I have come back from the brink of suicide. I have visited that place several times. During the depression years, before I changed my life circumstances and also found a med that helped, I felt mostly heaviness in my chest and was hopeless, tired, and apathetic. During those 6 years, I “knew” I had no future. I couldn’t hold down a job for longer than 12 months, so I’d be on government aid and not enough of it to actually live a semi-comfortable existence. Severe depression is crippling and scary. I was often afraid I would never find my real self again. Was she in there somewhere or had this helpless slug of a woman taken over completely?
“When I was suicidal, it was because every single day was literally the worst day of my life.” Thoughtcatalog.com (13 Heart-Ripping Testimonies of How it Feels to be Suicidal)
I married at 19, and it lasted 25 years. We had two fantastic children who are now successes in their careers and family lives. For reasons that are saved for another blog, I ran away from home and husband at age 44. I ran wild for almost a year before my mind slowed and reality appeared. I was without a degree, training for an occupation, and had no previous work (to speak of) to complete a decent resume. Employers want to hire 20-somethings or 30-somethings. I was past prime, and it showed by the employment rejections. Depression became worse over each year until I came very, very close to speeding my car off of a high , multi-level interstate system. I drove, cried, and considered my options for type of demise. However, there was a tiny flicker of light still within me because before I chose the moment I could jump in front of an 18-wheel truck traveling 70 mph, I turned the steering wheel and exited the freeway. It was my gynecologist’s office exit. I knew Sally would try to help me. She was always empathetic and helpful. It worked, and the emergency feeling lowered to just plain depression masked with humor. Always crack a joke and no one will know you hurt inside, right?
(In same article on Thoughtblog.com, the following testimonial was given) “I understand that feeling of utter hopelessness that can so easily consume a life. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for most of my life. My mother suffers from bipolar disorder. As a result, both of us have struggled with suicidal tendencies. It’s hard to go through life when your own brain has turned against you. Getting out of bed is a struggle. Taking a shower is a struggle. Looking in the mirror is a struggle. Ah, I wish I didn’t understand. Honestly, for a long time I thought that suicide was the nicest thing I could do for myself. I knew it was selfish to put my loved ones through, but at the same time it was so goddamn difficult to stay alive just for the well-being of others. I could easily rationalize it and say that they were better off without me. God, depression is a bitch. It has taken so much intense therapy and self-reflection and, yes, even medication for me to realize that giving myself a chance to heal was the kindest thing I could do for myself. So I guess I’m trying to say that I empathize with suicide victims. When your own mind betrays you it’s hard to get back up again.”
Today, 8 1/2 years from the time I ran away from home for a different life, I’m on an antidepressant, remarried to a kind man, keep 4 precious kitties, and enjoy my family and friends again. I live in a house again and not a tiny apartment or noisy duplex. I get to decorate this home and even have the desire to do so. I now drive a 2 year old car instead of a 15 years old one with no sun visors or key fob. We’re going to Hawaii next month and to New York in December. Life did a 180 for me, and it happened quickly! Before meeting my current husband, I had zero hope of gaining the strength to break up with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, moving out of an undesirable location, or having a regular income. Then, a new friend helped me leave the codependent relationship I was in, and I soon (and unexpectedly) found love. Life is settled. The depression isn’t crippling and no more suicidal thoughts. But guess who has moved into my home?! Perimenopause! Ugh. I’m dealing with up and down mood swings – like way down. I still take an antidepressant and keep Xanax on hand for anxiety or insomnia. I’m very thankful that summer is at its end. Not so many hot flashes!
If you find yourself in a depressed state that doesn’t fully leave and that often (or always) confines you to your house or bed, have hope. I’ve been there and stayed there for years. However, you can find the strength to change your life situation – even if you were like me and saw NO way to do that. It just took someone who took charge and helped me jump a few hurdles to make changes for the better. My one take-away from this blog is this: don’t try to kill yourself. It turns out that “they” are correct . . . nothing lasts forever, and you will be happy again. Yes, it’s an every day climb but it’s very worth it. It’s your very existence we’re talking about, right?
I’m here if you need to talk or have questions. Leave a comment, as well. Love to you!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255