“Feels like winter follows you around.”
There’s a song by Dermot Kennedy and that is a line in one of his songs. I relate to that lyric so much. Like that Peanuts character who was always getting rained on, or Oscar the Grouch (he lives in a trashcan afterall). Depression feels like a weight I’m dragging beside me. But it takes the lead sometimes, and those are the days I stay in bed, unshowered, alone and a pathetic sight to see. (I’m so hard on myself, aren’t I?)
This past week it’s taken the lead. This involves not doing many things, actually much of anything for an extended period of time, like days. A full day in bed. Just sleeping. Wake up, go back to sleep. I’m embarrassed to admit that. But that’s the severity of my depression. I am in counseling and on medication, so why am I not okay? Recently I started thinking of “therapy” from a non-medical perspective. This is where I look to guides like Glennon Doyle Melton, Elizabeth Gilbert, all of Lisa Wingate’s book characters, and Briana Borten. I have more resources I just need to think outside the box. Read memoirs. I believe reading memoirs is so healing.
Sometimes I think depression is such a self-centered way to live my life. I’m all caught up in me, how others feel about me, me, me, me. My life is a shit show, so what am I going to do? Am I going to end my life and let others clean up the mess? And not just others. Family. And not just family. People who love me so much and would be devastated. How could I possibly hurt someone I love so much, and who loves me so much? I just couldn’t. So this ideation can go fuck itself.
Suicidal thoughts, I believe, come from the devil, or the evil higher power, or whatever it is you call it. Suicidal thoughts trick you into thinking you really feel like you don’t matter, others won’t miss you, they’ll be better off without you. But that is an external power trying to take hold of your life. I have a reason I feel this way. It’s from an experience I had when I attempted suicide. I’d like to share it with you soon, it’s just not quite ready yet. But it’s part of my truth and pretending I wasn’t trying to kill myself and pretending it was anything but seeking death heals nothing. And that’s what I’ve sort of done with that experience. Made excuses, made a story that “fits” for me and whoever may question me. It’s still hard, after 10 years, to say the words, “I tried to kill myself.” And I did a damn good job trying because I almost died. I had multiple seizures. I didn’t know who I or anyone was. I had “shuttering” in my brain for months after the attempt. But it’s during my experience of attempted suicide that I heard something that told me this is nothing but the devil. Evil is trying to steal my soul. And it almost did.
There is shame attached to my suicide attempt. What will people think if they found out? Well, it’s out there now so ….. I suppose it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks. Often, days are a struggle to get through. I wonder if I have it in me to get through life challenges that may be coming my way — without self-sabotaging myself, without drugs or alcohol, without feelings of hopelessness. I just don’t know.
Suicide attempt, abortion, current suicidal ideation, medication adherence difficulties – this is my truth and I have to stand in it, as shitty as it may be, in order to heal. I need to look at all sides of the situation, all angles, all involved parties, “recreate the scene” if you will, in order to make sense of any of it, all while feeling like a terrible human being for doing those things to begin with.
Forgiveness. It sounds like I need to forgive myself. There’s another layer of unknown. Forgiveness and grace – do I deserve it? Isn’t suffering what people like me deserve? My past, my mistakes, my current mental and emotional state – is suffering just something I should come to expect? Because I do. I expect to suffer. I expect to be depressed. I expect to question my life. I expect to question my existing relationships (do they really want me around, do they really love/like me, etc.) I haven’t started expecting good things for my life. I’ve only left room for pain. I’m trying to change but I’m not changing. What if this is just who I am?