Hey friends. So I haven't written an actual post in what feels like forever. And honestly, I'm feeling so guilty about it. Writing slumps suck. And the worst part about them is that you usually aren't sure why something you like to do has become so difficult.
It's not that I'm having a total block, because I have what feels like hundreds of different drafts sitting in the blog archive. I have a number of ideas for posts. But as I write, I hate the direction they end up going. And for the first time I'm nervous about how people are going to react. Or maybe a better way to describe it, is how they aren't going to react. You see, I've basically spilled my guts out in this blog. I've talked about wanting to kill myself. The times I wanted to starve myself and the times I physically needed to binge. I've shared the absolute and desperate lows of my depression. And I've walked you through my anxiety and the worst panic attack of my life.
I think I'm scared because I've run out of "traumatic" experiences. And the traumatic and dramatic are what make people want to read in the first place. What is that called on YouTube again? Clickbait, I think? See, I don't have many more "clickbait" like stories to share. And the few that I do, well, they're the ones I haven't been able to get right yet.
We could go down the rabbit hole of my anxiety and psychoanalyze this slump. But today I want to try something different. I want to stop my self judgement before it really even starts. So I'm just going to write. I'm gonna go with it - whatever this ends up even being. And I'm gonna break this slump (for now).
Today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day. Which is kind of a big deal for me. I was actually thinking about that time of my life again the other day. And I honestly don't have words. But I had a lot of feelings about it, so maybe those are a good start.
I obviously felt a lot of sadness. And while some of that sadness stemmed from the headspace I was putting it in, most of it was sadness for the girl I used to be. God ( or other omnipotent being of your choice), I was so sad. Reflecting on her now, my heart can't help but sink. That girl was so scared, so worried, so...sad. She had no sense of self-worth. No concept of self-value. No understanding that she wasn't the annoying, disgusting burden she thought she was...
And as my thoughts went through a very similar cycle of where they are now, that sadness shifted to gratitude. And instead of sitting here, mourning the girl I used to be, I'm focusing only on the feeling of appreciation. Appreciation that I'm not her any more. If you would have told me three years ago about the life I'd be living, I would have thrown back a sarcastic remark at you and then said "Yea right." Even to this day I still have a hard time believing my life has taken the direction it has. So I'm sticking with gratitude, just thankful to have made it to this point...
Which brings me to the inspiration behind this post. Back in June, an Instagram account called luna.ap.photography DM'd me about doing a hashtag challenge. As June was when I was in the middle of dancing with Texture and balancing my other three jobs, it ended up on the back burner. This morning, the account DM'd me again, reminding me that it was World Suicide Prevention Day - and that today would be the perfect day to post this challenge.
So I'm going to give it a go. The challenge states:
People die by suicide because they feel they have run out of reasons why they should stay. So let's give them more reasons why not to go. Make a list of reasons why not to go and use the hashtag #whynotchallenge
Of course I'm going to do my own thing with it. Instead of giving general reasons why not to go, I want to talk about the reasons I'm so glad I didn't go.
1. My Family - I can't even begin to explain the changes in my family dynamic since my suicide attempt. Therapy is good for a lot of reasons. And for the sake of my family, learning better ways to cope and communicate take the cake. There's also a part of me that knows they'd rather me tell them whatever is going on in my brain than go through that night again. And that part also knows (finally) how much they actually do love me and that I'm not a disappointment. Our relationships have only grown stronger and even more full of love. And I am so grateful to have all of them with me now as I go through my own internal transformation.
2. My Friends - I'm actually starting to write a post on this concept (*note starting*), but I have kind of been an auxiliary character for most of my life. And I don't want that to sound sad or attention seeking, so hear me out for a second. It's not that I didn't have friends, because I did. I even had a few good friends growing up. But I was a floater. I never belonged to a core group of people. And the couple groups that I did "belong" to, well, I was never a solid member. My presence didn't make or break the group. If I was there, great, but if I wasn't there, I wasn't really missed. And I was okay with that. Because the less people you were close with, the less that could leave you. The less you could annoy. The less that would see how terrible you really are. But in college, I actually found a group I was an essential member of. And beyond that, I made some incredibly strong friendships without a group. Those friendships weakened as my own mental health weakened. But now that I'm "okay", those friendships rebounded further than I ever thought they could. I still don't have the most friends, but the friends I do have, I care about them more than anything. They each bring such joy to my life. Such love. Such pride. (Much wow). I love them, and I know my therapist would yell at me for the way I'm going to phrase this next sentence because it's full of judgement, but I'm gonna say it anyway. I'm so glad to make up for lost times with them and I'm so glad they get to be my friend now - now that I'm happy, more confident, and can be a better friend back to them now that I understand the concepts of self-love and how it changes the way you love others.
3. Greg - I don't want to be a sap. Nor do I want this section make anyone think that their life is not worth living if they don't have a significant other. Because that is SO not the case. I don't want to talk about Greg as "the love of my life/boyfriend" guy. But rather, the Greg that is simply my best friend. I'm so grateful to have him in my corner and honestly, I'm not sure if anyone else could have my back the way he has mine. He'll logically walk me through my panic and anxiety, something that would irritate the heck out of others. He speaks words of affirmation and validation when he knows I need them the most. He's the best listener and the best soundboard I know. We can honestly talk for hours about almost anything. And there's not much I can say or do that weirds him out. There are times we are so similar it's scary. But I love it, because it makes me feel so less alone. There's a reason they tell you to fall in love with your best friend. I'm glad I took their advice
4. I got to live out my dream - I danced in a show with a professional dance company. After years of thinking that dream was over. I knew the path I had chosen going into college. I chose it deliberately. I faced the music and embraced the pain and heartbreak. And that could have been the end. That could have been my final bow. My ultimate curtain call. But it wasn't, because I chose to stay.
5. Teaching/mentoring - I'm starting to understand why people want to be teachers. I mean, I still definitely don't want to teach kids about long division or adverbs. But I get it. The bonds you make teaching aren't like any other. Some of my most stressful days are erased just from stepping into the studio. And yea, there are times I want to pull my hair out because the kids don't point their feet. But I'll take all the flexed toes and unfinished tricks over not being able to share this passion of mine. Sometimes the parents thank me for all the things I do for their kids, but honestly, the things I do feel so small in comparison. These kids give me so much, but they especially give me hope - one of the most precious (yet most fleeting) feelings.
6. Puppers -I would have missed out on petting, cuddling, and booping so many puppers...
7. Nature/Hippie Vibes - I'm a nature person now. I love hiking and biking and sometimes I even like running. I want to do anything and everything that get's me outside in the fresh air. Greg and I have a garden full of veggies that makes both of us weirdly proud. And I'm also still doing the Veggan thing, something that has also brought me a lot of joy post suicide attempt. I do a lot more Yoga and have turned to Pilates to center myself and strengthen my core (literally and figuratively). People definitely say I give off hippie vibes now and again, especially when I say I want the world to be peaceful and happy. But what can I say, the world needs more love man!
8. Running - No seriously, I like running now...
The smell of new candles. A good glass of red wine. Doodling in my bullet journal. The sound of the rain. Eating an impossible burger for the first time. Learning Burgatory has Dairy Free shakes. Snuggling up in a blanket fresh out of the dryer. Feeling the wind in your hair as the seasons change from summer to autumn. Listening to the perfect song in the perfect moment. Finding a new Netflix documentary. Sweater weather. The smell of a bonfire. Dresses with pockets. A good movie musical. This blog/platform/safe space to talk about mental health...
I could go through the whole "Favorite Things" song, but I think you get it. There is so much that I would have missed if I would have taken my own life. And without dragging this post out any longer, I'm just so glad I'm still here.
And if you're still here, I'm so glad you are too. And if you're thinking of not staying, I hope you can find one, just one, reason to stay <3