I almost didn’t join this project. I am not depressed, suicidal, self-harming or, in general, hurting right now. I have been some of those things, but not right now.
I almost didn’t join this project because it is too hard to let the mind go back there. To sitting in the basement sobbing while my girls played upstairs. To hiding in the bathroom at work begging God for a way out. To imploring someone to help me as I hid in the Jeep where my family couldn’t see me. To checking myself into the mental health wing at our local hospital, again.
It’s hard to go back there.
But thankfully, there is a” back” to go to. If, I had ended the sentence with a period in any of those situations, there would be no going back.
There is hard in each of those times. In each of those places in my life that could have been a period, an end, but instead are a pause, a semi colon, before life moved on, with me in it.
Each of those times, was a semi colon, because I reached out. To friends, doctors, strangers. I put the last bit of energy and effort I had into reaching out.
I look back with shame, but maybe the answer is pride. I didn’t stay where I was. I invested in me. I invested in those who love me and know me.
I reached out. In all honesty, often not for my own benefit, but in hopes it would help my family. I didn’t see myself as worthy of the work it would take to be here rather than gone, but I didn’t want to saddle my husband with the cleanup my departure would leave. He would have to find more daycare. He would have to do extra work around the house. He would have to explain to our girls why mama wasn’t here. I reached out for my girls. I didn’t want them to ever wonder if mama really loved them. I didn’t want them to wonder why mama didn’t want to see them growing up. I didn’t want them to have to explain for the rest of their lives “My mom committed suicide when I was (5,) (4,) (1.)”
I didn’t want them to grow up with that shame.
So I made the calls, I did the work. I still make the calls, I still do the work.
Those pauses in life, where a period could have been chosen, found a semi colon written instead, so on I work. On I LIVE!
I wrote a semi colon. You can too.
Please, if you need help, reach out. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for example: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a 24-hr/7-day hotline where anyone can call for help and speak to someone trained in suicide prevention .suicidepreventionlifeline.org PLEASE NOTE: You do not have to be suicidal to call. This number will offer you resources local to your area if you are struggling in any way.
Linking up with Cristi.