A few years back I was speaking with a friend and somehow our conversation shifted towards suicide. She said that she couldn’t believe how someone could end their life when they hadn’t given life to themselves. In her point of view, it was a sin or borderline a murder and that person would go to hell. It’s very hard to talk about mental health in a society where there’s no conversation or understanding of what it means. I have spoken to some friends and family members who have shared that at some point in time they had entertained the idea that maybe life wasn’t for them as I have. The media does a terrible job in speaking of suicide as an action that someone deliberately takes to get away from something. The accurate depiction, without the medical aspect of it would be that it’s a state in which a person, sometimes for a while, truly and wholeheartedly believes that their existence is a mistake or that the situation or community they are in will be better if they take themselves out of the equation – not because it’s the easiest thing but because in that state it feels like the only option.
We all know there are resilient people in this world. We know them, we might be them. There are people who always want to bring about the fact that others have it way harder and they’re still fighting. But the truth is, not everyone wants to fight, not everyone has the strength to hope that things will get better. All this to say, please be kind to people that seem to not have it together emotionally or mentally.
I don’t recall where I read this or who wrote this, but it stayed with me:
“And one day, you’ll be in a better place. Your thoughts won’t be so loud, breathing won’t feel like a really complicated gym workout and the idea of actually living life will make sense.”
One thing I would say to my younger self is – we made it! There are days I get to be so happy that I thank God for the gift of life. I have done the work to get to where I am now – a better place. Breathing is easier and I look forward to the future. Sure, there are bad days, but they don’t last and the good ones ought weigh the bad.
Over the years I have learned to be vocal about how I feel. It wasn’t always the case as I would hide behind poetry and writing. Sure, it is a form of expression but it’s also good to talk to the people in our life that may indirectly or unknowingly be playing a role in our state of depression or anxiety. It’s not always about work. Sometimes, it’s about the absent father, the judging mother, the bar that our entourage has set so high that we simply cannot attain it. I do not recommend blaming someone but rather have a conversation on how the things they did or said impacted you. One thing I’ve learned by recounting events from my point of view is that it’s not always the truth, there are layers to it. Someone always shaming you for being skinny or overweight might be doing so because they know what it feels like and so they could be projecting their fears or perhaps they lost someone due to that condition, etc. Maybe they are insensitive and there is no valid reason for it. Still, talking about it exposes you to the other side of the issue and perhaps brings closure or understanding as to why it happened and how it wasn’t all about you.
I hope you are or get to be in a better place and that breathing gets easier.