This post might deal with a difficult subject for some. So before I start let me say thisIf you or someone you know is going through something difficult, or struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you’re not alone. Helplines can provide free, confidential and immediate support.
Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)
Darkness can descend on me at totally unexpected moments. Call it having a heavy heart, sadness, down, moody, melancholy or even depression. We all have those moments. Sometimes they are brought on by things that are reasonable. Death, loss, remembrance, etc. We can look at our life and the “reason” for our darkness makes sense.
When those times come, I usually recognize it for what it is and roll with it, knowing in my heart that it will pass and the sun will shine again. To be perfectly honest in the past I’ve had a difficult time understanding people who regularly suffer from depression. I always thought “Why can’t they just decide to be happy?” I’ve listened with an open heart, held their hand, and gave them a hug with the requisite “It will get better.” Then I walked away and thought “They just need to make up their mind to be happy. Life isn’t perfect.”
At this age I know that my life is good. I have a home, food, and money in the bank. All my basic human needs for sustenance are met. On the emotional side I’ve always thought I had it all together. But lately I’ve discovered that that isn’t exactly true. I find myself falling apart at the most inopportune times and seemingly for no reason.
We all have things happen over a lifetime that we push aside and decide to worry about them “another day”. I guess you can push them aside and push them aside until something final breaks. It’s a lifetime of disappointments, perceived slights, fading into the background, trying not to draw attention, trying not to “rock the boat”.
I share the following not for sympathy or attention. I don’t need phone calls or acknowledgements or understanding. But the darkness has been following me for weeks, even months. I feel it gaining on me at times. I spin around and say “Boo!!” hoping to make it go away. I’ve found that as the darkness gets closer and closer it’s much harder to will it away.
It’s a deep deep emotion that doesn’t go away, no matter the number of caring people you are surrounded by. It’s more than sadness. More than depression. It’s a feeling of abandonment and loneliness that can not be expressed to anyone who has not experienced it. It’s totally different than a loss of a loved one. I’m not sure there are even words to explain it. Now I understand the people I have sat in judgement of and wondered to myself “Why can’t they just be happy?”
Twice in the last three months I have been at this point. Once I sat next to my husband and mapped out my plan in my head while we watched tv. He even held my hand. When morning arrived I knew I was not ready and there were still things that needed to be done. My mom’s house sold and arrangements made for her. I felt the weight of the guilt my husband would have if I did what I felt needed to be done.
Oh but this week was a whole new level. A dark dark place that I hope not to see again. Monday a level of aloneness and emptiness that I had already mentally prepared for before. My first thought was to wake my husband. But no, I didn’t think he would understand the depth of the despair. I thought about calling someone, but I couldn’t think of one person that I wanted to share this burden with. I know I have friends that would totally get where I am. But that night, I couldn’t see putting that burden on another human being.
So after realizing that I had no one to call and as my husband slept and I sat alone in the living room, my plan came back to my mind. It made sense to me in the moment I moved money between accounts so that my mom could be taken care of, I sent a text for someone to check on my husband in the coming months, and I wrote a note. Then I proceeded with my plan.
About 45 minutes into my plan my husband came looking for me. He found the note and pulled me back into the house. The how of it doesn’t matter. He was shaken. I was sobbing. We talked and talked and talked. I am still in a very dark place. But I see a tiny sliver of daylight.
Please…………I’m not seeking sympathy, conversation, or anything else. I simply felt the need to share.