Sunday, May 22, 2016

When the Darkness Lingers

Last week, I read an article that hasn't left my mind. It was about suicide. The author talked about how suicide is a constant thought, but not necessarily tied to any action. Being suicidal isn't always as black and white as people would like to categorize it.

As I read this, I completely understood what this author was saying, because I'm totally there with her.

From the time I was really little, I can remember, having thoughts that everyone would be better off if I wasn't here. I was making people's lives worse. No one would really miss me. Such thoughts hit hard, especially when I'm more emotionally unwell. When I'm down for whatever reason.

For the most part, I can talk myself out of actually attempting anything... I can distract myself with my kids, my job, friends, exercise or whatever. I just have to make myself do something. Sometimes it helps my mental well-being improve; but other times, the darkness lingers, holding me in a vice. I can't shake it for weeks at a time. Life has no luster. I'm numb. It doesn't feel like I belong here or anywhere.

I don't know exactly what causes these thoughts that scare even me. Depression? Anxiety? Events from my past (which caused Complex-PTSD)? All of the above plus more?

I used to think maybe it had to do with my spirituality. Maybe I wasn't doing enough of what I should to get rid of these thoughts and feelings. So, I diligently read my scriptures, wrote in my journal, attended church and seminary/institute, and tried to do all the things I'm *supposed* to do for me to be happy. But, that doesn't always work like normal people insist it should.

Regardless, I still strive to do most of those things. I listen to good music to bring up my mood as well as other approaches to keep myself together. I hate feeling down, so I try whatever I can to pull out of it. Sometimes it's just a day. Sometimes it's weeks.

Logically, I know suicide isn't the answer. Those thoughts and feelings aren't reality. But emotionally? Emotionally the feelings are heavy, crushing weights, threatening to snap me in half. I have a deep fear of "what-if?" What if I just snap one day and the part of me that talks me down isn't there to stop me? What if the heaviness of my thoughts and feelings finally succeeds?

I don't know why I'm putting all this out there. I guess it's maybe because it wouldn't leave my mind until I wrote it all out. Maybe it's because I share too much. Or maybe because someone else needs to know they're not alone in this.

Every day I fight the battle to push through. I'm working on myself to try to "fix" any parts of me that are broken. Little by little. Piece by piece. It's a slow and painful process, but I think I'm getting there.

If you are in this gray area with me, hang in there. Confide in someone. Shove away the lies that come to your mind. You are worth it. You are needed and loved. You make the world a better place. Please don't give up.

© Wendy 2016