Some will say that the year 2016 was an awful year. Mainly because so many iconic people died, people whom most have never met, but played a huge role or made an impact in their life on the big screen. While I agree, it is sad, we lost David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Prince, George Michael, Harper Lee, Florence Henderson, Gene Wilder, and Kenny Baker just to name a few of my favorites. However, I have to disagree that 2016 was awful.
For me, 2016 was amazing. It was amazing because I am alive. You might be thinking, “Yeah, so! I am alive too!” You are correct, if you are reading this, you are also alive. Being alive is a little different for me. Last December 2015, I was suffering from the worst debilitating depression I have ever suffered in my life. I mean, I regularly suffered from depression every single day of my life, but this was a whole new low that I had never experienced before. I mean, I have been through a lot in my life, it’s no secret; physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and mental abuse, as a child and as an adult. I am no stranger to pain and depression, but this depression was different. It was like a wave hitting me, over and over again, every second of the day without letting me back up to get some air and prepare for the next wave. The worst part was the reason for my depression. It was based on things from my past; abuse as a child and as an adult, being let go from a job that I loved by an incompetent asshole, being diagnosed with degenerative disk disease at a young age and being told I can’t do the things I love, and uncertainty for the future in my career and my back pain.
At the end of November 2015, I climbed into my bed and stayed there for a month. Yes, a whole month, a couple of showers in between, but I was in bed the rest of the time. I watched everything on Nextflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime to try to numb the pain and distract me from life. I had a hoard of pillows and blankets around me, two cats by my side who tried to cheer me up, and food was brought to me in bed by my fiancé. I mean I was not taking care of myself; pizza, Thai food, chicken wings, wine, bourbon and anything else that sounded good. My Fitbit was barely registering 1000 steps a day.
There was a point that I started contemplating suicide. This is not something new, suicide has always been at the back of my mind in thought, not as an action; but more of a curiosity of why people do it, does it hurt, could I do it, and how would I do it if I did it, but nothing worthy of a 5150 evaluation. I am not saying “suicide” for attention whatsoever, I am being real and owning my thoughts and feelings, because thinking back to that time, scares the shit out of me. If I planned it, I wasn’t going to tell anyone and I surly wouldn’t write about it, let alone reach out for anyone to stop me, because, well, that was the last thing I wanted was help. I surely didn’t want anyone’s sympathy and after three days of thinking about it, I knew how, when, why and what to do. I spend three more days with this in my head. I knew I was going to kill myself before 2015 ended. Being that low, I feel I now understand the answer to the questions people ask when a loved one commits suicide; my pain outweighed the thought of never seeing my loved ones again, or leaving them forever. The aftermath of suicide and the people you leave behind is so far from your mind, and that is what makes suicide a possibility, you cannot think beyond your own pain because all you see and think about is how much pain you are in mentally and physically. You just can’t and you see no other way out except to end the pain.
Some of my friends knew something was up; I wasn’t posting on social media or texting them back. One of my dear friends finally called me out and said I needed to call or text her NOW, that she was worried about me, even if I sent a text saying “Fuck off!”, she wanted to know I was ok. She understands and she knows all the things I have been through in my life, she has similar pain in her past. She is also that friend who will call you out and put all of your shit out there to deal with or to see how ridiculous you sound. She is awesome like that. At the same time, my fiancé finally asked me if I was ok and if he needed to be worried about me. This reaching out shit was enough to make me contemplate my plans and I hesitated. As I lay in bed, I told myself, that I know I can snap out of it, I just needed to do it and commit to a plan to get out of bed. I looked at my calendar and I had a few days until our friends wedding and a New Year’s party, both were not something I thought I wouldn’t be around for.
I did what I have always done in the past when I recognize my depression getting worse, I force myself out of the house. I first had to kick my own ass out of bed and into the bathroom where I stripped down and stepped onto the scale. HOLY FUCKING SHIT! I gained 25lbs. I already knew there was no way I was getting my ass into anything in my closet, except for a flowing dress and a cardigan over the top. I took a long shower and made my bed. I put on workout clothes and forced myself out of the house to go for a walk. Yes, I showered beforehand. It felt amazing. I pulled out some workout DVD’s and did one, because there was no way I was going to be able to work out on my own. It was day one of the rest of my life.
Depression is real and it can be heavy. People with depression and suicidal thoughts might not reach out for help. If someone you know is suffering from depression, reach to to them. It could save their life.