even with all of the evidence I had I could never make myself believe it.

Once I hit college I spiraled. I became closed off and quiet. I didn’t really feel anything. I had given up. The below is part of a passage from an entry I wrote in November 2011- 3 months before my last suicide attempt.

“It’s hard to find a quiet place here. Not even the deepest corners of my mind fall silent anymore. It’s cold out. And in. I feel frigid. The negative seems to have consumed me. I hate it. I hate me. I hate what I am here. I hate who I am here. I feel fragile,dull,tainted- like there’s no purpose for me. I find it odd how fragile my mind is. It seems to shatter like a bottle thrown against a wall. I did that earlier…threw a bottle. I easily break and then tape myself together. I wonder how the trees stay warm. They’ve shed their coats and stand before me naked. If they’re truly alive how do they not freeze to death? If I touch one it feels cold- maybe they hide their pain too. Maybe that’s where the connection is. We both hide ourselves under what we think are layers, but in reality we’ve shed our skins to the point of being naked. Everyone suspects something. I wish I knew what they saw. But honestly my mind is full to the point of knowing nothing. Tomorrow’s just another day of soulless confusion. I can feel my body tingle, begging me to go inside. But I refuse. Just one more moment of silence- away from the nothingness. It’s so loud it drives me crazy. I wish I knew what else to say. There’s always more- but I’m tired of digging. I feel out of place, a thorn is someone’s side or maybe a needle in a haystack. But who really wants to find a needle? Who wants to find me?”

Once you hit that grey area it becomes scary and your options seem limited. 3 months later I attempted twice in one night. But I was lucky because that night someone did want to find me. I was lucky because someone forced me to spit out the pills. That same person fought to hold me down to take the knife away from me as I cried in desperation to just let me die. I was lucky because someone saw me. They saw I needed help but didn’t know how to ask.

Not everyone is lucky. Whether you choose to watch the show or not is up to you. But suicide, awareness, and suicide prevention need to be discussed. They need to be conversations. Those of us in the dark need to be heard- even if we can’t speak. Make sure to take the time to really talk to the people in your life.

I was lucky and because of that I’ve now gone 7 years with no attempts. Everyday I still wake up with the thoughts- those don’t really ever go away. But when I ask myself if I’m worthy, even if I don’t believe it that day, my answer is always yes.

We are all worthy.
You are worthy

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Dear Me

Earlier today one of my best friends and I went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The movie was absolutely amazing- however if you’re like me it hits home and tugs on your adventure strings. After the movies  my friend and I went out for dinner and discussion. As we were discussing how bored I’ve felt with life lately she asked me some pretty tough questions.

These questions are just one of the reasons on why I value my friendship with this particular person. She always pushes me to look outside of my tiny little box and forces me to look at questions I don’t even realize exsist. She asked me why I wasn’t doing what I love to do and I wasn’t pushing and working towards those goals. Then she asked me what my 12 year old self and my 8 year old self would think about who I am today.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure both of them would be fairly disappointed in what they become. I’m not saying I’m this horrible person or that I haven’t accomplished some things. However, my expectations were quite high at those ages and I definitely thought I was pretty invincible. But, somewhere along the way I forgot these things.

My 8 year old self wanted to be a dancer on broadway part time, an actress part time, and then an Egyptologist as well (as I stated…I had high expectations). She was the version of me that was fearless (most of the time). My 8 year old self was the one who jumped onto the rope swing from the highest points and jumped off mid air. She ran through woods and biked without a helmet. And she never listened when someone said “You can’t do it”. She was still creative and loved to play with clay and act…in fact she was a bit of a drama queen.

My 12 year old self ,however, had been through quite a bit of life and had to grow up and act much older due to previous events. She looked before she leaped and she kept quiet most of the time. However, she was still creative. She liked to sing, act, and write. At this stage of the game I knew I was made for bigger cities and people with open minds. I wasn’t quite as fearless, although I had my daring moments.  I still wanted to be an actress, but I was also toying with the idea of writing. I was dying to work for National Geographic and was ridiculously interested in Science and Nature.

If both of these girls were here today it might be hard to see some of these qualities as a few have faded so you can barely see them  while others have disappeared completely. I’m obviously not an actress or working for a magazine. But, most of all, I think they’d be disappointed in how much I second guess myself. I’ve learned to not do it so frequently and am getting a lot better at getting back to my fearless self. Unfortunately- life happens and it teaches us to be concerned and afraid. It teaches us to look both ways before crossing and to watch where we step. But, it also teaches us that life goes on. Every moment connects to a new one and our thread line keeps spinning and spinning. Sometimes it’s ok to take a leap of faith- we just have to know how to judge the moment. But, most of all- Life teaches us that it’s a journey and the clearest path may not always be so easy and the right path may not always be clear. 

I think these past two selves would be disappointed as I did not become what they thought and wanted. However, as they are past selves they haven’t learned the lessons I’ve learned,  taken the paths I’ve taken, built and burned certain bridges, or seen what I’ve seen. Given this knowledge I’d say I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

It may not be perfect and it may not be Broadway, but for now it’s real and solid. Just because right now is now doesn’t mean it’s forever and that’s what I’ll keep telling myself. Because the more I push myself and the harder I work at getting back the positive traits I’ve lost the more I’m learning about who I truly am and what I really enjoy. I’ve taken many risks over the last year and had many adventures. Sure, life right now seems a bit slow and boring- but if we didn’t have those days nothing would ever be exciting.

If I was to write a letter to myself at these ages it would simply state:

Dear Me,

I’m sorry I’m not what you wanted. But that’s ok, because I’m who I need to be right now.

Love,

You

What would your letter say? 

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