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So today's post is long and it isn't going to make you all smile and laugh, it doesn't involve a positive quote and it isn't going to involve me sharing photos of my products ... but in light of World Suicide Prevention Day today I wanted to share a real, honest and dark post with you to help raise awareness of suicide. This photo was taken 9 years ago, when I was 20 years old and looking at it you wouldn't think I was depressed, would you?
When it comes to suicide, I have been on both sides of the coin. I have been the person receiving a call to say one of your friends has killed himself and I have also been the person so low, depressed, dark and full of demons that I didn't want to live myself either.
When someone takes their life you always hear the usual "they're so selfish, how could they do that to their friends and family?" and yes, to someone without depression I guess it would appear selfish. However, to someone experiencing that darkness they have the perception that they are a burden on other people, that people are sick of hearing their negativity, that they are never going to get better and this is their life now, forever! it's not so much that they want to die, they just don't want to feel that crippling pain anymore and they believe death is the only way to stop it. I get it, I've been there.
When my friend took his life I experienced a whole rollercoaster of emotions, much more than any other grief I'd experienced. Why? Firstly, because he CHOSE to do it and that made me angry, that he could still be here now but he chose not to be, he chose to give up the battle and that made me angry. Secondly, he asked to meet me a few days before his death and I couldn't go. I felt like if I had gone I could have prevented this from happening and I carried that guilt for a long time afterwards, I'm talking years! People would say "it's not your fault" and it's easy to say that, but I truly felt like I could have stopped it, at least on this occasion.
When I was experiencing my own darkness at the worst time I was 20. I had severe depression which had been brewing and getting worse since I was 16 and I didn't know specifically why... a mixture of being bullied, having shitty friends, extremely low self esteem, self hatred, a year of a lot of grief and pain, a toxic relationship and a job I hated I guess, on top of what I now know was a major hormonal imbalance. Everything got on top of me and I just felt constant sadness, darkness, anxiety and pain and felt like everything was happening 'to' me and not 'for' me. I didn't want to die but I didn't want to feel this way anymore and I couldn't see a way out of it.
The difference with my situation was I chose to speak out, I told the two friends I did have and I told my parents. I was taken, or rather 'dragged' to the doctors (because I didn't want to go) where I was given anti-depressants, which I stayed on for a couple of years. One of my closest friends was a Christian and was praying for me for a long time (without me knowing) and one day I decided I wanted to go to church with her and I haven't looked back since.
I haven't had depression for over 6 years now, I am no longer negative 24/7 or always looking on the negative side of things. I cut all of the toxic people out of my life, I learned to love myself for who I am and how I look, I forgave myself for anything I felt bad for in the past and I learned to forgive others for the pain they had caused me. My 'flaws' and 'weaknesses' I have turned into strengths and I have used my experiences to try and help others going through the same thing. I am in a good place now, a very good place and I truly believe that having faith and changing my perception on life and people is what turned my life around. I am living my truth now and I truly don't care what others think about that.
To anyone who is currently in that dark place please know that things can and will get better, you just need to ride out those dark moments and let the light in when it comes. Speak to someone, anyone, even if that person is me. After my experience with my friend's suicide I vowed to be there for anyone else when they need me, so even if you don't 'know' me please do drop me a message anytime about anything! Even thought you think no one will notice or care if you die, trust me, they will. Your life is bigger than you and you don't know how many people love you, how many people you cheer up and make laugh, how many people you help and support and inspire. You don't see it but it's true so don't give up and keep fighting.
To anyone who isn't in this dark place, please look out for others! The ones posting constant OTT happy posts on social media can be experiencing the darkest pain in real life and this is their way of covering it up. The people who are always negative and bad mouthing others are experiencing pain, because happy people do not behave in this way. Ask them if they are okay, truly okay.
I hope this post helps one of you to see that you and your life can change, it just takes time and speaking out in order to do so. A bad today doesn't need to mean a bad tomorrow.