A drowning man will grab on to any flotsam and struggle to the very end to stay afloat. If you’re starving you will eat unspeakable things to stay alive. We have a built in survival mechanism that give us incredible strength to make it through the most deadly circumstances. When faced with the ultimate decision to end it all, my will to survive kicked it and I pulled back from the abyss. My life is hard, and is about to get harder, but it is life after all. As hard as it may be, it’s still better than the alternative. If I can only hold on I have to believe it will get better. I’ve survived worse, and I can survive this. I have to, for myself and for those I love.
Reading the end of this man’s post really hit home for me. I’m not bipolar, and I’m not depressed (at the moment). But life is certainly overwhelming me. It’s probably part of the reason I felt the need to start this blog – I needed somewhere to get my emotions out and to say the things that I don’t always want to say to other people.
I’ve never gotten to the point of planning my suicide, like this author has done. I have, however, thought about what things would look like if I was gone… If I ran away, if I gave up, if I quit. I don’t really know what I would have done but almost every time, it is the other people in my life who become my floatation devices: I think about my kids and where they would be if their mom just gave up or disappeared. I even consider what it would do to them if I just stayed in bed every day. Would my husband leave me, too? Probably.
He stood by me during the worst depression I’ve ever had – he cooked for me and brought me dinner in bed, he cleaned up after me, he got me out of bed and showered me, he motivated me, and he loved me. Ironically, we weren’t even married at the time. We weren’t even living together. He did this all for me when he had no commitment to me, and no kids to think about. Why do I think he’d leave me now? I don’t know, but it is a worry all the time.
For the most part, I am happier now than I ever have been before. When life hasn’t piled responsibility on too high, I feel fantastic – I have a jolly jump to my step that never existed before. I have a positive self image and higher self-esteem that really take over and define who I am. This is really the result of years and years of counseling and cognitive behaviour therapy. Taking control of my life and going back to school, getting married and having kids – those have a lot to do with it too. But interestingly enough, all of the positive just seems to disappear when life gets tough.
Last week I was at one of the lowest points that I’ve been at for a long time. If I made eye contact with someone for long enough, I would cry. I hated myself. I was convinced that everyone hated me. I was a bad student, an even worse mother. I wanted to quit. Everything.
But this week I’m still here.
(Probably for the same reasons written about in the above quotation)