We tend to fear, and judge harshly, what our minds can’t comprehend. Mostly, because the unknown scares us. A few days ago, was the suicide anniversary of someone I knew and it reminded me of my own darkness.
Writing about our experiences is as healing as it can be dangerous. There are things I’ve never written about because to do so means to go back and (to some extent) experience the pain I felt when they happened. But sometimes, it takes looking back in order to move forward.
There was a time when I was so tired of not understanding life and the purpose of mine that I ached to vanish. It wasn’t so much a wish to die but just to disappear. To find life elsewhere where everything made sense. I imagined a parallel universe where I’d be born to parents who wanted me, who never left me, and taught me to trust in someone other than myself; A world where I did not feel completely isolated.
I didn’t want to die, I just no longer wanted to be here.
That yearning was pervasive and, for years, I tried hard to suffocate it. I drank, I smoked, I was promiscuous-I lost myself in lovers I never took the time to know, then discarded them like empty cigarette cartons.
I lived dangerously and I was reckless with the life I had because I felt broken; something inside of me was missing and I couldn’t figure out what it was so I thought I’d never find it.
I felt lost in a world where everyone else seemed to have come with life instructions and I was dying to keep afloat while simultaneously fighting the urge to dissolve into nothingness-because nothingness felt like the next best thing to existing that way.
In spite of it, I grasped at anything that made me feel grounded and for a long time, I convinced myself that I stayed alive for reasons outside of myself. The truth is, I stayed alive because even when I wanted to disappear, there was inside of me a sliver of hope that life was worth living.
But that isn’t always the case with broken people. Some reach their breaking point before they realize that they don’t want to die, that what they want is to stop hurting-or they reach a place of numbness, which is much, much worse than sadness…
People like me, we feel much more deeply and so we build walls around us, some to safeguards ourselves, some to safeguard those around us-that’s our way of loving them.
I don’t know what makes us different, or why we are so, I just know that I was born already hurting, with my heart on my sleeve and an innate understanding that there was more to life than the life that I’d been living. But it wasn’t until I learned to tell my story differently that I truly understood that.
In this world there is so much of what looks like love, and sounds like love, and calls itself love, but it isn’t. It’s just people saying and doing what they think they ought to say and do. And when you feel more than most, knowing that makes it difficult to get close to anyone. The thought of someone getting close enough to feel your raw edges only to leave when they touch them is terrifying. So, I’d unknowingly isolate myself even in crowded places.
Time has a way of becoming more valuable only after you’ve realized how much of it has already been wasted and after you go through life dragging all of your monsters with you and there’s enough history behind you, you just learn that though you may feel broken, you’re not meant to walk alone, or carry you demons everywhere you go. I’ve learned that if you hold on long enough, you shed yourself of what weighs you down, eventually. Then, you begin living.
The person that I am now is not who I used to be. I’m no longer afraid of loving, or of living. I’ve sat in the center of my own sorrow and didn’t let it shrink me. I’m no longer afraid of people leaving, I’m interested in seeing who sees my scarred, and bruised up, heart and still finds beauty within it-and if they leave, so be it. Now, I walk through life with a sense of wonder, seeking magic even in places where I once found only sorrow.
Still, I can’t help but understand those who’ve lost their battle, their will to keep on living, to keep on fighting, to keep on striving when there seems to be nothing left to hope for. The ones who became so sad, there was nothing left to fan the flames of their own fire and so they wore their darkness in silence until it became too much of a weight to carry.
Suicide is real, it’s the ultimate cry for help, for understanding, for someone to reach out and save them. And It pains me to hear those who have never dealt with darkness call it “an easy way out”.
You know what is easy? Judging someone who’s in a place you’ve never been, in a kind of pain, and sadness, that you have never known, with a heart that is still beating in your chest while the beat of theirs is long gone…
“You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before. And that, my love, is bravery.”