This topic is a delicate one. It’s one I think about over and over again, almost on the daily. It’s a sensitive topic, one about depression, demons, sadness, and the beauty of forgiveness and acceptance. It was my world for so long and it was a world I hid so well. Many out there who are depressed can do an amazing job at hiding their depression by simply smiling and staying quiet. Some can be completely social and the life of the party, while crying on the inside, begging for someone to help them. Does that sound familiar to anyone? If it does, keep reading. This is the story of my depression and demons, what I did, and how I fought hard to love myself and find happiness. Just as a reminder, it is never okay to harm yourself or anyone in any way. If you feel that desire, please, reach out to someone to help you. Don’t be afraid!
I Hated Myself
One of many common phrases used by me in the year 2017 was “I hate me”. Alongside that, was the thought process of “they’ll go on without me just fine” and “I’m really not that important”. See where I’m going with this?
I worked a job I hated and commuted over an hour each way to get to this job, for almost a year. My boss was a complete, for lack of a better description, asshole. My (ex) husband was very distant, always focused on so many other things, very disconnected from myself and the family. My daughter was 10 at the time and wanted to spend the majority of her time with my mom. I felt very alone and that lead to my downward spiral.
I’ve learned over the years now that I am a caretaker. I need someone to take care of, to help me feel accomplished, to feel like I have a purpose. The only problem with that is, the person I should have been trying to take care of was the one person I was always trying to avoid. Myself. If I was given the opportunity, I would sit and talk to everyone about their problems and how they can solve them, how I could help, but I wasn’t letting anyone know about mine or that I, too, desperately needed help. I didn’t have a bad life, but the life I had, I hated. I hated it so much that I wanted to end it, and I tried. A couple of times.
Being brave saved my life
I decided my life was over for me and I accepted that and was ready to move on, or so I thought. As extensively as I hated my life, I couldn’t end it. I wanted to, so badly. I couldn’t figure out a way to end my life and not ruin the day of the person who would find my body. I spent weeks trying to figure it out. Nothing seemed acceptable. I wanted my life to end, but I didn’t want to ruin someone else’s in the process. After a few attempts that failed, I decided I was being pathetic. Why was I doing this and why is it that no one saw what I was trying to do. It seemed like no one cared. I was convinced I was invisible.
I became so distant from everyone. I stopped going to gatherings. I stopped texting my friends, I stopped going to work. I laid in bed all day long, yet no one noticed how down I was. My husband at the time thought I was going through a phase, and though looking back now, maybe it was a phase, but it was a very real phase to me. My heart was aching and I had no control over it. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling the way I felt. I felt so toxic. I felt so secluded. He’d see me crying and rather than console me or just talk and see what’s going on, he would leave me alone. That only made me feel worse. I’m sure he didn’t realize it or maybe he just didn’t understand how to process my emotions, we will never know.
On my way to work one day, I made the decision. This is it. I can’t keep feeling like this. I can’t keep hating myself and my life. I need to figure out a way to fix it or commit to the alternative. I figured the latter was easier. I tried one more time, to run my car off the road…..but I chickened out and slammed on my breaks. All I accomplished was a giant cloud of dust and some serious blood pressure changes. That’s when I knew it; I didn’t want to die. I just wanted things to be different, I wanted to be different. I called my best friend and spilled my guts. At that moment she knew how much help I desperately needed. I needed to be brave and admit I needed the help. My life depended on it. We found a hospital specializing in depression and the other issues, and I drove right to them and checked myself in. We called my (ex) husband, parents, and work. I let them all know I wasn’t coming home that night, or anytime soon.
To my surprise, they were all shocked I had gotten to this point. None of them had even the slightest suspicion that I was that depressed. I was astonished. How did they not know? How could they not see my pain? I was so angry at them for not seeing how bad it was for me. Luckily, I was in a place where I could understand and where I could learn from this, and I did just that.
My sadness is NOT a burden
While I was staying at the hospital, I went to therapy, individual and group. I met some incredible people with strength I was inspired by. I found the others in our group were so strong and I was incredibly moved by their stories. Some were recovering addicts, others were depressed like me. Each one of us fighting a battle and feeling completely alone and unsure of what to do. We had formed a bond. Even though we each had our struggles, we understood one another and brought special insight to the table. We motivated one another; we wanted each other to survive, to tell the story of how we were brave when all we wanted to do was die. We became each other’s lifeline. Sharing my sadness and my pain with strangers brought on a new outlook to my life. It was uncensored and raw. They didn’t know who my family was or where I grew up, but they understood my pain. It was valid to them and they were going to help me fight it.
Now, this is just me, and I am no expert on this matter. This is just my personal experience of depression. I learned a lot about myself in the weeks that I was at the hospital. I learned how to forgive, although I’m honestly still working on that. I’m learning to trust, though that is very hard to do. I’m still learning, years later, to be vulnerable with my feelings and share what my heart feels. How could I be irritated at people for not knowing how I feel, when I can’t even tell them how I’m feeling? I noticed that’s a common problem of mine. I expect others to just know how I feel. Crazy right? But that’s truly how I felt.
That’s always the hardest thing, at least it was for me. It still is hard for me to tell someone I need them. However, I’ve found by telling just one person that I need them, no matter who I choose, the weight of my pain eases up, almost instantly.
Being happy again…
That is a choice I had to make. I had to tell myself and still tell myself every day that I deserve to be happy. Happiness doesn’t just happen. You have to want it. You have to decide that you’re going to be happy. It’s all in the thought process. People who don’t want to be happy never will be. Trust me on that!
I decided to see a therapist regularly and sort through my issues and get some feedback. I became more vocal about my feelings and expectations. After reading many different self-help books, praying, writing, and talking about what was going on, I figured it out; I had to forgive myself for all I went through, accept that I needed the change, and actually do it. Since I figured out I needed to alter my perspective and ways of thinking, I have been happier.
I cut the negativity out of my life, which included a lot of people. I started eating healthier, taking my medication, exercising more, and I put extra effort into spending more time with my daughter. By me making my happiness a priority, I made her life so much better. She was happier too. We started going more places, exploring more often, laughing a lot more.
I had to put in the time and effort and trust me when I say this: it was hard work. It would have been so much easier to end it all and that was tempting. Looking back now, I’m so grateful that I didn’t dare to end my life. I am so incredibly thankful that I got help instead. I am still here to see my daughter grow up. I had the mindset of “their lives will go on”, and indeed they would, but it would never be okay. The sadness my daughter would have gone through would have been unbearable. The pain I would have caused my parents and siblings would be indescribable, and I would have caused it all because I didn’t want to admit to them or to anyone that I was sad. I thought ending it would be better for everyone, and for once in my life, I am so happy that I was wrong.
If you or someone you know is feeling depressed or having suicidal thoughts, talk to someone! I cannot stress that enough. There are plenty of resources out there that can help. You are not a burden and your pain can be healed. I promise you that. It is hard work but in the end, it is so worth it. You owe that to yourself. You owe yourself nothing but the best. Be kind to you. ♥️
If you are having suicidal thoughts and need to talk , please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255