Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Keep Going (to those who feel like they can't)

I have never really been open to discussing my personal experience with depression and suicide but I feel like now is the time to lay everything on the table. As a teen I struggled with depression, I struggled with eating disorders and life often didn't feel like it was worth living. I was overweight and picked on, I never felt good enough in the Christian school I attended, I struggled with bad memories and felt like no one truly understood. I lost a lot of weight due to an eating disorder, I thought maybe if I was thinner I would be happy, but still I hated myself. In high school I was voted class clown one year and most bubbly another year but inside I was falling apart. I stuffed it inside and tried to hide my pain.

After high school I felt I had no future, no purpose. I looked for answers to my depression in the wrong places and bad relationships and when one of those relationships went wrong, I tried to end my life. It wasn't thought out, there was no planning, it was a sudden reaction to having too much pain and that night I went into the pill cabinet and took everything I could swallow. I woke up in the ER having my stomach pumped and, even then, I tried to pull the tube out of my mouth and fought being saved. In my young mind there was no reason to go on, no hope. They saved my life that night and though it took me awhile to be thankful, today I am so thankful they did.

What I know now is that life is not easy, but it's worth it. I have gone on to go to college, meet wonderful people, have amazing experiences. I learned I wasn't alone and there are so many others who deal with the same life struggles. I have learned to LOVE myself exactly as I am. I married a wonderful, supportive man. I had two beautiful, incredible children. I have a family that loves me. I have MYSELF.

I have be thinking since I lost Zuka; If I could go back and erase all my memories of him from the beginning so I would never feel this overwhelming pain, would I? The answer is no. Though I lost him tragically I will always have the memories, he has forever changed me and helped form who I am today. So if it had to end this way, the pain, the loss, is worth it to have had him here for the past 18 years of my life.

I have heard from a couple of young people who have told me they have thought of hurting themselves. This breaks me heart but truly I understand. What I want you to know is I have been on both sides and I know ending your life isn't the way out. There are people who love you, you are not a burden!! That voice you hear, telling you people would be better off without you, is WRONG! That's depression, that's not the truth. If you don't have people in your life that show you love and support, I promise you they are out there. Talk to someone, talk to a school counselor, if you have no one to talk to call the help line, you are never alone. I promise you that you matter!!

I feel like if I could make you see how devastating it is to lose someone you love to suicide maybe you would reconsider. I cannot find the words to express the pain that you feel losing a child to suicide, I could never make someone who hasn't been through it understand, you think you can imagine but I promise you, you cannot. It leaves a huge, unfillable hole in your heart.

I cannot promise you every day will be good, I cannot promise you that there won't be hard days in this life, but there will be beautiful days, and life is worth it, you just have to keep going. There's no shame in needing help, there's no shame in needing medication, there's no shame in taking care of yourself and your own needs. I'm not a writer, my words aren't eloquent and I'm not sure I have said the right things... all I can tell you is that I have been there. I have been in so much pain that I didn't want to go on. I understand what Zuka may have been feeling when he ended his life so I can never be angry at him for that.... I have been there and even after losing my child and having my heart shattered into a million pieces I can tell you that life is worth living, you matter and this world would not be the same without you. Keep Going!!

You're never alone. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you are struggling emotionally or thinking about suicide

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