I wanted to feel; I couldn’t feel anything.
I wanted to care; I couldn’t care about anything.
I wanted to live; life was just . . . passing me by.
I wanted to love. Love heals. Love was all I needed.
I almost took an overdose March 6th, 2013. I was trying to sleep at night and shaking so hard my whole bed vibrated. I got up to shower to have something to do and maybe work off the excess energy, and that’s when the thought hit me: Why not take an overdose of my sleeping pills?
The freaky thing is I actually considered it for a few minutes. I just wanted rest. I was so fed up with the shaking, the full-body spasms, suffering so much for so long without respite. I just wanted peace. I’d been crippled by severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder for five-and-a-half years, and diagnosed with both back in 2004, and I was worn out.
But an overdose would be permanent rest, and I still wanted to live. I thought of my nuclear family and close friends, and I didn’t want to hurt them with a sudden suicide.
So I decided to hold on a little while longer. I decided to imagine I had faith to make it through the night. I decided to see my mother’s face again.
I decided I would have faith even if it killed me to hold on. Nothing could be as bad as what I’d already suffered, anyway.
I decided to live. I chose to live.
I’ve debated telling this story; spent weeks and weeks thinking about it. Part of me feels like it’s something way too private to confess on here for all time. Part of me wonders if anyone’ll pick on me for considering suicide as a way past the pain. Part of me wonders what the fuck I’m doing make this public.
Still. Here I am. Here it is.
I’ve been in that dark place. I’ve existed day-to-day unable to feel, unable to think, unable to care. I’ve slept away years of my life because I was too broken to face my fears. I’ve spent years on anti-depressants because I couldn’t get out of bed on my own anymore. I couldn’t bring myself to live anymore.
There was so much debris in my head to scrape away. My thoughts caked over with black gunk that sucked the soul out of me. Sometimes I had to scream myself hoarse just to let it all out. I once screamed so hard I tore my vocal cords.
Things came to a head when I faced 3-4 months in a psychosomatic clinic with no guarantee it’d be enough to heal my wounds. (Psychosomatic symptoms are basically your body reflecting the chaos in your psyche, and I’d already spent 30 days in hospital because I repeatedly crashed to the floor under the weight of my emotions. I started falling close to Christmas and kept getting worse over the holidays; I’d literally be upright one minute and sprawled flat on my face the next because my muscles collapsed. Luckily there’re drugs to stabilise the body, and they helped me stay on my feet.)
I wasn’t fluent enough in German though, so the doctors said I could try going back to language school and THEN returning to the clinic when I could rattle off the lingo. Oh and that I should go back to therapy ’til I could return. I was like, “SAY WHAT NOW? I’ve been in therapy for 5 fucking years!”
When was it all going to end?
I didn’t know, and not knowing scared me shitless.
I realised I was waiting for a therapist and/or medication to save me, and the waiting wasn’t working. I’d come to a point where I had to sink or swim: either pull myself out for real or surrender to the darkness.
I chose light, life, freedom. I chose to be awake and conscious of the present moment. I chose to free myself from the past and the extreme reliance on other people to make me happy. I chose to step into my power and shine, just like I tell people to on here and in my eBook.
And that’s how I healed myself from the inside out. 6 months ago on March 22nd, 2013, I burst out of the emotional hell I’d been in for so long. I stopped waiting for the stars to align and things to magically become rosy without any effort on my part.
I took my life into my hands and decided to LIVE, goddammit.
Now I feel alive. I feel energised. I feel like I can take on the world and kick some serious ass. I feel like I’m finally aware of life and my surroundings. I feel connected to my heart and soul. I feel more aware of my body than I’ve ever been.
I discovered a love for bright colours after my rebirth: bright reds and yellows, lime greens and sharp oranges to pop against my skin; colours I’d never have touched before suddenly calling to me and making me feel pretty again.
I meditate and practise yoga every day because they keep me healthy and out of the dark. I still take my meds, but I don’t need therapy anymore. I write in my journal most days and work through the knots in my psyche because I’m strong enough to detangle them now. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been thanks to the daily yoga and meditation. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been because I’m healthier than I’ve ever been.
I’m such a different person than I was 6 months ago. My outlook is so much brighter and richer than it’s ever been. I feel a deep joy just being alive and being able to feel. It’s easy to take your emotions for granted until you’re unable to feel them or unable to sustain the happy ones. You won’t believe how long I was either numb or afraid or despondent. Sure I could act like nothing was wrong, but that was just faking it without making it. I don’t bother faking anymore ’cause that shit didn’t work for me. It doesn’t make you better when you’re depressed because you’re not addressing the root cause, you’re just fixing the surface.
I guess my reason for telling my story is this: you do what you have to so you can be healthy and free of your past. You take matters into your own hands and do the work necessary to shift your thinking, believing, and doing. You get the help you need to cope and you accept that therapy + meds may relieve your symptoms but YOU must heal your soul. You decide to burst out of the darkness and flourish in the light. You decide to lift your head to the sky and free the gaze trapped on the ground.
I can’t tell you to fire your therapist or throw your pills in the trash. I can’t tell you to quit fucking around and just get over it already. I can’t tell you how long it’ll take for you to get through your particular dark night of the soul or how many journal pages you have to bleed before everything’ll be OK again. You have to discover all that for yourself.
I CAN tell you, however, that it’s worth the fight to be free again. It’s worth the fight to face your demons and free yourself to live again. It’s worth the fight to get to the bottom of what troubles you so you can make space for your dreams to take root and blossom. It’s worth the fight to give yourself the chance to live for real and smile from your heart. It’s worth the fight to hang on to the people who lift you up and remind you why your life is worth living. It’s worth the fight to come out on the other side and be able to tell yourself and the world, “Hot damn, I made it through. WOOT.”
If you’re in emotional or physical pain, please hold on.
If you’re going through a divorce or mourning a loved one, please hold on.
If you’re fed up with life and see no reason to stick around, please hold on.
If you’re struggling to kick a bad habit, start a good one, or release an addiction, please hold on.
If you’re suffering in any way, hold on, hold on, hold on.
You’ve been happy before. You can be happy again.
You’ve been fulfilled before. You can be fulfilled again.
You’ve been in love before. You’ll be in love again.
You’ve smiled from your heart to your eyes before. You’ll beam with good cheer again.
I’ve shared my story with you so you may be encouraged to work through yours and come out triumphant on the other side.
I’ve shared my story with you so you can see how I turned my life around and chose to fill my days with things that lift my heart.
I’ve shared my story with you so you may have the courage to keep going even when you think you can’t take one more step.
We are what we choose to accept. Choose to accept something bigger and brighter than your pain/confusion/grief/despair. Choose to accept hope and love and joy. Choose to inhabit the truths that set you free.
I believe: You are powerful and precious. You are loved. You matter. You are heard. You are not alone. You will overcome. You are stronger than you think and braver than you know. You are always enough. Always.
I know: You will get through it if you ask for help and do your part of the work.
I am proof: You can turn your life around with a thought powerful enough to flip the switch and lead you home.
May you have the grace to sit through the fire and emerge stronger + brighter for it.
Love + sunshine,