Stay;

*WARNING – this blog contains discussions of Suicide. If this topic triggers you in any way, please reach out and ask for help*

With September 10th being National Suicide Awareness day, I’ve decided to share my story. This one will be the most difficult, as with it I carry my deepest shame. But my hope in sharing, as it has always been, is to raise awareness, to break the stigma and to hopefully inspire others to share their story or to choose to Stay;

For those that aren’t aware, the semi-colon has become a world wide symbol for suicide, depression, mental health and addiction awareness. It is used by authors when they could have chosen to end a sentence, but instead use the semi colon, to continue that sentence.

My story probably starts when I was 10 I guess. That life altering moment that would indescribably change me as a person, right down to my core. (For those that are reading my blog for the first time, I was sexually abused at this age and have written about my recovery in my blog titled Taking my Power Back) It was this event that altered my path. It made me feel ashamed and guilty. It made me see myself as weak and powerless. It completely changed the foundations in which I grew up on.

I learnt back then how to block my emotions. Anything that my subconscious mind thought I couldn’t deal with was blocked and stored away. I didn’t even remember the event until I was about 16 and started having flashbacks. That’s how strong my ability is to block things I can’t cope with. And to this day there’s things I’m still blocking from that time.

Coming into my early 20’s when I started to try and deal with these emotions, I realised I didn’t even have the basics to deal with small emotions, let alone the ones that come up surrounding such a horrific event. I was an emotional wreck. I was depressed. I was out of control. I was drinking constantly to try and numb the pain. My way of blocking these emotions was no longer working and it was all bubbling over and I was powerless to control it.

I hated myself so deeply and so wholly and I felt like I couldn’t escape the pain. When you hit such a low point in your life, you’re surrounded in it. It completely takes over. It doesn’t just come and go. All day. All night it hits you over and over. It’s utterly relentless. It wears you down. I was too afraid to sleep because of the nightmares. Which left me completely neurotic during the day and always angry and on edge. I felt like I was on high alert to my surroundings and loud noises would make me jump and terrify me. If anyone tried to touch me it made my skin crawl and I wanted to throw up. I felt like people were staring at me, like somehow they knew my dirty secrets that I’d buried. And I truly felt that it would never end. It slowly built up over years and only ever got worse over time.

What follows next I’m not going to go into too much detail as I don’t think it’s necessary to get my story across. But it starts with thoughts of just wanting to take the pain away and thoughts of honestly believing that everyone in your life would be better off without you. And for me on more than one occasion, it’s ended with an attempt to take my life. On many more occasions it’s ended with me having these feelings, but choosing to Stay;

It’s hard for me to even describe what that feels like. To be so depressed and so low that you think the world would be better without you. Sitting here now with rational and logical thoughts, it makes no sense what so ever. I know how devastated my family and friends would be. But I can say hand on heart, that when I’m in that dark place, there is no one that could convince me that me leaving, would have anything other than a positive impact on them.

I know that people who haven’t felt this darkness, struggle to understand these thought patterns. I get it. If I hadn’t experienced it myself, I admit I would find it difficult too. However I beg of everyone reading this, if you can’t understand it please at least don’t pass judgement on it. Don’t judge someone for something you don’t understand. This is where the stigma and the shame comes from. Because people say it’s selfish and stupid to think like that. I can’t comment on what others feel, but with me I felt at the time that it would be the most selfless thing for me to do. To rid myself from everyone I care about so they don’t have to deal with me anymore. I truly cannot see the horrific impact it would cause when I’m in that darkness.

I feel that these judgements cause fear in people that are struggling. It makes it harder to reach out as people are scared that if they admit they are struggling and having dark thoughts, that they will be judged and criticised. They think they will be looked at as being weak or that they have something wrong with them.

We need to drop this stigma. We need to stop the judgement and criticism. We need to step up and speak out and spread the word that it’s OK to not be OK. It’s ok to struggle sometimes and feel like the world is caving in on you.

I truly hope that me speaking out can show a tiny part of my world that it’s OK to feel so shitty sometimes that you can barely breathe. And that it doesn’t make you a lesser person when you’re finding it hard to cope with life. I hope that by me choosing to stay; and writing these words, that I can help even just one person make that same choice. I hope that I can inspire others to share their stories. I hope that those that have in the past chosen to pass judgement on suicide and mental health, can maybe see it in a different light and show compassion to those in need. I hope that this message shows people that there is strength in choosing to keep fighting those battles inside their minds. I hope that by sharing this it can lessen someone’s shame that they carry from their story.

The one thing that really shines through for me when writing this is the hope I feel. Because it takes a whole lot of strength and a whole lot of guts to fight your way out of feeling utterly hopeless, and to change that to feeling to one of hope.

And my biggest hope, is that everyone finds their way and chooses to STAY;

Timeless healing

They say time heals all wounds. Well you know what, I’m getting a little bit impatient waiting for this to happen. Actually a lot impatient. To be honest I’m sick to death of waiting.

I’ve had a week of virtually no sleep and everything is getting on top of me. I’m even hitting a point where I’m losing motivation for my running which is massive. I’ve spent the last 9 months with an unwavering motivation to run and train and smash this half marathon goal. I’m 5 weeks away from the race and I’m quickly losing all focus and determination. My body isn’t recovering and healing like it should be, because I’m not sleeping.

One of the more important aspects of training is getting enough rest to give your body time to recover and this isn’t happening so my body is in constant agony. I’m sore from head to toe. My eyes feel like they have needles in them. My brain has a fog over it and I’m not thinking clearly. I even put toothpaste on my daughter’s chest instead of Vick’s vapour rub a few days ago.

All because I’m laying here wide awake with thoughts of when will this all be over? When will the pain go away? When will I heal? When will a day pass where I don’t think about the what if’s? When will I stop feeling so lonely? When will the grief go away? When will I be able to look at my daughter and not feel guilty that she will grow up never remembering her parents together? When will I stop feeling like I was never good enough? When will I stop analysing everything tiny little thing I said and did and wondering how I could have done it differently? When? When? WHEN!?!?!?!?

I feel like I’ve stepped up big time during this journey. I’ve seen a therapist. I’ve followed her recommendations. I’ve done the hard work and walked into the pain rather than walking away and pretending I’m fine. I never stop processing my thoughts and feelings and doing the work to heal them. I’ve done the hard yards and faced everything that I’ve bottled up my whole life. I’ve opened up and been completely vulnerable.

Yet still I’m here feeling like shit. I’m still hurting. I’m still grieving. And I’m fucking over it.

I’ve hit a point where I’m just thinking fuck it why don’t I just go back to pushing my emotions down. Pretending that everything is fine. Pretending I’m ok and that losing my little family isn’t a big deal. Pretending I’ve moved on and I’m happy. Bury my head in the sand and not deal with any feelings or emotions that come up?

It would be so much easier. I could “heal” myself in an instant if I just pretend I don’t care and that it doesn’t affect me.

I’m sick of feeling so deeply. I’m sick of caring so much. I’m sick of the roller coaster. I’m sick of the heartbreak. I’m sick of the battle.

I’m totally and utterly done. I’ve given it my all. I’ve thrown myself into this journey with reckless abandon to finally face my demons and heal properly.

But I’m exhausted.

I’ve got nothing left to give.

I’m completely and irrecoverably done.

Time is taking too long.

I think I’ve been waiting for that aha moment where you all of a sudden you feel human again. Where everything finally clicks into place and all the hard work pays off. Maybe there is no such moment after so much heart ache in such a short space of time. Maybe little by little wounds heal and it gets easier. Maybe the pain never goes away.

I don’t know anymore. All I know right now in this moment is that I’ve literally got nothing left to give.

My journey has broken me.

Self pity rant

I’ve worked tirelessly to not feel self pity through this journey and to also find ways to express myself other than anger. I had a really bad habit of bottling things up so strongly that when the bottle finally cracked everything came out forcefully and I would react with anger.

But right now I’m fucking angry. And I’m full of self pity. And I can’t keep quiet any longer.

When did it become an acceptable practice to blatantly ignore people you’re meant to care about? When did it become ok to use people and then treat them like trash when you no longer see a need for them? When did people decide that when someone goes the extra mile for them to help out, it’s no longer necessary to even say a basic thank you?

It’s fucking rude and disrespectful and I’m done with it all.

Even during my darkest moments not once have I ever ignored anyone in my life. Wether it’s a random question they ask me or if they are reaching out for help or advice. I don’t ever go without replying. And sometimes all I can manage is a “I’m sorry I’m having a terrible day can we chat tomorrow?” But at least I reply. I make the effort to not make them feel unwanted and uncared for.

Yet somehow there is numerous people in my life that vow they care for me and are there for me no matter what, yet choose to ignore me. To blatantly not reply to text messages or calls.

And I’m not talking about being ignored because you’ve had an argument with someone and they just need space. These are “friends” and also someone who said she wanted to be in a relationship with me.

Out of the blue with no prior arguments. Ghosted. Completely ignored. No explanation. No apologies. Just completely pushed out of their lives. Or at the absolute most, one worded responses or messages that leave no doubt they are being blunt and to the point and show that they have no time for me and I’m inconveniencing them by just saying “hey how are you going?”

These are people that know what I’ve been through. That I’ve opened up to and been vulnerable with in telling them my biggest fear is being abandoned. And for whatever reason, they choose to do the same and hurt me all over again. Choose to put me in another position where I question everything I did and blame myself.

It used to be basic manners and basic human decency to treat people as they treat you. Now it seems the norm that if you go out of your way for someone and choose to be kind and helpful, the person you did that for then seems to feel they have the right to walk all over you. To look down on you and treat you as sub par to them.

I was just going to write that maybe I expect too much of people. But screw that. I’m not asking for anything other than basic manners. Basic respect. Basic communication. And I’m only expecting to be treated how I treat them. That’s not asking too much. And it shouldn’t even be an issue. I shouldn’t have to ask. These are people that have said they care about me. That I thought played an important part in my life.

People that know me, know that I’m loyal beyond reproach. If I care about someone I’d literally walk through fire for them. Yeah a bit extreme but that’s just me. But on a basic level when someone reaches out to me for help or advice, if possible I drop everything and do what I can to help. And if I can’t help I’ll be upfront and tell them I can’t help right now but am available at a different time. And then I always make the effort to check in with them and see how they are going. If someone I care about is going through a difficult time I’ll jump up to help in any way I can without being asked. Going over and above to make their lives even just a little easier in their time of need.

Is it too much to expect even just basic support in return? I’m not asking them to drop everything for me. Just to reply to a bloody text message when I reach out. Surely that’s not so fucking difficult to do for someone when they have been there tirelessly for you?

I’m absolutely done with it. I’ve tried to not let this whole process harden me or make me bitter. I’ve tried to be patient and understanding. But enough is enough. I’m sick of making such a huge effort to only be ignored and treated like crap. I’m sick of getting kicked while I’m down over and over. I’ve tried to work through it and keep it bottled but no more.

When someone can’t even say a simple thank you when you go out of your way to do something for them. Or can’t even make the effort to respond to a text. Then I’m done.

I’m no longer going to be the one making all the effort. I’m no longer going to chase people that make no effort for me. If those that haven’t made the effort or have ignored me, decide they want me in their lives; they can chase me. They can make the effort. They can step up and prove it. I’m done!!!

Self pity rant finished!

Onwards and upwards. Out with the people that don’t make the effort for me.

(This vow of not making an effort only applies to those that haven’t been doing the same for me. Or have ignored me. Or treated me like an object to use as they please. I’m obviously still going to be me and make the effort for those in my life that do the same and that have been here for me. I’m just realising I need to be even more careful when choosing who to trust and who to go out of my way for. And for those that have been there for me, I thank you again and I appreciate so much the effort you make xoxo).

Guilt, shame and self-blame

I read an article recently that if you’ve been in relationships where difficult things were hidden or not spoken about, this causes you to feel shame and loneliness about struggling through difficult times. That also 90% of my generation grew up in a family structure where children should be seen and not heard, has caused us to try and mask our emotions instead of release them.

 

It seems to be, that the common perception of society these days that showing emotions makes you weak, especially for men. I don’t understand this concept at all because opening up and showing emotions is one of the most difficult things you can do. You leave yourself vulnerable and open to judgement and criticism. How is that being weak? I have been doing this more than ever these last few months and it has been the most difficult process I’ve faced. 

 

I’ve just come out of a relationship where I was belittled almost every day for being “weak” and “too emotional.” I was laughed at. Told I was being ridiculous. Told I needed help. She even said that the only reason she started dating me was because she thought I was broken and she wanted to fix me. Wow what a confidence boost that is. If I had a dollar for every time in that relationship I heard the words “There’s no point getting upset over anything, just have a bottle of wine and get over it” I’d be a millionaire.

 

Looking back and knowing that I’m so much stronger now than I was then, I know I’d never stand for such disrespectful words to be spoken to me. But when you’re in that cycle, it’s so hard to stand up for yourself and get out. When someone literally laughs in your face when you get upset, it makes you feel so utterly worthless.

 

A few days after we found out I’d miscarried the first time, she saw me upset and her exact words were “Urgh what are you crying for now?” My response “I’m upset because we lost our baby.” Her response “Well crying won’t change that so get over it and we can try again.”

 

After our second loss I was sitting on the kitchen floor bawling my eyes out. I couldn’t believe it happened again. My oh so loving and supportive partner walks in “I don’t want our daughter seeing this so I’m taking her over to Mums so you can be alone and have some space.” So now we’re teaching our daughter too that it’s not ok to show emotions??? And tell me who in the world would want to be alone after finding out such news?

 

After our 3rd loss I cried in front of her once. Then I shut down and hid my emotions because I couldn’t cope with being made to feel worthless and stupid again. So I didn’t grieve properly. I just blocked it all and threw myself into running.

 

I can see now that her way of blocking emotions and not dealing with the difficult parts of life, is the easy and “weak” way of getting through each day. I found that blocking the grief was so much easier than dealing with it. 

 

I used to do that before I learnt to express my emotions and having a lifetime of built up shit that I didn’t deal with, led me to a point in my life where I felt I could barely cope. I had such a back log of emotions that I had blocked, that when I finally started releasing them it was incredibly overwhelming.

 

When starting to release these emotions and deal with them, I realised just how much shame and guilt I carry for even feeling these emotions. And that makes it so much harder to deal with. The feeling that there is something wrong with me just because I wear my heart on my sleeve. The feeling of guilt and that I’m a burden on the people in my life. The feeling of shame that my life isn’t “perfect” like certain others that put on a front pretending that their life is perfect.

 

No one’s life is perfect. Everyone feels emotions. Everyone has bad days. Everyone feels sad sometimes. Everyone cries. So why it that the people that are real and show these emotions is are labelled as weak??? And the people that hide these emotions and are “fake” about their lives, are celebrated???

 

Again it just seems like society is going backwards. We value people being fake over people being real. We belittle people for showing emotion rather than celebrating their courage to be vulnerable. We give more credence to materialistic goods rather than time with people we care for.

 

The self-blame that I have always put onto myself is something I struggle with every day. I’ve found it easier to take responsibility for other people’s shitty actions, rather than having the courage to stand up and say no it’s not ok that you treat me that way. When you carry so much shame and guilt, it almost feels better to take the blame on yourself, because your self-worth, and self-confidence is non-existent. You feel like you deserve to be treated that way. And when you’ve also done this your whole life, it’s hard to break the habit. 

 

What I’ve realised very quickly that there is three ways people react when you finally step up and start voicing that you don’t like being treated a certain way. 1. They fight back and try to put the blame back on me by bringing up my faults and trying to bring me back down again. 2. They defend their actions and try to blame others or make excuses for shitty behaviour. 3. They reflect on the situation and will take responsibility for their actions and apologise whole heartedly without making excuses. 

 

What I’m working through with my therapist is how to accept that all 3 responses are ok. That some people aren’t ready to admit when they have hurt someone and that is ok. That is just the place they are in right now. It doesn’t make it ok that their actions hurt me, but its ok that they aren’t ready to take responsibility yet. It’s really difficult to find a healthy balance between recognising that their actions were not ok, and accepting that it happened and moving forward, but it’s something I’m slowly working through and getting used to. 

 

This journey is teaching me so much about myself, about others and about life in general. I’m experiencing every emotion under the sun, from pure bliss to absolute heart break and endless despair. What I’m realising is that even though making changes and leaving yourself vulnerable is the hardest thing I have faced, I would rather face it and conquer it and go through all of these difficulties, than staying the way I was. I’m sick and tired of not being true to myself. I’m sick and tired of letting people walk over me. I’m sick and tired of taking on all the blame from others. 

 

Making changes is hard, but you know what’s even worse? Staying the same!!!