A Spectacular Suburban September: Day 1
I’m probably gonna ramble but I’m being vulnerable. Bear with me.
Mental health and Anxiety
For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived with and battled with mental health issues. I’ve done so silently for years on end. Ironically, though I struggle with my own mental health, I advocate for others who may be suffering silently and who need help. I’ve offered myself to be a channel and connector of professionals with potential patients/clients. People reach out to me for help and I barely ever reach out for help of my own.
It’s weird. I know.
Actually the only inkling that anyone would have about my battles include the moments where loved ones passed away. Every other time, people would guess because I generally present as a sad person, a stoic, and sometimes quite nonchalant. So, it’s often difficult to read how I’m really doing.
What can I say? I mask emotional and mental pain well? Perhaps. There’s also that belief that I push people away so most folks leave me to my devices without truly knowing what’s going on.
Ramblings about Self-harm and Extreme Sadness
Truth be told, most of the time, I’ve been sad or battling with anxiety at varied levels since my teenage years.
Many have grown to know that this Suburban Girl lives an anxious life. It’s pretty much embedded in my DNA. Control of my anxiety has been an uphill battle. Some days I win and other days the boulder of anxiety rolls over me and I stay crushed for weeks .
What many don’t know is that I’ve gotten to the point of questioning my existence and if I’d be missed if I’m gone. Like, do I really matter to the people who say I matter?
I’d ask myself that question every single day.
Am I worthy enough? Am I special enough? Do I add value to this world?
Funny, huh? I tell people how much they’re valued and I often struggle to see the value in myself.
Self-harm is no strange act to me. I’ve done that. Bawling myself to sleep? I do that. Weeks of sadness at a time? Oh, that’s part of my MO. Envisioning people’s lives after I purposely go? That’s been part of my innermost thoughts.
My first real experience with loss occurred when I was a teen. My second and third happened within one year of the first. I was still a teen. My first debilitating anxiety induced situation also happened when I was a teen.
Now, imagine unaddressed trauma paired with general depressive states and feelings of unworthiness. Imagine developing trauma responses while breaking apart on the inside. Imagine not accessing mental health assistance while outwardly functioning in a world that expects you to be okay and doesn’t truly question if you are to determine what help, if necessary, needs to be applied.
Therapy or counselling after traumatic experiences happened in young adulthood. So, I existed a few years after trauma without getting help, being offered help or seeking help.
My first time receiving therapy was choppy. It didn’t last long because the psychologist wasn’t for me. The second time was a bust. The third time? Well, breakthroughs were made but I fell off the wagon.
Falling off the wagon has led to some regression. Now, instead of finding my ass back in therapy, I go to the beach or I sleep, or I just cry – a whole lot.
It’s fully understood that my issues pale in comparison to other people’s struggles. That doesn’t make my issues any less valid or any less concerning. We all deal with our struggles differently and the impact varies as well.
Life Ending Thoughts
To say that I’ve never thought of suicide would be a lie. To say that I’ve never attempted is the truth.
I have written my farewell and justification letters many times and then destroyed them. I’ve done research into the easiest ways to get it done.
That self harm I mentioned earlier no longer happens. But the extreme sadness and worthlessness lingers.
I’m better, for sure. Will I stay better? I don’t have an answer to that but in the present moment, I’m at least 50% better than I was a few years ago.
The Semicolon ;
The semicolon symbolises a continuation of someone’s life. It is a representation of strength in the middle of a storm. The punctuation mark is used as an affirmation of solidarity against a plethora of mental health issues including suicide, eating disorders and addictive behaviours.
I tend to cheer for others but this is about me. So, from me to me:
I love you and I’m happy to have met the many versions of you as you’ve grown and continue to grow. I’m glad you exist.
You are worthy and you are deserving of every good and positive thing that has happened and will happen.
Your journey doesn’t end here. You have much more to live for. I want to see you thrive and I want to see you win.
Lessons in the Semicolon
1. Tell yourself every single day that you are worthy.
2. You are not alone.
3. There are people out there whose lives you continue to positively impact. They love you so much.
4. Therapy and counselling work. Give yourself a fighting chance by giving therapy a go. Your therapist must be a purposeful choice. Not every shrink is right for you. Literally shop for the right fit.
5. Therapy and counselling do not equate to an easy button “fix my life and cure my pain” experience. You have to be willing to do the mental, emotional, and sometimes physical work to heal amd be better able to manage how you deal with life.
6. Help is out there and therapy isn’t always as expensive as you think. Ask the questions and you’ll unlock a world ready to help you.
7. Sometimes you have to seek the help. It’s not gonna go searching for you. It may feel unfair but that’s just how it is sometimes.
8. Do not be dismayed by people who disregard your feelings. What you feel and how you feel? All valid.
9. In the Marxist view, religion is an opiate. So just like sex, drugs, and alcohol, the healing may not be complete when you depend on the opiate by itself. Complement.
10. For the ones not suffering: leave your judgement outside and remember that not everyone leans on your deity or God. Remember as well that a smiling and laughing person isn’t equivalent to someone not suffering. The opposite may also be true. Try? To thread lightly.
I’m not quite sure if there’s anything spectacular about this post to be quite honest. Regardless, I figure that sharing briefly about my struggles will tell someone else that they’re not alone.
The Suburban Girl JA
4 Comments Add yours
Thank you Candice. Thank you for choosing and finding the strength to write this post! Some parts of this are definitely relatable especially being seen as the “strong one…”
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks, as usual, for engaging with my content, Richelle.
LikeLiked by 1 person