Almost six years ago to the day I found myself in a bad way. I had hit a wall but when I passed through I came out all the stronger for having gone there.
I don’t often speak of this time in my life, it’s best left to fall to the memories of the past, however, when I know that my experience can help someone hurting, I do not hesitate to share.
There is another reason that at times this dark point surfaces in conversation, to keep me free of the chains that can so easily bind me. When one attempts suicide, it is easy to feel ashamed of those actions, that selfish decision that was formed in a moment of desperation. If I allow shame to possess me than I give power to the circumstance that led me to that place and I refuse to allow anyone or anything to have that kind of control over me.
So, on the anniversary of the day a broken person died and a strong woman emerged, I post this. I hope that in some way it frees others who have been to this place as well as prevents some from taking that step because not everyone survives.
The pain rose to an overwhelming symphonic cry that left me cowering on the cold bathroom floor, curled into the corner with arms circling my knees, rocking like a mother would her child.
I felt like the skin had been peeled away, my body turned inside out, laying all that was vulnerable open to the cruel world to which I had been thrust into. No matter how hard I tried to regain control of my senses, of my mind, I could not manage it.
The images seared into my retinas, gave truth to that which my heart wished to deny.
I had heard people describe such moments as the ground opening up and swallowing them, now I understood what that meant. It truly felt as though I was falling into a bottomless pit where no light could reach me.
Like a pebble in an avalanche, I was tossed and tumbled; rolled until I no longer knew which way was up, buried beneath the weight of the disaster. It took my breath away. Took everything away until I was an empty shell of a person, a zombie, simply going through the motions of human activity.
The light, the love, the innocence had all been stripped away until only pain, heartache, and desperation remained. All logic was lost at this time. There was just one driving force, to right the wrong, to stop the pain – and yet it was the pain that made me feel human and alive.
Empty eyes watched as the razer blade etched its fine line onto my skin, the crimson blood contrasting against the white flesh. The small sting of pain detracted from the abuse of betrayal, distracting my mind enough that I could stand up and function for a few more hours – paint on the smile, pretend everything was alright. The guilt of the action deflected from the questions and anger that dominated my life and left me lying numb in the darkness of reality.
Like the emotional pain that was my constant companion, the physical pain was hidden as well. Nobody suspected that I had sunk into the quicksand of hell. The weight of the liquid earth pressed in on me, making moving and breathing difficult until at last I was too exhausted to fight any more.
I gave up.
I finally hit the bottom of the pit I had been dropped into and when I landed I felt no more pain. No tears came. No thoughts. I just closed my eyes and welcomed death and the release that would come with it. For a few brief minutes it was blissfully peaceful, a sensation that I only vaguely remembered from a life that seemed so distant from the one I now lived. There was no more thoughts of heartache, questions of why, or attempts to act “okay”. It all just stopped.
Yet, in that peace crept fear and anger. They would win, she would win.
No! I was better than this. And that was when the fight began. The fight not just to survive but to live!
From that moment on I was at war. To my surprise, I began to win the battles against the demons within. With each victory came a small celebration of “I can do it” mentality. Silently I cheered and fist pumped the air for the success that was all my own. The false smile soon gave way to genuine ones and the once empty eyes became filled with life once more.
The effort it took to climb out of the pit strengthened me in such a way that when at last I found solid ground I could stand on my own two feet. I no longer needed the slice of a blade on my skin to feel alive because I felt everything once more. Anger, love, heartache, joy – every emotion was a testament of progress, until at last I captured the flag and won the war. Living was no longer an effort but a celebration.
Your story does not end here. It is merely a chapter in the book. Turn the page. See what adventures await you.