& So I Kept Living

Last week was World Suicide Prevention Week &, this year, TWLOHA’s slogan is, “& so I kept living.”

Shockingly, one of the facts I read this week was that suicide is at a 30 year high in America. That is devastating.

When I think about why the numbers are so high one thing comes to mind…and that is the pressing stigma surrounding mental illness. People don’t talk about it &, if you do, you are often shamed. I know I was. I started this blog & hit on a range of topics, one of which was rape and depression I endured from it. An, “anonymous,” person was trolling my blog at the time &, under a blog I wrote on what flashbacks & PTSD had done to my life, wrote: “Wow, you’re so screwed up. You’re so screwed up that you get anxious when men yell at your on the street?? You don’t need kids, no wonder you can’t have them (in reference to our infertility).”

Wow is the operative word…just not in the context that it was used. I say wow that people are so cruel. Wow that individuals love tearing others down & taking the lowest of blows. Wow that, after someone courageously speaks their shame in hopes of encouraging & helping others, someone would make that something so ugly. It also shows how victim blaming is so alive in our society to the point of blaming women for the suffering  they endure post rape but that’s another post entirely.

The point is, I was shamed for being vulnerable when I already had more than enough shame to hold. And so, for a while, I stopped talking about it. I focused on blogging about infertility, foster care, & lifestyle things in an effort to normalize my life. I tried to act as if the crumbing of my life hadn’t happened at all & I had been just fine all along. But you know what, friends? That isn’t true. I skipped over the worst days. The days that last week were all about. I stopped encouraging others in those very dark places I know all too well & that has been the biggest disservice of all.

This summer, I’ve fallen in love with a beautiful lady who speaks her truth. Unedited, uncensored truth. Her name is Glennon Doyle Melton & she blogs about courageous things over at http://www.momastery.com

This week she blogged about her own dark time & the moment she kept living. And she encouraged me to do so as well.

There was this time in my life that all hope was gone. It was very dark, both figuratively and literally as I was sitting in the dark. I was staring down at the dimly lit screen of my iphone writing something in the notes section. It was a letter to my sister explaining why. I was staring down at my exit door after one literal hell of a year. I’d been raped, several times, & lost some very important people in my family as a result. I was having several flashbacks a day & bad dreams every night. Some nights I woke up screaming &/or in a cold sweat. I kept messing things up, relationships, my life. I was failing at getting out of the darkness. In my mind I knew what I would do but I didn’t..instead, the next day, I called my therapist & we made a game plan.

& so I kept living.

I moved to another city that was 2.5 hours away, away from all my trauma reminders. I took some time off work to dive into working on me. I went to a lot of therapy. I saw a lot of my nutritionist. & I did a lot of work.

& so I kept living.

I got married to my best friend in 2015 & graduated with my masters degree in 2016.

& so I kept living.

I started going to walks about things that matter & talking about them, too.

I started being honest with my closest friends & members of a phenomenal group I’m in.

I kept blogging about infertility.

& I learned a lot of things. But I wouldn’t have learned them if I hadn’t kept living.

I learned that, most often, other people have had some difficult moment in their lives. They may have struggled/struggle with depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, etc, etc. So they get it. Or they want to try to. I’ve learned that none of us has had a perfect life &, even if our stories are very different, we can empathize and relate to other people. I’ve learned that talking about it matters, it really matters.

& so I kept living.

“Life is forever tries.” -Glennon Doyle Melton

 

 

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2 thoughts on “& So I Kept Living

  1. Very powerful. I am so glad you found the strength to keep going! I do think that so many people are going through all kinds of struggles that we just don’t know about. Life can just be pretty shit and horrible sometimes… It can be so hard to try to stay positive and keep going when you just feel knocked down. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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