Most nights, I would find myself ending the day wondering if it was still worth it to be alive. There would always be this battle in my head, weighing the pros and cons of ending my life. It’s probably why I have always had such a hard time falling asleep. Living life with depression and more specifically suicidal thoughts is a balancing act. You are constantly trying to find ways to keep yourself from teetering too far to either side. You get too happy, you’re in danger of finding yourself in a nosedive back into depression. You get too depressed, you’re in danger of ending your own life. You really can’t win with depression, and that’s how it gets you to play its game. Not only to you have to deal with this unyielding back and forth, but you also have to deal with the inevitable whiplash that will come because of it. It truly is tiring to ask yourself if your life is worth living. What will you do when you finally answer no, it’s not worth it. For me, that resulted in a serious suicide attempt, where I did everything within my power to end my own life.
Most days, I am able to convince myself that my life is of value, that it’s worth it to keep going. On other days, this argument that I have with myself is all the more difficult to win. Such is life with depression. I think that it’s very sad that eventually we become accustomed to this battle, and it no longer sends up the big red flags that it would in someone who is either new to the depression scene or is healthy altogether. I mean, can you imagine what someone who is completely healthy would do if they suddenly wanted to kill themselves. I can’t help but laugh a little imagining their reaction to something that I have lived my life facing almost every day. When my depression was in the peak of misery, I would have these suicidal thoughts all day, multiple times a day. Can you imagine the pain and suffering that would cause? I imagine that some of you do, and I sincerely hurt for you, because I know what it’s like to have lived in that space where nothing but death seems like it would help.
The fact of the matter is that I would love to stand upon my soapbox and preach that there is an end to the dismay that we all feel. That one day you’ll suddenly be cured, and won’t have to worry about fighting for your life. I wish that I could even say that things get better, but I can’t. Things never get better, they just become more tolerable. Which I suppose in its own way is better, especially if you’re emotionally raw from the constant battle in your head. Finding balance is key because, with balance, you’ll be able to lead a more successful and fulfilling life, at least that’s the hope. I only say this, because, with my medication, I believed myself to be getting better, but that is not the case. My mind is no longer trying to convince me that death will be my only release from this hell, which is nice I might add. Yet, there is still the dark beast lurking inside me. I still feel it clawing away, trying to reach the surface. What medication has done, for me, it to chain this dark beast to the ground, to restrict its movement? Whereas in the past, I had given the beast free reign of myself. So, it helps in the same way a wall helps from flooding waters. It prevents the water from getting in, but it does not change the fact that on the other side is a raging torrent waiting to sweep everything away. It keeps the beast at bay, which is really all I can truly hope for. Since I’ve accepted that, while my life may certainly improve, my depression will always exist, just waiting for the day where my defenses are at their weakest. When that day comes, it will use all that it has to wretch control from me. I say, let it try because by the time that day comes, I will be so well prepared, that no amount of beastly power will overcome me. So, while I may sound like someone who has no hope left, and I really hope my melancholy speech hasn’t soiled your spirits; I have nothing but hope. I have hope that one day, I will be able to keep that beast chained to the ground and not give it a second thought. I have hope that I will be able to thrive in life, where once I just survived. I have hope that someday, both you and I will be able to bask in the sun together, having held the flag of victory in our hands. I hope that we will be able to live the remainder of our lives in peace and prosperity. I hope that when we do finally meet our ends, it can be with a smile and a full heart.
Read more from me at The Smiles We Bear