When the madness of depression and suicidality come out to play, I become crushed by the weight of the emotional distress – overwhelmed by it, tossed around like a play thing at the whims of my mental health illness. Sometimes it appears without reason, sometimes there are triggers. At times it is a whisper in the back of my mind, a suggestion to give up and give in to the madness. Other times it hits with the force of a riptide, dragging me under and demanding I allow the madness to drown me. Just when I feel like I’ve taken my last breath, my head bursts from the surface of the water and my survival instincts kick in. I remember everyone and everything that I live for, and I want to fight. I will fight for my life; I will cheat death; I will not be consumed by the depths of my mind.
Life is a funny sort of thing. Sometimes it is the small things that drag me down – small bummers or set backs – while the larger things seem like simply another challenge. Then again, other times, it’s the giant problems that we face that threaten to break us and then all the usual small stuff on top becomes unbearable. Everyone encounters unique challenges and hardships.
Life is a playful sort of thing. It seems at times that Life will throw extra challenges our way just to see how we will react. Almost in a “let’s see how you handle this” sort of a way. The games that Life plays with us don’t seem in our best interest, and can often seem cruel and unfair. Why is this happening to me? Why can’t life be good? We find ourselves asking these questions.
Life seems random. Some people believe that Life events are just a roll of the dice. Others believe in destiny, pre-determined events, and lessons that our souls need to learn. Some believe in karma and that our souls are eternal. These are simply the bodies that our soul inhabits in this lifetime. We are charged to care for these bodies and minds and to learn the lessons of this lifetime.
I’m not entirely sure what I believe when it comes to the way life works. I suppose it is a healthy mix of randomness, lessons, humor, tragedy, hardship, accomplishments, love, hate, and many other things. I’m not certain I believe in a higher power, but I find myself praying on occasion to a very generalized idea of God. I believe in guiding spirits in each of our lives, which can be ancestors, animal spirits, guardian angels, nature spirits, and more. In short, I do believe that we are never really alone even when we feel and think it. There is life all around us, intertwined, teeming with energy, supporting one another – just as the Earth supports us. In such a digital world, we have access to others at the press of a button or a tap on a phone screen. We are constantly connected on various social media. We share this Earth with each other.
Which brings me to the point of this post. We have each other. We have our guiding spirits, we have our higher power (if you subscribe to such beliefs). With mental health illness, it often feels like we have to fight against ourselves just to get on with living. When your mind screams for you to give up, remember that we need to fight back. Just because your brain tells you things, that doesn’t automatically mean it is telling you the truth.
This is a quote I have repeated to myself over and over in my life, since I read this book. The character who thought this to herself was a determined soul who tried looking on the brighter side of life and keep going. She had a very hard life, and was homeless. A lot of people thought of her as insane. She inspired me. This definitely wasn’t one of my favorite books, but I loved the characters especially the Bag Lady.
So I keep going. I look for positives. I try and stay curious about what is next in life. It’s not easy, but I do my best. ]
Are there any quotes or thoughts that keep you going when you are being pulled under by the riptide?
Stay insane, friends