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One that was careful and safe.
Moved by their authenticity and bravery, I decided that for my own truth and hopefully for the benefits of others….I would stop hiding one of my deepest darkest shames.
Insert story of teenager who tries to take their own life *here*
The aftermath which involved a long two years of therapy, medication, self-exploration, learning and LOVE.
Love and support from others and learning to love myself all over again.
Finally ~ wellness, peace and a fresh place to start.
Its not always easy to be vulnerable and open. Particularly when it comes to talking about suicide.
Suicide is coated with fear and deep shame. A shame that follows you around for years.
The fear that if people learn about, or guess the real source of my scars (and not the lie that I have become so adept at reciting)- they will judge and perceive me to be less than and weaker than.
That, as an adult, I may not be viewed as a completely capable mum and that as someone who works at improving the lives of others, I will be rejected and deemed a failure. Maybe even a joke.
Lets be honest though. It’s not just the perceptions of others we fear is it? We can find value and a deeper understanding from shared experiences, even the supposedly ugly and uncomfortable stuff.
Its ourselves. The inner voice that comes out to taunt and promote self-loathing. The same voice that, when magnified incessantly for days, months or years, helped shove you into that dark corner to begin with.
And that is at the core of being asked a question such as Are you ok, when you are deeply depressed and dangling at the end of an emotional precipice.
You have generally become so good at repressing your emotions and filtering your words to others that you are intent on keeping it that way.
Showing you are suffering or even indicating you may need help is the ultimate act of self-betrayal for the suicidal.
Because by letting others know you are not ok, you just gave power to the ugly voice inside that is constantly telling you just how much you suck!
I can look after myself
I’m supposed to be able to cope by myself and the fact that I’m not is just another indicator of how worthless I am.
If I ask for help, people will judge me.
They will know that I am not what I appear to be.
That Im vulnerable and fragile.
That I need someone to show that they care and understand. That they see me. That I matter.
I don’t want to hurt and disappoint those I love.
I don’t want to be a burden
Why can’t I just keep it together like everyone else? Like NORMAL people.
I so just want to be normal.
To be able to feel normal again.
To have emotions that lift me up instead of crushing my spirit which is already so heavy my breath barely manages to escape.
Anyway….theres no one to ask. Im so good at keeping up this facade, no one even notices that I’m slowly dying inside.
Who would I ask? There is no one who understands. No one who really cares.
These were my thoughts. On more than one occasion.
Im certain that it typifies the thoughts of many depressed people out there. Right now.
My message today is for YOU. For those who are are severely depressed.
For those of you who are actively shunning help…for whatever reason.
I want you to know that its ok.
It’s ok to ask for help and to allow yourself to be open enough to receive it.
People do care…very much. Sure sometimes we get distracted by the day to day grind but we are hard-wired for connection and community and compassion.
First though….you need to treat yourself with a bit of compassion.
I get it. You may not feel safe. You may be so down that you actually fear being asked if you are ok.
Because that pain you are have pushed deep down inside your being is also, strangely so close to the point of escaping to the surface any minute.
Thats ok too.
Find a safe place with one person you feel you may be able to trust. Be damned and let the pain and blackness spill out…Do it with someone today – in person or on the phone. Let someone be there for you.
RU OK day is not just a chance to show others we care and to offer support for those who really need it. It’s a chance for those who are truly despairing, to take a leap out of the darkness.
It’s not easy and it takes a lot of courage but if that someone is you…please allow yourself to be open to it.
Be ok about being asked ~ Are you ok?