I would like my readers to understand that this series may be hard for you to read, as it is hard for me to write. I have opened up about my life before, and have shared very private things with all of you. I have decided that this topic is too important not to share or talk about. This page was started as a way to help me cope and heal after a car accident. Telling my story helped more than just myself. I received many messages from readers who were able to find strength and courage within themselves to get through their own difficult times. Three years later, I am here to tell another part of my story.
Many years now, I have been fighting in a war with myself. My mind has been at war between light and dark for so long that I thought it was normal. I thought that everyone felt this way. I have battled anxiety and depression since my late teens. It was not until I was in my early 20’s that I spoke to my doctor about it. Now that I am in my early 40’s, I have learned that everything I thought I knew was wrong. This is my story.
I hope that my story will help someone else who may be suffering
It takes real courage to admit that you are having a problem. Admitting to yourself that you need help is always the first step, that most often is the hardest step that takes the most courage.
Just imagine waking up and feeling sad. I am not speaking of normal sad feelings, but one that is so deep down inside you, it is a type of sad you have never felt before. Normal sad feelings often go away after a few hours, or after the movie is over, or after the commercial ends. I have experienced grief from the loss of a loved one. I have experienced the emotions of watching abandoned and abused animals on those tv commercials. The sadness that I will be talking about is entirely different.
Imagine you open your eyes to start your day, and you realize that every part of your body is extremely sad. From your hair to your arms, to your toes. The type of melancholy that is hard to explain and even harder to cope with. This type of sad comes from deep within. This type of sad engulfs you into deep darkness. Your energy is so low, you do not think that getting out of bed is even possible. Uncontrollable tears silently fill your eyes and start to roll down your cheeks. The calendar alert on your phone goes off, reminding you of all of the things you have scheduled for the day. Maybe this day is a workday or a school day, there is a part of your brain that registers the fact that you must find a way to get out of bed, but your body does not move. Tick tock tick tock time starts to slip faster and faster, with each passing minute you sink a little farther down into the dark.
If you can not summon any power to get out of bed, the darkness pulls you down more profound, and it envelops you completely. Somehow you cancel your appointments, call out from work giving any excuss you can think of. As the day moves forward, text messages from friends and loved ones go unanswered. You tell yourself, you will call them later, or text them in a bit. The world around you continues without you in it. You find yourself sleeping all day and into the night. Maybe you got up to eat, and perhaps you did not. This can go on for many days before you find yourself not able to cancel any more appointments, work, or school without repercussions. The sadness does not go away, but you find a way to get out of bed to function eventually.
The darkness slowly fades away after a bit, and you start to feel normal again. The sadness goes away; you start to feel happy again. You can put the mask away. You now have to start making the apologies for not showing up for plans with your loved ones and friends. The guilty feelings flood your mind. In the end, you feel relieved that the darkness is gone. You hope it will not come back, but deep down, you know it will happen again, just not when.
Over the years, this has happened several times, you become the master of disguise. You find ways to pull yourself together enough to hide your sadness from your friends and family. You find yourself pushing for perfection at work or school.
I have been through this cycle more times than I can count over the years. It was not until a few years ago that I found my mask slipping and hiding my sadness was getting harder and harder. I started to lose everything that I had worked for over the years.
I am one of the lucky few, who have never considered taking my own life, even during my darkest of times.
If you are in crisis, and need immediate support or intervention, call, or go the website of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
If the situation is potentially life-threatening, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
I have added a link and phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline below.
Call 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 hours everyday