Be grateful

This is extremely difficult to write. Several times in the past I have started writing and then scrapped it many times. But I need to do this for myself. While I am being myself. Something happened today and I don’t want to forget it. I want to remember it. Treasure it.

I have been suffering from depression for quite some time now, the first time I thought of committing suicide was at the age of 14. Since then I have spent many years thinking, planning ways to end my life. I also spent some time seeking various counselling services, asking my close friends for help and taking anti-depressants. All of them worked intermittently but eventually the feelings of worthlessness would come back and taunt me.

I spent so much time thinking about why I hate myself and feel so worthless. And I think it is due to the combination of reasons:

  • I was sexually assaulted by a family member when I was 8. No one knows about this except me and this person… maybe. I sometimes wonder if he even remembers what he did. I never confronted him about it and I never will. He has a wife and a kid now. I know I didn’t dream this up (because it is too sick to be a dream by an 8-year-old) although sometimes I wish I did because it wouldn’t be real then. Sometimes I get flashbacks and I feel sick to the stomach and I feel gross. This makes me feel worthless
  • My father verbally and physically abused me up until I was 21. It stopped once I moved out. Now he has “mellowed out” and I am back home again. While I forgive him for what he has done, I struggle to forget the hurt I suffered. Sometimes I remember the things he has said in the past and this makes me feel worthless.
  • Both my parents wanted me to study medicine, particularly my mother. This is despite I told her when I was 5 that I wanted to be an artist. This is despite I spent so much of my free time drawing and painting, winning competitions and having a strong interest in animated films. I failed to achieve her dream. Then she wanted me to pursue academia and that didn’t happen. Then she wanted me to be a teacher as it is a good career for a woman. I did that and I suffered massively from the experience and quit. This “failure” to achieve my mother’s expectations makes me feel worthless.
  • During my time working as a teacher I was mistreated by some of my colleagues. I was isolated, bullied and used. I spent four years focussing on my students because they were the only reason I could keep working hard and stay in that job. They were the only reason I could smile at work. Even that was not enough as my health took a toll and I was hospitalised. However, failing to fix this problem and failing to stay being a teacher makes me feel worthless.
  • The person I thought I would spend the rest of my life with stopped loving me. In fact, in all of my past relationships the significant-other fell out of love with me while I was still in love with them. Failure to keep a relationship makes me feel worthless.

The thing is though, I still think this is nothing compared to what some people have suffered or are currently suffering. I still have relatively healthy body. I still have a job that pay for things. I still have a room I can stay in and sleep safely. I still have food in my system. I should be grateful for what I have.

So when I came across this photograph of this little girl (Jessica Whelan) suffering from cancer, I was lost for words.

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She still fought hard to live even if she was fighting a losing battle. Yet, here I was, up until this morning, reminding myself that I can only end my life once I complete my bucket list (I have seriously constructed one as a desperate attempt to save myself). How could I think of giving up my life when there are so many trying to live and fighting hard for it? Why am I not grateful for the gift of life? I realised that I was being extremely selfish. Yes life can be hard, but there are enough good to be worth it. Life is precious.

I also realised that I need to give myself a genuine break. My suffering might not be much compared to this girl (and many others out there), but I did suffer. I need to give myself time to heal. I need to love myself and treat myself with respect because I know I deserve it. No one else will unless I do it first. I need to give myself credit for still smiling and actually taking a step into reaching my dream (of being an artist/animator). I need to give myself credit for not going through with suicide. I need to give myself a hug for being strong.

The reason I am writing this is because I need a reminder. The reason I am writing this on a public blog is because I am hoping that when I feel so depressed again, someone will kindly remind me of this post. I am also hoping that maybe someone will read this and give themselves a break as well.


4 thoughts on “Be grateful

  1. What an amazing post. And what an amazing writer you are! I have fought the depression label for a few years now. I have argued that anyone would be depressed by the different circumstances I’ve experienced while I know that my worst pain might be someone else’s fairy tale. I know there are others out there with horrific childhoods or as you pointed out, physical challenges. But sometimes the cut on your finger is just as important to you as someone else’s amputation is to them, because it is happening to you. (I know bad example) 😏 but you know what I mean. Never dismiss your feelings because others out there have or are experiencing worse. But your perspective and awareness of it all, is right on!!!!
    I’ve always felt that everyone has a story that we need to share to help others not feel so alone. It is so amazing how knowing you are not alone and can find a community of caring people who you can share with is so empowering! Good for you for sharing! Keep writing! You have a story to tell! And I’ve always felt that even if I just reach one person and can help them to feel hope & more empowered, it was worth sharing! Thank you for sharing! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love u Cristalbeam. Hang in there, sweetie. Life can be exhausting and debilitating but it is a gift from the universe. Soon enough, our molecules will be rearranged and succumb to entropy. In the meantime try to enjoy the ride as much as you can for as long as you can with souls who get you. Doesn’t even have to be a lot of them, or human souls…just a few good, kind and loving ones 😘 xo

    Liked by 1 person

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