Yesterday I walked with CAFS and THEME Institute's walk for raising awareness on suicide prevention. Looking back a year ago, I probably would have not joined the walk. I guess this story is as much my confession, as my public declaration of loving every bit of me.
February 2016 was when I first wanted to kill myself. They were dark days where I would spend the entire commute crying for no reason, where I would run to the washroom while at work and throw up or break down because my heart felt heavy and I did not know why I was alive. My then SO was aghast when I suggested I seek professional help because “there is nothing wrong with you! It’s all in your head!!”. So I took the next best option: I started scaling mountains.
If you have seen my social media posts for the past year or so, you would notice how I was either on a mountain, at the beach or in a forest at least once a month. While this life looked indulgent and luxurious, it was my lifeline. It was the effort of scaling a mountain, the feeling of standing at the summit and realizing that you are one with nature — that you are but an insignificant entity in this great tapestry of life — that helped me deal with my dark days. Climbing out of the hole that I found myself in was harder than climbing a mountain. But I was making progress.
The second time I seriously contemplated ending my life was in June 2017. Being a planner, when things fell apart into pieces, I did not think I had the courage to pick the pieces back up. This time, though, I reached out. I talked to a couple of friends who were up with me at 2am in the morning listening to me crying and trying to make sense of the world; I talked to people who had gone through what I was going through and had come out all the more stronger for it; I sought professional help, and in my therapist found a woman I admire, trust and appreciate.
Three months after my relapse....I like to think I am making progress. There still are days when I wake up and don’t want to get out of bed. There are days when I wonder why I am alive, what is the purpose of this life. But then, those days are few and far in between than the days when I see a blossoming flower and smile. Or days when I can smile at the stray dog by the road and say good morning.
For over a year, only a couple of closest friends knew what I was going through, because I was ashamed to talk about it. As accepting as my circle of friends were, my (then) nearest and dearest was not ready to accept that someone they are so close to is suffering from a mental illness. So, I never spoke up. Today, I openly talk to people about how I am in therapy and how much of a help it has been. I am more forward about sharing my story because I know that if you can’t accept me for my broken, cracked pieces, then you certainly don’t deserve the bubbly socialite that I can be.
Do I still cry? Yes! But I am also learning to love the hurting, broken parts of me as much as I love the social, forward ones. I am learning that the first step in healing is accepting myself for who I am, and not demanding myself to be bigger, better, and stronger. I am learning that waking up with a knot in my stomach, not knowing why it is there or how to get rid of it is okay; that it does not make me a failure of a person.
I guess what I am trying to say is, even the happiest-looking, or the strongest-looking people in your circles could be having the same thoughts that I did. Education, occupation, relationship status do not matter when it comes to suicide and suffering. A random, but genuine, “How are you doing?” can do wonders; take it from someone whose life was saved by a friend who decided to call her to see ‘what’s up’ as she was about to take the plunge.
You and I may not be the best of friends, exchanging memes and cracking jokes; but “All you have to do is call and I’ll be there. You’ve got a friend”.
This blog showcase stories, experiences and poems of brave individuals who were willing to share their creative personal thoughts in the hopes of helping another one in need...