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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

No One Else Can Play Your Part

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th). 



(tshirt by @twloha - To Write Love on Her Arms) #NoOneElse14 #WSPD14

I wanted to share a little bit about my story, my experience - I'm speaking for myself - I cannot attest to anyone else experience.  Even sitting her now, a good 18 months later, it's still hard to write about this - even though I've always proclaimed how cathartic writing feels.

Depression is a big bad scary word.  It's not something you can anticipate or prepare for, it's something that washes over you and takes hold before you realize what it is or before you (want) to realize what it is… maybe that's more accurate. 

For me it was total and complete darkness that I couldn't get out from under.  I couldn't understand how it had taken hold so quickly and so deeply.  I couldn't verbalize the pain I felt constantly, the anxiety, the racing thoughts, the reverberating sadness that seemed to never end.  But yet, I was still functioning on the outside - I still had to go to work, fulfill commitments, attend events, socialize… do all the things expected of me… I felt like I was hiding - running a parallel life. 

I had total fear that because I didn't understand what was happening inside my thoughts and because I knew I couldn't verbalize how much pain I was feeling, that no one would understand and no one could help me.  That fear escalated my anxiety and feelings of being trapped inside my darkness.  I felt like my brain was running at full speed 24 hours a day displaying a constant reel of everything that was negative in my life or what I thought was negative - impossible to shut down, but my body was moving in slow motion.  I was physically exhausted from extreme lack of sleep due to fear and anxiety and then there were days where I could sleep for 18+ hours and still be completely exhausted.  I not only felt trapped mentally but felt betrayed by my body physically.

I hate admitting this now even, but I had a plan, I had everything lined up.  I just couldn't handle the excruciating pain anymore and I was prepared to do anything, anything to end it.  I was utterly and completely terrified of myself.  

My rational and irrational thoughts screamed at each other in conflict…constantly…I was so afraid of what I was capable of - I threw away kitchen knives, and I flushed every form of aspirin and sleeping pill I could find. 

I knew regardless of my fear of being able to verbalize what was going on, I had to reach out for help.  

I wasn't able to fully explain what was happening but it was enough and I was able to get the help I needed.  Reaching out saved my life and my story didn't end.  

I fight the darkness every day and do the work needed to maintain the light in my life.  Sometimes days and weeks fly by without a drop of darkness… I work very hard to keep positive healthy relationships in my life and have had to make some changes to ensure I can stay healthy.  But I know it takes vigilance and determination to stay in the light… and that's where I want to be.

This is my story.

And no one else can play my part.

-Justine