“Sometimes the past is something you cant let go of. And sometimes the past is something we’ll do anything to forget. And sometimes we learn something new about the past that changes everything we know about the present.”Meredith Grey
This post, as I am sure you have guessed, is about the past. I am not dwelling on my past, but just quickly revisiting it, as a very special anniversary of mine is coming up on Monday. A couple of months ago, I wrote you all this long novel about my depression and anxiety and touched base on what I felt and how I was thinking. You all know I had hit my lowest point. I tried several times, to end my life. Gratefully, all three times, I failed. I have never been happier to say I failed at something. This post touches back and forth on my thoughts and how I overcame those overwhelming feelings of exclusion, disappointment, depression, heartache, and the overall feeling of being unwanted. This may get emotional, just a heads up. This may trigger some of you. Then some of you will read this and think “Oh My, Why on Earth is she sharing this with us?” The answer to that is simple. If I can create, if you will, a “Survival Guide” for someone out there who is feeling what I felt, if I can break through and relate to just one other person out there, battling demons no one talks about, then I will consider this worth it.
May 31, 2017, was a day I will never forget. I tried to run my car off the freeway and end it. After a quick flash, a cloud of dust, and a racing heart, I knew where I needed to be. It wasn’t any place I had ever been, or ever thought about going to. I gathered my thoughts and once I calmed down, I headed to a Mental Hospital in Riverside. I walked in, crying, telling them I wanted to end my life and I needed their help. I cried for days but I knew I was right where I needed to be. Reminiscing about my past isn’t my dwelling, it isn’t me living in the past, but simply reminding myself what I did, how I grew from that, and how that makes me who I am today. The past shapes us for our future, and often we forget where we came from. Revisiting my past now and then tends to keep me grounded. It reminds me I am no better and no worse than all of you out there, reading this right now. Days before this, on May 27, 2017, I had finally worked myself up enough to consider the idea and try to end my life. I won’t get into those details, because this is not a “How To” on ending your life. The focus point here is I tried and failed. Looking back now, I know I could have succeeded if I truly tried. I was the saddest I had ever been. You all know that from reading my blog post back in February. If you have not read it, check it out! It’s called ” Choosing to Love Yourself Again”. Back to my story here. I was the saddest I had ever been. I was praying, and praying hard for help. I hated myself. I wanted to die, or so I thought. I waited a day, and then tried again, and to my surprise, I failed again. Now I was sad and frustrated.
When you are in the moment, battling all those hard emotions and feeling overwhelmed, you simply cannot think clearly. In those times, you have to reach out to someone, anyone. I pretended nothing was wrong, for a long time. I let myself sit there, dealing with all that pain, sadness, and now a failure, all by myself. I tried to talk about it with my husband, at the time, but the interest wasn’t there. Looking back now, I could have been more serious about that talk, but in those moments, I was doing what I felt was right. Finally, May 31 came. I told myself, this is it. It is going to happen today. God shook his head, and what happened was even better. Rather than allowing me to end it, he gave me a new beginning. He gave me a fresh start. I prayed for courage, He gave me the courage to walk into that hospital and ask to live. I prayed for the pain to go away, He provided me with tools to overcome that pain. I prayed for peace, He granted it. Sometimes we are praying for something and we have an expectation of what that might look like if it were granted, but I have personally learned that when your prayers are answered, sometimes they might not like what you had imagined. Keep that faith, because I promise you this: Those answered prayers and sometimes unanswered ones are better than what you could have imagined.
We all have felt depressed at least once in our lives. We have all been sad. Sometimes we don’t know where the sadness came from, or how to even explain it. We are just sad. I still have those days. Not as much anymore, but I can’t lie, they still happen. The difference between now and then for me is who I have surrounded myself with. I let go of so many toxic friends and people I thought were important to me. Going through what I went through opened my eyes to who had the better intentions in my life and God made it clear as to who didn’t. If you are feeling even half of the sadness I felt four years ago, I challenge you. I challenge you to live your life, not take it away. I told myself so many times that I was unloved and unwanted and that everyone would survive just fine if I was not here. I was feeding myself lies after lies after lies. I knew the truth but those demons buried that truth, so far down. They filled my mind with hatred and darkness. So I challenge you. Face them, head-on. You are loved, God loves you. You are wanted, people just suck at reminding you of that. Everyone will survive if you leave this Earth, that is true, but if they can survive, why can’t you?
I have never been more proud of anything in my life than I am with myself for fighting a silent battle and coming out a champion. Those battles were hard, emotional, and gut-wrenching. It was a challenge to myself, every day. I would tell myself I can’t keep living this way, it needs to end. However, once I decided I needed help, that little voice in my head started to change too. It started to say “Focus on the lesson. The glass isn’t half-empty, it’s half full. You want courage, be courageous enough to live. You want peace, find it. You don’t feel loved? Love yourself.” That, my friends, is the magic. You have to learn to love yourself. I am still learning and it is a never-ending process. I hope that you will all open up your hearts, just a little more. You have friends who are facing these challenges, and I guarantee you they act as they have it together. I also guarantee most of them to don’t. No one wants to be emotional and talk about their feelings and face vulnerability. No one wants to be hurt. Society today can be ruthless. Your friends can say things that stab at you and cut you like a knife. You have to be willing to stand up to all of that. You have to stand up for yourself. If you don’t, no one else will. If you are reading this and you are hurting and feel so alone, God is there. Talk to him. Be aware, his responses and his answers to you might not be what you are thinking they will be. He doesn’t just give you courage. He puts you in situations to be courageous. He doesn’t take the pain away but teaches you how to talk about it. You might be asking him for a sign, for guidance, for help. Pay attention to what happens after that, who reaches out to you, what you come across on the internet, or what you might read… If that still doesn’t work, text me, email me, or call me.
We all have a purpose here. We all have a reason. A bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life. Depression and anxiety are intense, but challenging them and overcoming them when you feel like giving up is so worth it. I look back at my life and what I went through, and I don’t think about the sadness anymore. I see the champion. When I have those down days where I feel the sadness creeping in, I acknowledge it, spend some time with it, and then remind myself of how far I came, and how far I will continue to go and grow. Depression can make it seem like you have no future but depression lies. You can’t believe those bad thoughts, you have to challenge them. If I had given in and not gone for help when I knew I needed it, I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t have been able to see my beautiful daughter grow into something amazing. She would have fallen into depression herself from losing me. Me taking my life would have taken her happiness too and I didn’t think about that four years ago, but I know that now. I took that courage and left a marriage that I was unhappy in, had faith, and went out on a date with a new man. I am head over heels, in the deepest love I have ever felt, because I challenged myself to live. I was given a second chance, and I am the one who gave myself that chance. Your days might look hard and you might not see that tunnel or the light at the end, but I promise you it is there. You just need to adjust and refocus. Turn yourself around, perhaps you aren’t facing the right way. Maybe the light is shining in a different direction than where you are looking. Have faith.