Trigger Warning: Suicide
The shame I hold onto about this part of my testimony is heavy and covered in guilt. But the more I celebrate my life, the more I want to open up about this so that hopefully God can use my ashes for His beautiful purpose.
Here I sit at Lake Nockamixon, it’s 32 degrees and extremely windy, but the sun is shining on my tear soaked face, the seagulls are singing, and Rescue by Lauren Daigle is playing in my ears.
When I was 20 I tried to kill myself.
I wanted to end it. End everything. End the pain and the depression and the anxiety. End the frustration. End the never ending struggle. But more than that I would have ended moments like this one. Sunshine on my face looking out over the lake. I would have ended coffee dates with my mom. I would have ended heart to heart talks with my dad. I would have never seen my brother graduate college as valedictorian. I never would have poured into my youth kids who mean the absolute world to me. I would have ended the possibility of ever meeting Josh and beginning this immaculately designed chapter of my life. I would have ended any possibility of the Lord using me for His purpose. In the blink of an eye I would have ended every single thing that I hold so valuable.
I was desperate and numb and in searing pain all at once and I thought my only option was to kill myself. I thought the only option was to give up. To give up ever having a future. As I write this I vividly remember the amount of emotional and physical and spiritual pain I was in. I remember throwing myself on my bedroom floor shaking uncontrollably, sobbing and screaming for God to take the pain away, take away the pain from my disease, take away my depression and anxiety. I was shrieking. I was done. I hit rock bottom. I couldn’t imagine continuing to live one more second.
I am grateful for the nurses and doctors that took care of me at the hospital that night and the next day. I am grateful for the security guard that was posted at my door and didn’t take his eyes off me. I am grateful to the nurse filled with compassion and warmth who didn’t treat me like an insane person, she kept me company and brought me heated blankets, I don’t remember her name but I am grateful to her for treating me like a person. I am grateful for the support from my coordinator and therapists. I am grateful to my mom who never ceased praying, never ceased crying out to God, even in the midst of her agony, and the fear of losing me. She never ceased praying. She was my rock when I couldn’t stand on my own. She fought for me when I couldn’t care less.
Suicide doesn’t just end the bad stuff, it doesn’t just end the pain. In fact it causes pain, intense unmeasurable amounts of pain. Suicide ends all of the good things and any good thing that’s to come. It ends more than just a life. Praise the Lord I am alive. I am experiencing what it means to actually be alive. I will not let my depression and anxiety win. This will not steal my joy. I refuse to fall victim to my mental illness.
I have way too much to live for.
Depression sucks. Depression and anxiety really sucks. It’s easy for me to go days without showering and without having the energy to get out of bed. The anxiety is screaming rage at me that my whole world is going to implode while I’m going through my depressive periods.
There are days where getting out of bed is my proudest achievement. And then there are days I wake up early, run a few miles, eat clean, clean my room, do laundry, walk the dog, shower, get errands done, and excel at work.
There’s really no in between. So I live for the days where I’m productive and driven. They’re not as exhausting as the ones where I can’t move and my brain is screaming with anxiety because I haven’t moved.
There is $0.41 in my bank account right now.
I’m at my wits end. It’s been one thing after another. It’s the never ending medical bills. The having to be out of work for a week because I got my neck cut open. It’s the two car payments. It’s the client telling me to take the week off. It’s the threat that I’m going to be sued by the guy who hit me and that I should lawyer up. It’s taking care of everyone else all day long nonstop and then coming home and sitting in a room where I’m surrounded by dirty laundry and mugs that need to be washed. It’s the hallow feeling inside. The lump in my throat. The anxiety and the depression. It’s nothing yet it’s everything at once.
I’m shaking and terrified. I’m on an island of quick sand sinking faster and faster as gigantic scary waves bigger than life come at me from all sides. Even if someone came to rescue me in a helicopter with a long rope I don’t know if I’d grab on. I’m at that point where I’d be okay if everything swallowed me alive because I’m so exhausted I don’t know how I can keep doing this.
Everything was going so well. I wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck for the first time in years. I quit my terrible job and started a company where I was the boss. I had an awesome savings account built up. I was driving a nice car – my first car – my baby. I was feeling okay with life for the first time in a very long time. And then everything hit at once. Literally and figuratively. It was an explosion of sheer panic and nervous laughter.
The past six months have been pain on top of agony on top of disaster. I don’t know how to fix it. I’m in constant panic mode. I’m trying to please everyone yet I’m sinking further and further into a depression I’m not so sure I will be able to get out of this time.
And trust me…I know…cry out to God and He will hold me and comfort me. But I’m too embarrassed to even walk towards Him right now. I’m too weak to try to fix my faith walk. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to go. My parents and my brother have their own struggles right now without me crawling to them asking them for whatever help they could offer. And it’s not their fault. They each have their own island, their own quick sand, their own huge scary waves.
So I will sit here surrounded by dirty laundry and mugs that need to be washed pondering why I can’t just take control of life and handle things like an adult. And I will cry. And hyperventilate. And hope I will be able to fall asleep despite the fight going on inside of me.
Sleep and I have a love hate relationship. Most nights I need to take medication in order to fall asleep or get more than a few hours of restless sleep. But when I’m not on my meds, it’s easy to allow the depression and anxiety to take over my sleep schedule. There is no normal. It’s either no sleep at all, or too much sleep. I can easily sleep for twelve hours and still be completely exhausted the next day.
Last night I slept from 11pm-2am thanks to the dogs barking non stop at something that was trying to get into the chicken coup. I’m a zombie today. Chugging the coffee…becoming one with the coffee. So excuse me if I seem entirely incoherent. It’s because I am.
Here’s to hoping I feel like a human again sometime today!