Friday, September 25, 2015

What do I do now?

What do you do when you know you have destroyed the most intimate, special part of someone? What do you do when you know, that because of this, when they are hurt by anyone else you feel an extreme need to protect them? 

The biggest chapter in my life began on Sept 28th 2011. This is the day I tried to kill myself. I have tried in the past, but those attempts were screams for help, rather than actually wanting to die. On that day in 2011, I wanted to disappear. It’s hard to explain to someone how a person gets to the point in their life where they can’t stand to be inside of themselves. People say that suicide is selfish. To the person that wants to die, it is anything but selfish. To be selfish would be to stay in this life and continue to hurt yourself, one way or another, which in turn hurts everyone who loves you. A person who wants to die doesn’t understand love. A person who wants to die doesn’t love themselves, let alone understand why anyone else would love them. When you live beyond the suicide attempt, the pain that is now there is exponentially greater, for the people who love you, than the hurt they felt when you were destroying yourself. 

For me, it is a blessing that everything that happened after that suicide attempt taught me how to manage my emotions and, most importantly, lead me on this journey of finding myself. I am so far removed from the person that I was just 4 years ago. The reality is, however, that those that you hurt will never be able to truly see you as this person you fought to become. The pain you caused them can be triggered by an event, a comment, a gesture. As much as they want to forgive you, to trust you, it is impossible to see you as someone different than the person who caused so much heartache. They will admire your strength and your courage. They will encourage you to continue growing. They will believe in your ability to find success and to have the life that you deserve to have. Yet, they will never be able to give you back the part of themselves that unconditionally stood by you in your darkest times before you threw down the most damaging blow. 

Today I realized that I am ready to recognize, not only their pain, but my own. It’s time to really grieve the loss of the incredible people who gave me the gift of their love. For some, it was a love that many may experience just once in a lifetime. I’m ready to let them go and accept that their happiness just might involve me stepping aside to allow them to move forward without worrying about whether I am going to fall down again. Let me rephrase that. I’m not ready to accept this loss, but I’m ready to breathe through the heartache that comes along with letting go. For now, I  know I have control of my life. It is not perfect and I do have moments when  I teeter on the edge of depression or a manic tornado, but I am stronger. I have fought many of my demons and I have persevered. It’s a struggle. It will probably always be a struggle. There are still so many things I can’t do or still need to work on because mental illness leaves cracks and holes that remain damaged. However, I am strong enough to face any consequences. I am strong enough to figure out a way to make those broken pieces fit together again. I may cry a thousand tears, but I will never let myself drown again. 

I have already said I am sorry so many times to so many people, but to those that have been left in my wake, I honor you and I thank you for all of that which I could not see. My wish for you and for all is to honor yourselves without question. In return, I will do the same, whether we cross paths or not. The love that was given to me will never be forgotten.

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