Life is what you make it. I recently moved from a quiet town in the country to chase my big city dreams. Nothing ever goes smoothly, nothing is ever what it seems, but everyday I am getting closer. I am yet another slightly less-than-average girl trying to find her way in London, and in life.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

That one time I tried to kill myself.

When I was 17, I took an overdose. In typical fucked-up, anal, pedantic 'me' fashion, I kept a journal of what I took, how I felt, what I was doing at the time, and so on. It seemed like the logical thing to do, in a moment that defied any logic.

Needless to say, I did not die. Although, I sometimes perhaps wonder if I did and life since has just been a dream, or a projection, or a 'life flashes before your eyes' moment of everything that I have missed out on since that day. Since I was young I've wondered if actually I am asleep and one day I will wake up as a baby and know what to do differently, but I think that is just my innate, horrific fear of doing something wrong, of failing, and that is my ideal world-wide safety blanket that I'm desperate to cling on to. Then some other times I think I'm actually in the cinema watching the story of my life that seems to have lasted 24 years thus far, but was consumed within only 24 minutes and then I will go out into the big wide world again. I think that last one is perhaps the narcissistic voyeur in me.

But that is just going onto a whole new tangent, and I swear I have a purpose.

So yes, back when I was in college I tried to kill myself. It wasn't an overdose for attention, a cry for help, an 'oh please pity me' - it was a hand-on-heart I no longer want to live. I physically cannot go on. The thought of living, of carrying on every day with the constant struggle of being me was unbearable, I felt like I was going to be crushed by the weight of it, by the pressure that was always inside me, eating me up, taking away any enjoyment from life. I still remember how it felt, and it is hell. No one can judge those who have depression. No one knows what it is like unless you have been there yourself. Mental illness is the most crippling disease I can imagine, and I would not wish it on anyone.

I was always a quiet child, and that turned into being naturally shy, and to eventually lacking confidence. Then, somehow, that turned into me wanting to disappear. I hated the thought of existing. I hated being around people, of them being able to see me, of anyone knowing I was there. I literally, genuinely wanted to cease to exist, to fade away quietly with no one noticing. I'm not sure how or why that happened, and no matter how much I try and think back, I cannot remember when the definitive moment was that changed everything. At the time, I thought I was normal, I thought I was growing up and everyone had that voice in their head telling them that they were the stupidest, ugliest, most worthless waste of oxygen in the world. That they had no purpose, no future, no hope, they were a burden to everyone around them and the only thing that would make people happy was your non-existence. And in the most bitter twist of fate, all I want to do is go back to 17 year old me, who is locked in her tiny bedroom, crying to herself and tell her that everything is going to be okay. I pity young me. And young me would hate that; hate that someone was thinking about her.
People associate mental illness with being weak, and I desperately did not want to be seen as weak, which would make me hate myself even more. It was a never ending cycle that I'm not sure how I got out of, and I'm not sure when I got out of it. But I can say with certainty that I am out the other side. I've been on medication for nearly 10 years now, I've been to see multiple counsellors, and I've done a lot of fucked up shit in the interim. But, somehow, I am okay.

If it happened again now, I don't know if I would get through it, or how I would cope again. In retrospect, I was so much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for, I was so much more than I could ever see.

At 24, I am better. I am not 'fixed'. I am not cured. I am still depressed, and I will always be depressed. But I can tell the difference of what is 'normal' (or, at least, normal for me) and what is not. I am not suicidal. I am not wracked with self-hatred and self-loathing, so much so that I can no longer breathe, eat, sleep, dream, or simply be, without feeling the weight of that bearing down on my chest. I no longer want to disappear without a trace, without a thought, without anyone caring. I want to make a difference. I want to live. And that is what grounds me now - as long as I know that, I know that I am okay.

I've never fully opened up to anyone about my depression. People have seen the bits that they want to see but not the whole story, because it's my story. I'm not one for sharing, I guess that's me being an only child. Thanks to the social stigma surrounding mental health, I have always felt ashamed of myself, and like no one would ever want to, or could, understand. I still feel like that. No one will ever, ever be able to tell me how I felt, or understand, or sympathise, or get anything about me, but I am okay with that. I don't expect them to. The difference is that now I have been through the journey, come out the other side, felt the pain, the crippling trauma and dealt with the loathing inside myself, I have so much respect for the person I was and the person I am now. I know what I am capable of, and I know what depression really is. It's not something to be ashamed off, it is something I am so fundamentally proud of overcoming, in every cell in my body, every part of my being is overwhelmed at how fucking awesome I have done. Overcoming depression is the most difficult thing anyone ever has to do and I have royally kicked its ass.

And if anyone ever dares tell me otherwise, or if I hear anyone say depression means you are weak; or you can't cope; or you're just an attention seeker; or that its a fake illness; or to just 'get over it' - I will reign down hell. Because after 8 years, I sure as fuck have something to say about it. No one can ever make me feel the way I've made myself feel for so long, and no one can ever judge that feeling or try to undermine it. If anyone ever tries - the pressure that I've lived with, building in my chest for so long, will come crashing down on them like a ton of bricks, and they will not fucking know what has hit them.

No comments:

Post a Comment