Every time I read or hear about someone committing suicide, my stomach turns and I am devastated. I immediately start to think about the pain their immediate family (especially young children or parents) are experiencing. I always ask myself “Why didn’t they know they were loved? How could they go through with that knowing so many around them still needed them so much.” And then I remember, I went through those dark times and came really close to making the same choice.
Yes, there was a very dark period in my life a few years ago where I truly thought I was ready to give up. No one knew. I kept it to myself. I hid the pain I was going through while silently adding up all of the reasons why they’d be better if I wasn’t around. I imagined their lives without me in it and imagined everything around them working out for the better because I wouldn’t be there to screw it up anymore. If I gave up, I wouldn’t be around to disappoint anyone or fall short of the image people had in their minds about who or what I was. We would sit down for dinner and I would imagine my empty dinner chair sitting next to them while they all smiled and laughed.
I believe there are many different types of illnesses and negative speech we can impose on ourselves that ultimately cause those type of spiraling thoughts. Mine was guilt. I focused on all of my short comings in life, everyone I let down and everything I had done wrong. I replayed every bad choice I had made in my mind over and over all day long and looked forward to everyone going to bed so I could sneak into the bathroom and cry alone.
What I would like everyone to understand is that when depression strikes, most of the time, you don’t want to tell anyone because you feel so ashamed for having those feelings in the first place. You avoid conversations about what you are feeling because it sounds as if they are just patronizing you. It feels like judgement and/or that your feelings aren’t really valid to them. From there you just avoid the cycle of feeling worse after talking to someone so you keep it all in until you can’t take it anymore. You’re so outside of yourself that you can’t hear or believe what is true. The night I got really close to ending everything I actually told the woman on the other side of the suicide hotline that is must be her fist day because she wasn’t doing a good job talking me into a better place. It took some serious supernatural intervention to keep me here on earth. I thank God and my angels everyday for their presence that night and for getting me through it.
I made it through and I took a few lessons with me. Ever since that night, I have felt like it’s my calling to always give everyone around me a little encouragement. Show them a little love, offer a small compliment or in general focus on having good energy so they can maybe feel some light when they are in my presence.
Secondly, I decided that I am determined to teach my daughters to talk to themselves with nothing but love. Now that I’m aware, I’ve noticed there are so many adults that need to hear and learn this too. Altering your self talk, and turning it into self-love is a skill that would benefit everyone. Because if you let yourself get into a really deep depression, chances are, you might not be able to talk yourself out of it. Chances of someone else talking you out of it are even slimmer. So start loving yourself today. Tell yourself nice things in the morning, every time you look in the mirror and before you go to bed at night. Let the failures or short comings from that day go. Decide to move forward take the necessary steps to improve and do better tomorrow, but don’t hold onto them. Also, if you hear someone around you talking down to themselves, please intervene and tell them how awesome they are. Tell them to love themselves and accept love from others as well. Tell them to allow themselves grace. Don’t tell yourself anything that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Give yourself grace and the opportunity to be human. Teach yourself and train yourself to improve your self talk and turn it into self love.
Lastly, for those if you out there who may be in that dark place now, try hard to connect to the light. Seek the light and find it somewhere. Whether it’s through a book, encouraging quotes, nature, God or a loved one you trust, seek it. Coming from someone who has been there, and thought there was no hope, trust me when I say there is.