I Didn’t Want to Die

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 and then, discarded them.

I lived dangerously and I was reckless 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 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 pain 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 pain everywhere you go. I’ve learned that if you hold on to-even the tiniest bit of-hope long enough, you shed yourself of what weighs you down, eventually. Then, life begins making sense.

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.

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… Dying isn’t easy. Dying takes a kind of courage that some of us can’t even begin to imagine…

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“You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before. And that, my love, is bravery.”

❤ ,

Mari

Words

“If we can’t express our insides with words, we tell the truth with something else and it shows on our outside. But everybody tells the truth with something. I used to tell my truth with booze and bulimia, and broken relationships. Now, I tell my truth with words”. Glennon Doyle

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Happy Tuesday,

Mari

Stillness

My sleeping has been awful, which makes for really bad days for me. I’ve been experiencing intrusive thoughts to the point that panic overwhelms me and I can’t sleep much. When I don’t get enough sleep, I start feeling on edge and every little thing gets to me; it’s physically exhausting!

I have a thousand and one thoughts going on at once, each more imposing than the next one. Usually, when I’m struggling this much, organizing and purging helps me and I’ve already organized my entire house. I’m also in the middle of purging my closet and the kitchen cabinets. This time, though, that’s created more anxiety than it’s helped. So I’m stalled with things everywhere and no desire to put them back in their place, or to get rid of them.

I can’t concentrate on doing anything because my mind is already on overdrive.

The next best thing I have to take the edge off is photography. I’ve taught myself photography for the past five, or six, years and it’s a continuous learning process.

I enjoy photographing things and, occasionally, people. The difference between the two is that photographing people imposes a lot more pressure on me because of the vast amount of photographers that are out there. It’s intimidating to think that my work will not measure up to theirs.

Photographing nature, however, relaxes me and although my shots aren’t necessarily extraordinary, I enjoy sharing them here because coming here and scrolling through them helps to remind me that I am capable of finding stillness even when my mind is racing.

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Go where you feel most at peace.

❤ ,

Mari

Never Ending

I was an oppressed child, so I don’t handle conflict well at all. Actually, let me rephrase that, I don’t deal with conflict at all. Any time that I find myself in a conflicting situation, I freeze, or I walk away.

The past two years, life in general has felt overwhelmingly conflicting. So, I’ve been hiding out. Other than social media, I’ve isolated myself from other people completely. I’m lucky enough to be able to do that. I have all the support I need to stay home and work on myself until I feel ready to take on the world again. The thing is that I’m not sure when that will be.

My anxiety has been through the roof lately and it triggers my depression, or vice versa, I’m not sure. I’ve been reading a lot about psychology and the way the brain works because I really want to understand why I just can’t seem to get past all the trauma I’ve been through. Why do I keep relapsing? It makes me feel powerless.

I’ve medicated, I’ve been to therapy, and I written about my struggles (my entire previous blog was about that). I’ve even reached a point where I believed I’d gotten past them but I haven’t and it makes me feel like a fraud (as though all the positive things I wrote here were lies I told myself because I wanted so badly to be “better”).

Last month marked twenty seven years since my father died. That realization brought back so much of what I went through growing up that I’ve felt guilty since because I’ve lived all of my life not getting past it.

Where does it end? How much longer will the past have a grip on the present? I know I’m smart, capable, worthy of anything that I want to pursue but why doesn’t my brain understand that? What am I missing?

Why is mental illness so paralyzing and why do I keep regressing?

It’s taken a lot just to write this and even now, I’m not sure I want to publish it because I don’t write for pity, I write to understand the things that are going on in my head and so that if someone out there feels the same way, then they can see that they are not alone in it and because writing makes me feel less alone, too.

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I just have this happy personality and a sad soul in one body. It just feels weird sometimes.-Unkown

❤ ,

Mari

It’s Poetry

Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused or frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score. You’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily some of them kept record of their troubles. You’ll learn from them-if you want to. Just as some day, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful, reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.-J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

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It’s been a while since I’ve written anything of substance but I’m here. Feeling a bit unhinged but here. I’ve been thinking about posting regularly again because I need to pause and acknowledge where I am, what I’m doing, and where I want to be and I can only do that when I write but I’ve got so much else going on that I must really make the time for it. And I will. Soon.