I still remember the scene like it was yesterday. The confrontation, the argument, the shouting, and the way that every word pierced a little deeper till I snapped. The tears came quickly and my world was shattered. Everything that happened next played out like some movie, like I was watching myself act and react from outside my own body. I stumbled to the cabinets, found the pills, and took copious amounts of them. I thought surely the pain would stop, surely the voices of self doubt and fear would cease, and I would just go to “sleep” finally without worrying anymore.
Those events that I just recounted in short took place June 4th, 2007. As you can tell from the fact that I’m writing this, I’m not dead but I probably should be. Today is the 7-year anniversary of that day. Its crazy to think on all the things that I would have missed out on that have taken place in these last 7 years. One thing that I have come to believe over these last 7 years is that experiences/wisdom do not mean anything unless we share them with others. I have suffered some very terrible situations in my life that have led to anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and attempted suicide and yes, those things are hard, but I want to share a little bit about what I’ve learned and maybe some things that could help someone else from ending up where I almost did.
- Silence and holding it in never works.
I was taken advantage of sexually when I was 13. I didn’t tell anybody about it for 6 and a half years. Even though what that person did to me was terrible, I did something just as bad by holding that in for so long. I let it defeat me everyday and let it rot me away from the inside. So if you have been hurt, or feel something that you think is shameful, holding it in will only lead to more hurt and shame. Find someone you can trust, speak up, and you will begin the road to healing.
- Depression is real, it sucks, but its not the end.
I grew up in the church, and it seemed like no one was ever sad unless they were at a funeral. It was then hard for me to process the immense amount of pain and sadness that I had in me at such a young age. I suppressed it, boxed it up, and ignored it but eventually you will run out space in the attic of your heart. If you’re hurting, admit it. If you’re unhappy, that’s ok. It can be summed up like this, “Its ok to not be ok but its not ok to stay that way.”- Perry Noble.
- Get counseling.
Counseling literally saved my life. It is not a sign of weakness. In fact, I think everyone would benefit from it. At some point, when going through depression, everyone thinks that they are in fact a little crazy; that if people could hear their thoughts they would be shunned, and that there’s no way that they are sane. Counseling will actually help show that you are quite normal and that you just needed to be able to talk and communicate freely in order to find that out.
- Time doesn’t heal all things, perspective does.
Years and years can pass from a certain incident in your life and it can seem just as raw as the day it happened. This probably means that you haven’t tried to really remove yourself from that situation. When you start to see yourself as a functioning human outside of whatever was done to you, then you will see that you are bigger than that problem and that your life will go on.
- Life is better in community.
Everything: the depression, the anxiety, the panic attacks, the countless days spent just staying in, they are all about isolation. It’s a vicious cycle. These things all happen to only you and then make you not want to be around people, which is really what you need. If your activities, your days, and your choices tend to isolate you, then reevaluate. Do whatever it takes to be in community.
- Hope is Real.
No explaining here. Once you get a hold of hope, it’s truly hard to lose it. I found real hope when I woke up in that hospital bed that fateful night and haven’t been able to shake it since.
- Do beautiful things
Seek beauty, create beauty, find beauty. Eat a pizza, watch your favorite movie, make someone a card, dance on top of your car. You can inject happiness into your life, and it will increase.
I hope that someone finds hope in this.
Written and loved on by someone who wants you to love yourself.