One of my hopes for Embracing My Shadow is that it becomes a platform for people to not only share their stories of sadness and despair but also to share stories of survival and hope. It is my deep desire that it becomes a space where people receive encouragement, support and the knowledge that they are not alone.
In 2016, I will be featuring guest posts, some of them anonymous, so that more voices might be heard and stories might be shared about peoples’ journey of embracing the fullness of who they are. As we all seek purpose and meaning, it becomes so very important that we stop running from and fearing the darkness in our lives. It’s time for us to confront our shadows and to seek help, healing and wholeness and we grow in our love of self.
This is not an easy task; it is one that requires vulnerability and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I remind all that engage this space that I am not a therapist and if you or someone you know is contemplating hurting themselves, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255. Seek help before it’s too late.
Below is a post shared by a fellow Shadow Lover. I applaud their courage in putting their story in writing and I also encourage them to seek support.
TRIGGER WARNING: ***The following article contains imagery and language that might be a trigger for some. If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, please seek help and know this article might be a trigger.***
2015 has been a year! A year of friends and fun; of weekend get aways and smiles, selfies and drinks; of working out and healthy eating. At least that’s what my Instagram would lead you to believe…
In reality, 2015 has been filled with challenges, massive depressive swings, loneliness, doubting my self worth, and suicidal thoughts. But no one knows.
I’ve mastered the art (or at least I thought I had) of deceiving those who are close to me into believing I’m okay. When I need help, I don’t ask. I might ask someone to come over or to go out to dinner or to do something with me. If they turn me down for these things that’s okay. However, if I tell them I’m depressed and they turn me down, I’m too afraid to know what that would actually look and feel like.
Now there are a few people who can see too deep, who get in a little too close and see my pain. When this happens, I’ve mastered the art of pushing them away or picking small fights to create barriers so I can lay on my couch depressed and cry for days. No one notices. No on knows that they should be worried. No one asks how I’m doing. Everyone assumes I’m traveling or out with other friends. They don’t know.
I also have a pretty heavy texting addiction. I text people like it’s my job and occasionally, I want someone to notice I’m not okay, for them to see my pain. I throw out a line and see if they catch it. The other night, someone did. I said something slightly off color, and they asked if I was suicidal. I evaded the question and kept going with the conversation but they circled back…and asked again. This time, I said that I was suicidal.
This is a friend who previously had no idea about my depression, someone whom I had not opened up to before. This was a new step for me. It’s a relatively new friendship so I didn’t feel I had as much to lose if they knew about my pain.
I think about dying. More specifically, I think about killing myself. I think about jumping off my high rise balcony, taking too many pills, slitting my wrists with one of the fancy knives in my kitchen. I think about slowly starving myself to death, about pushing down the gas pedal and letting go of the steering wheel… I think about ways to kill myself and somewhere down the line I convinced myself everyone had these thoughts.
Apparently they don’t.
As I opened up to this friend, I noticed how unhappy I had become this year. I’ve been saying steadily for a year that I need to change something. I need to do something. But that’s the funny thing about depression, it convinces you you’re not actually depressed; that you are just unmotivated and things are actually fine. I convinced myself it was a stage and things would get better on their own. It will get better…. It will…. It has to…. Right?
Apparently not. So Shadow Lovers, I write to you this evening to anonymously ask you to hold me accountable. I’m making some plans for 2016 and now at least three friends know of these plans to change my life, to change my outlook, to save my life. I’m laying down concrete goals for myself for 2016 to finally find my happiness. I’ve let it be dependent on the acceptance from others and desire from men for far too long and it’s not working. I believe it has to come from within, but that’s hard to do when you don’t think you’re worth it. But I’m trying and this evening I write this to get out my thoughts. To say the things I’ve been wanting to scream out loud, but am too ashamed to admit, too embarrassed to tell others.
So I’m telling you. I’m pouring out my deepest darkest secrets to you in the hopes that by writing it down, I can get these thoughts and these shadows out of my head and move into the light.
It’s a journey, and I think I’m ready to start and to learn to love myself. Here’s to a new year.
The One Seeking Love and Light