White Knuckles

Holding on is difficult to do. You don’t know what the future holds, so while you live your life, you’re holding on tight. Am I right?

White knuckle: showing, experiencing, or causing very strong feelings of fear, anxiety, etc.

But why do we hold on so tight and so long? I ask myself that question every day. But I know the answer. It’s because people apparently need me. I don’t feel that way, but they sure do.

And your people need you, too.

I’ve been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy lately, and I love the phrase they use when they describe the person who means the most to them. “You’re my person.” I love it.

We, as soldiers in the war of mental illnesses, might not feel like we are anyone’s person, but we are. And because you’re somebody’s person, that tiny voice in the back of your head is saying, “Hold on. Hold on tight. Your person needs you.”

To that person, you mean the world to them. And I’m 100% sure they mean the world to you.

Suicide is not selfish. Suicide, in my own definition, is holding on so long you just couldn’t hold on longer. Things got messed up bad, people were cruel, the demon in your head told you weren’t good enough.

But here’s the thing: that stupid demon in your head is nothing! Push it away!! You’re holding on for a reason, and your reason may be different than mine, but at least we’re holding on.

I can tell you, life sucks. But if you just spend your time with your person, and that person makes you laugh, or even listens to you when you vent, and hugs you when you cry, then maybe holding on is the right thing to do.

Keep holding on. You’ve conquered so many battles so far, so you know you can do it again.

Tell your person you love them. Feel them hug you. Know that despite the war going on, your victory is just beyond the horizon.

Brick Wall Reality

*TRIGGER WARNING*

There was never a time in my life that I remember being without depression. I just didn’t know it at the time.

I discovered I was clinically depressed in 2010, but I didn’t do anything about it because I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. So I kept going on with my life.

I’m going to fast forward to 2014, because I want to get right to the point.

2014 was the worst year of my life.

The jobs were horrible, one of which I could have went to jail for if I hadn’t told the truth to my boss. It’s a very complicated situation, but just know it actually wasn’t my fault.

The next two jobs lasted two days each. I was severely depressed. I tried to cut myself on my wrists and even my throat multiple times, but for some reason, I was too scared. I wanted my life to end in those moments, but I would end up stopping right after the momentum came to me.

On June 21, 2014, I was seconds away from killing myself. I had the gun to my head, and my finger on the trigger. I was ready to pull the trigger, and I was starting to do it.

I screamed out for God to help me. Whatever He had to do; a bolt of lightning hit me, the ground beneath me start to sink, one of my family members show up, make the gun stop working… Whatever He had to do.

He made me start bawling. I was alone in the woods, and He knew no one would hear me, but He made me start bawling. I fell to the ground, dropped the gun, and called my mother.

The next day, my mother brought me to the emergency room. They locked us in a room, and that night at midnight, I was checked in to a mental hospital.

I was terrified.

The next morning, I got up, got dressed, and went into the area where we would all meet up – the day room. As I walked in, shaking, scared out of my mind, a nice older lady walked up to me, hugged me, told me everything would be okay, and said, “Welcome home for the next few days. We’re a family here.”

I’ll never forget that.

The days went by, and I would talk to the techs, nurses, and doctors about how I was doing every day. We would have group sessions, watch Family Feud together, laugh together, cry together, even pray together.

I remember one day, I was talking to another one of the women in the day room about how long we had been battling our illnesses. At the end of the conversation, she told me, “Ali, don’t let it beat you.”

Five days after checking in, I was able to check out. I didn’t go home immediately though; they walked me straight over to the outpatient program.

Of course, I was terrified. But I made friends in there that I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life.

Now two years after I started my recovery, I’m still alive. I haven’t been perfect, I have tried to kill myself multiple times, but it seems to always fail.

When I finally realized that this is my reality, it hit me like a brick wall. My life is not the way I want it to be, and lots of people don’t have faith in me. But the people that DO have faith in me are the ones I listen to.

I’ve doubted God’s existence multiple times, but He always comes through.

He always comes through.