Tag Archives: mental-health

In the “well”.

A friend of mine described her depression to me once as feeling as if she were in a well.  Sometimes she was near the top of a full well, floating in the water and could see the sunshine, but it was just out of reach.  Other times she was at the bottom of a dry well and could barely see the sunshine, but would stare at it and hope it came closer somehow.  And other times she would close her eyes and hope and pray that someone would realize the well was dry, and empty, and start filling it with dirt.  Burying her.

I have adopted this analogy now.  It fits the best, doesn’t it?  When you struggle with great depression, as I have, sunshine (happiness) always seems out of reach.   Sometimes it is so close you could ALMOST grasp it, but other times it is so far away that you forget what it looks like and just don’t even care anymore.

During the 5 years that I struggled with undiagnosed, horrific pain, I was in the well.  At the bottom.  Eyes closed.  PRAYING someone would just fill it up with dirt already.  I was done.  I needed to be put out of my misery.  I have always found it ironic that putting down an animal in pain is always considered the “HUMANe” thing to do, but to do the same for a human, is immoral and illegal.  We are allowed to “play God” with animals, but not with ourselves.  We can determine when an animal, who can not speak to us with words we can understand, has had enough and is in too much pain to carry on, yet we cannot offer the same relief to our fellow humans who DO speak to us with words we understand.   I just don’t get it.   And yes, okay, okay…there are legal issues…but I am sure that some lawyer out there is smart enough to figure out the logistics of legality around it.  (insert lawyer jokes here if you must).  But I am serious.

Though, now that I think about it, in hindsight, I am glad that option wasn’t available.  I would have taken it.

There are days that the ONLY thing that kept me alive was my family.  My children, in particular.  My husband would have understood…he would have been sad, and devastated, sure.  But he would have understood.   It was knowing that my children would NOT understand that kept me alive.  The thought of them going through life somehow blaming themselves, was more painful to me than the physical pain I was in.  And that is the ONLY reason I am still here to tell my story.

I was planning on writing a bit of my story every day.  See, it is like therapy for me.  I feel like if I get my story OUT, it doesn’t own me anymore.  I own IT.  But, I am finding that writing this is taking a bit more time.  A bit more reflection.  And it has brought some feelings back to the surface that I never wanted to see again.

But, if I write them out, I release them.  So I will press on.  I will continue to get it out.  And someday, I will have gotten in ALL out, and a new story will be created.  One of happiness ever after.

I am close.  I am now outside the well…dangerously close to the edge and peeking down in, but I am outside of it.  And that is a huge step in the right direction.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

My first suicide attempt

I was in third grade.  Yes.  You read that right.

It was a Saturday.  In the afternoon.  My mom had just spent the previous hour screaming at me, accusing me of taking her best jewelry and losing it.  I spent the previous hour telling her I had not touched it and had no idea where it was.

Her and my dad left to go somewhere.  I don’t remember where.  My sister was outside playing with the neighbors across the street.  I sat in the house sobbing.  Tired of being yelled at.  Tired of never feeling good enough…Loved…Wanted.  Tired of being blamed for things that were not my fault.  I was 9.  I didn’t take her jewelry.

So I decided I was going to make her sorry.  Sorry she blamed me.  Sorry she yelled at me AGAIN.  Sorry that she hadn’t loved me enough.  So I went into the kitchen, took down the bottle of tylenol, and took about 5.  Yup.  5 Tylenol.  Chewable Tylenol because I didn’t know how to swallow a pill yet.  Then I laid down on the couch, closed my eyes, and waited to die.

Of course, I soon realized, that 5 Jr. Tylenol were not going to kill me.  And I understand that some may see this as a kid being stupid and attention seeking.  I get it.  However, to me, it was more than that.  At that moment, I KNEW what I was trying to do.  At age 9, I had already had enough of what life was offering me.

Now, keep in mind, I didn’t have what most would consider a rough childhood.  I grew up in Suburban America, with two parents, a sibling, and a dog.  We lived in a very average neighborhood with block parties, 4th of July Fireworks, and Christmas Carolers.  I didn’t want for much.  I was fortunate enough to have a nice home, a good education, and parents with enough money to provide almost everything I could have wanted as a child.

The only thing I lacked, in my mind, was the approval of my mother.  The full, unconditional love that I so badly craved.  I am not saying she didn’t love me, and that I didn’t love her.  It just didn’t seem like “enough”.  I always felt second best.  Not good enough.  Unworthy.

That day, as I lay on the couch waiting to die, I remember thinking that she would come home, drop to her knees next to my lifeless body, and proclaim how sorry she was.  Scream to the world how much she loved me, and how wrong she was to blame me for something I didn’t do.

But, I woke up.  And she came home.  And miraculously remembered that she had put all her best jewelry in a box under her bathroom sink to hide it, as we had some burglaries in the neighborhood in the weeks prior.   And, upon her discovery that SHE had hidden her jewelry, and that I had not touched it, I waited for her heartfelt apology.  31 years later…I am still waiting.

Tagged , , ,