Have you ever fallen into a black abyss so deep that once you hit the bottom there is no light and no hope, only pain that cuts so deep you can’t bear it?
Have you ever cried so hard you felt like you could never stop? Could never smile again? Never laugh?
Has the pain from past and current events overwhelmed you so much that all you wanted was not to feel the pain? You would do anything so you could stop feeling?
Have you ever felt like you couldn’t fight anymore?
You are not alone.
The dark abyss is a scary place. It’s rock bottom. You can’t fall any further. You’re there. But you can’t give up. Even though you feel like you want to. You have to keep on fighting, mustering whatever strength you can to fight your way back up. You have to focus on the good things in your life, the people that are truly there for you and matter, and find your way back to them. But the most important this is you need to keep on living, and keep on fighting because there is always light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it.
Last night I feel into the dark abyss. I hit bottom. I’ve hit bottom a few times in my life: right before I turned 19, when I was 27, when I was 30, and now 33. Trust me, you can hit bottom so many times and each time it’s just as scary. Each time you want to give up. And each time you will always remember how it felt to be in that dark abyss, at true rock bottom. Although you take those experiences with you, they do make you stronger and you appreciate how hard you fought to make it back into the light.
Last night was bad. All the anxiety I have been feeling, the constant, never-ending anxiety that I’ve been living with for the past few months just got to me. I felt like I couldn’t calm down. All the pain that I’ve been feeling since September just hit me like a ton of bricks. All the times in my life I have felt betrayed by those I trusted, exacerbated by what happened at my last job and the cyber-bullying by a former co-worker that followed, just overwhelmed me. All the times I have ever felt alone. All the times people have turned their backs on me. People that I loved. All my disappointments. Everything just hit me like a tsunami and I fell. I hit bottom. I just didn’t want to feel anymore. I couldn’t deal with all that I was feeling. It was too much. Too much from the past, too much from the present. I just wanted to stop feeling, thinking, crying, hurting.
I wanted to go to the hospital.
But I was scared too because the one time when I hit bottom and did go to the hospital, it was the scariest experience of my life and has truly scarred me. It happened right before I turned 19 years old. The first time I ever hit bottom…
18 years old. I was depressed. I hated myself. I hated my life. I had so much anger. I had crippling anxiety. I couldn’t function. That was the first time I hit bottom.
My mother took me to a mental health hospital close to home. She took me to their emergency room, and told me someone would talk to me. At first it was ok. I trusted someone would talk to me. But as time went on and no one came to talk, I started getting anxious. I wanted to leave. I started screaming. Crying. They gave me a pill to try to calm me down. But it didn’t work. I just wanted to go home at that point. When I tried to actually leave the ER all these guards came out of nowhere and blocked the doors. At that point my anxiety went through the roof. I hate feeling trapped. That’s the worst possible feeling for me. I went into a full-blown panic attack. Next thing I knew, these strong men in white were all around me, they picked me up and brought me to a hospital bed. They took leather straps and restrained my arms and legs to the hospital bed. Now I was scared. I truly I was trapped. And then they shot me up with something. I don’t remember anything else after that.
For three days.
The next three days were foggy. To this day I still have no idea what happened within those three days. And that scares me to no end. My mother told me eventually someone came and talked with me. Eventually they didn’t feel I was a threat to myself and released me. They diagnosed me with severe anxiety and depression and gave my mother a prescription for Zoloft. I was to come back for outpatient counseling.
I never went back. After what happened I was too scared.
But, I did start taking the medication, and I did start seeing a therapist elsewhere and it did help. I started getting my life back on track. I started taking control of my life and finding me. I fought so hard to never fall back down into the dark abyss again.
But, sometimes you do and that’s a part of life. Sometimes you do find yourself at bottom again. The thing is you learn something from each time you hit bottom, you gain more strength, and you keep on fighting because life is worth living, despite what it feels like when you are at bottom.
I don’t talk a lot about what happened to me at 18 because it has scarred me so deeply. I am deathly afraid of doctors. I am deathly afraid of being restrained. I am deathly afraid of feeling trapped. And I am deathly afraid of being rendered unconscious by doctors.
But, in a strange way I’m thankful for the that time because it did set me on a good path. I got on medication. I got help. And I started fighting for life instead of against it. And all that fighting has led me to such a great place.
I have an amazing husband. Two amazing furry daughters. A small group of friends that are like family. An amazing life. My husband’s amazing family. I have things now I never could have imagined, and I never would have had any of this if I gave up when I was 18, if I gave up the fight, if I didn’t get help back then.
All that bad led to so much good.
And I know that all I am going through right now, it’s not the end. It’s just the beginning of a new chapter in my life that will lead to even more good. But, if I want to get there I have to keep fighting. I have to keep battling my demons. I have to find my way to the light.
It’s hard to write when I feel this low, but at the same time it’s cathartic. It helps me to deal with how I’m feeling in a constructive way. It’s a Mindful Unique Decision for me that lets me connect with others who might be feeling the same way I am. It reminds me that I’m not alone. And if we can all help each other in some small way, then together we can help each other fight the darkness. The scariest thing is feeling alone in that darkness.
At the same time, I understand what it feels like to just want to give up, to feel like you have reached the end of your rope and you can’t fight anymore. But, you can. When you feel like this it’s so important to reach out for help.
Last night I relied so heavily on my amazing husband, on the one who loves me and knows me the most. I didn’t go to the hospital because I was too scared. My fear paralyzed me. Maybe I should have. But the important thing is I reached out for help. I wasn’t alone in my fight. My husband was right there beside me helping me to battle the darkness.
If you need help, if you feel like you are losing the fight, text the Suicide Crisis Text Line at 741741 or call 1-800-273-8255.
Together we can keep on fighting and we can find our way out of the darkness.