(TW: mentions of suicide but within a positive message)
I’ve been trying to fall asleep now for about an hour. That dreaded feeling of trying to force yourself into something that you know is just not going to happen. My mind has other wide-awake, do birds have teeth, are flying fish real, can evil really be intrinsic in people, plans… And despite my breathing and attempts at mindfulness this is a losing battle for the moment, so here I am yet again.
This blog is inspired by a beautiful cover of a song that reminded me of something important. I occasionally become very passionate about my recovery and my fight for my own life but most of the time it’s just this daily struggle that I wake up to each morning and choose to face once again. It’s the quiet, behind-the-scenes, unannounced courage I guess. And this is what it says on paper.
In the midst of these days and weeks and months of waking up, since I have become more alive and me again, I often feel a sense of wanting to go ‘home.’ Whatever that is. A place where I’m comfortable again-not so scared by existence, or tired by existence- just a place where I’m, well, happy and safe, I guess. That may sound immature and frankly a little weak to you but I reckon, in those really hard times, most us feel like we just want to be wrapped is someone’s arms to the point where we don’t have to face reality, because reality can be hard and hurtful. We want to be elsewhere, where we belong, and are accepted and protected.
But where am I going with this?
At different points in my ‘journey,’ as so many sickeningly but appropriately refer to it as, this ‘home’ has been many different places with many different people. It’s been with family and friends, in childhood before you realise people get hurt, and to a large extent you have to protect yourself. It’s also been with people who let me escape from family and friends, its been in the arms of a partner-real or wished for, and, for a long time it was anywhere outside of this world. The world which I felt had just become too much of a battle and too painful.
I have both believed my home was heaven, at points, where I believed God would hold me in his arms and say no more tears, no more fear- and it’s been Hell, which I believed was where I belonged and where I’d be around people who accepted me. A place where there wouldn’t be these ridiculously high moral expectations of me, which just left me feeling shame and self-loathing. These are both places I saw as safe- to get away.
But I no longer believe Heaven or Hell to be a place I belong right now. Whether they exist, for me, is currently irrelevant. Because my home is this world that I was born into and this life that I’ll continue to fight for. My mind plays tricks on me in all sorts of ways but too many people have helped and I’ve felt too much pain, I have discovered too much strength to let this go now and give in for some mere hopes of a better existence after suicide. It is not the way and anyone who tells you differently is abusive, whether they are real or internal.
My pledge is this: I’m going to start asking for help and sticking up for myself. Sometimes this may be towards external forces but most of the time it will be internal. I have already survived pain and I will continue to, but I will not tolerate it for other’s approval, or so people can know what I’ve come through. I am going to tolerate it for me. So that I can know what I’ve come through, because at the end of the day, mentally, its more than most. And in doing this and accepting myself including the emotions that I previously demonised, I’m creating a a home for myself here somewhere I can live with less of this internal war-zone. And as a result, I also won’t ever have to diminish or devalue someone else’s pain or struggle because mine is sufficient for me and will have been validated.
I will still have to fight; this isn’t an escape button nor is it a promise for the future, I’m too aware of my own vulnerability to provide for then. This is a promise I’m making today and that I’ll have to recommit to each day, even if I slip occasionally. I can’t even see the horizon yet, with SH, intense emotions, suicidal ideation etc However, it is me, on paper, making a pledge, to myself, that I’m not giving in because I am worth so much more than that. Because I’d like to help people with a life that if I don’t make this decision now, I won’t live.
This is my home and it’s yours too. Visualise a safe place, but only as long as it keeps you on this planet. I look to the day when, yes I still have soul-destroying depressions and manic highs, I still fear abandonment more than anything and have intrusive destructive urges, but I’ll accept the fact that that is my illness- it’s a trick, and I don’t need to end my life.