There are days that flow through time nice and smooth. Then there are days that you feel like you are bouncing down one of those twirly slides, your head bopping from side to side.
There are also seasons of both. And not to long ago, I experienced one of those seasons.
This isn’t easy to share. I’m not proud of the dark place I found myself in, but it’s the raw truth. And while painful, embarrassing and hard to share, I know someone out there has been there, lived it and understands.
Life had been rough. My son was in more trouble than a mom could take, my husband was working out of state, my dog was sick with cancer, and fall had quickly given way to winter- which in my world was a mood change all itself. My daughter was struggling with her new husband, and life became hard.
Slowly, I was slipping away. I put my daily mask on, managed to go to work, care for the house, try to help my son, but I was sinking. I felt so alone, so sad, and the depression that took hold was near impossible to battle.
Every night I thought of the guns, or pills, or even the rafters in the garage. I thought of dying more than I thought of living. Death just seemed easier. It may sound selfish to someone on the outside, it may be, but my will to live was slipping away.
I’ve spent years batting these thoughts, most of my life really, but this episode frightened me. This time there were no tears, there was only this emotionless pull to desire nothing. I’m not sure that makes sense, but I have no other words to explain it.
This went on for months. The loss of my dog made it worse, the disconnect from my husband, the spiraling of my son’s choices..it kept coming, and I kept checking out. But no one knew. Not one person was aware of my suicidal thoughts, of the internal battle I was fighting to live. It’s as though someone is in my head whispering how much better life would be dead. Sounds crazy, I know.
Obviously, I’m still here. I never reached for the gun, took any pills, or secured a rope in the garage.
I took very small steps to recover. Very small. I had to tell myself daily I was worth more than dying. I had to look in the mirror every morning and tell myself to stay. I had to truly embrace loving myself enough to let the idea of death go. With every small affirmation, positive thought, Bible scripture read, prayer, or short chats with myself, I began to heal and surrender, and let go of the dark desires of depression.
God was my only companion. He was my guide, and comfort, and He lifted me when I couldn’t lift myself.
With bipolar, depressive days are near inevitable. But we can learn to get through them, alive. We can be our greatest inspiration. God loves us so very much, that’s all we need to begin on the road to loving ourselves.
We can do all things through Him, who strengthens us!