#reverb10 – Achieve

December 28 – Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

Oh lord *shakes head* This opened a can of worms. Stinky, horrible worms. *shakes head* I hope this is worth it. I hope bringing as much as I bring out into the light here heals. I was going to move most of it to drafts and publish it later… but I’ll throw a little trust at the universe again and let it be. It feels the right time.

There is only one thing I want to achieve in 2011 and that’s to leave depression behind, or at least feel I’m in control of my life again.

I’ve had many times over the years that I haven’t been weighed down with depression, but it feels like it’s been a part of my life for so long I have no idea how it will feel, as I know I’ve always had to face the fear of it returning, since it always has. All I can say with any certainty is that not being weighed down with bone deep sadness will feel wonderful. I won’t be struck by these incessant tears that don’t want to stop. In many ways I’ll feel free, but… free to do what? Be what? Feel what?

Sure, I know this time is different to other times. I’ve started therapy with almost clear goals in mind, to take control of my life again. I’ll go onto meds again if I have to, even though I’ve only ever had one good experience with antidepressants in my life… every other time they tipped me over the edge. I’m determined to make it this time. Me. I. Alone. It has to be alone, since I can’t trust someone to be there. I really believe it would kill me to trust like that again now and have them throw me away when I’m so fragile. When I’m trying so hard. I almost lost me this time. Never again, never again, never again. Yes, that still plays through my head *shakes head*

There have always been moments of joy, times of happiness, but the darkness has always beckoned. I’m 41 years old and I feel tired. I know I’m in pain. I know. There’s little control with it. At times I’m all over the place. It’s tiring. Boxing Day I spent more time in tears than not… that’s over 8 hours crying on Boxing Day alone. No one can be there for me when I’m like that.

I don’t tell people when I feel that bad. I don’t want to hear… You’ll be fine. Happiness is a state of mind. Just think happy thoughts. Snap out of it. Let’s go drown our sorrows. There’s no reason you can’t be happy. You have nothing to be depressed about. Etc. Ad Nauseum. Yeah, I get it’s often said with the best of intentions, but you know, I don’t want to hear any of that stuff. It doesn’t help. When I’m down like that all I want is someone to care. When I feel like the tears will never end and the pain will swallow me completely, the only thing I want is for someone to hold me, let me know they care. Nothing else.

I was 13 years old the first time I wanted to kill myself. Oh I’d wanted to die before that age, but it was in highschool that I learned that I had a choice and so it was I first consciously began to consider ending the travesty every one called life. I ran wild. I began drinking. A lot. I would skip school. A lot. Often to drink alone. I was a mostly A grade student, even though I was absent so much. I was absent even when I sat in class. I would put myself in dangerous situations. A lot. I didn’t care. I’m surprised looking back that I was only raped once.

Age 14 a friend helped me to stop drinking. My emotional state teetered for years. 15, 16 years old and I was addicted to prescription drugs. Quietly. I was the friend that would take away other’s drugs, telling them not to be stupid, that it wasn’t worth it. Yeah, I managed a nice stock. My friends were clean at least. I was only lies away from a long-term prescription for Valium. These had to be approved by the government, or something like that. I don’t really remember much about this time. My boyfriend, took me away and cleaned my system, kept me from turning to drugs. The darkness always came back.

I think I was 17 when I made a choice to live. I had the choice to live or die and I chose to live. R and I were at the coast and on a walk around the headland, we misjudged and the tide began to come in. We couldn’t go back and we couldn’t go forward. We had to go up the cliff. The climb to take was clear, but tricky. Just below the top I froze. A rock had slipped and I froze. I couldn’t move to the next position. R was already at the top and reached his hand down to me. I hesitated. For what felt like a lifetime I balanced precariously between wanting to take his hand and live and wanting to push myself away from the cliff… and fall to my fate. I hesitated. It would have been so easy.

I looked up into R’s eyes and I think he knew something more than fear was at work. I looked up at him and I couldn’t hear his voice even though I could see his lips move. In the end I heard his voice… “Mari, take my hand, please, take my hand”. I let go of the branch I held with my right hand, reached for his, he clasped it and began to pull me up. Life won. I’ve been afraid of heights ever since.

Age 21. We’d had a fight and R had gone out with friends. I sat alone in the dark crying. Crying. The kind you do when your heart breaks. I got up from bed and walked outside to the garage. I didn’t turn on a light. I knew where everything that I wanted was. I collected the rope from the corner, sat down and began to tie a noose. My hands shook so much I had to start over a couple of times. Eventually, I ran my hands over the rope and felt the noose knot. Perfect. Just as we used to do them for the horses at Gymkhanas. My hands still shook. I stood up, closed my eyes and listened to the night sounds. My legs felt weak. I had always imagined I would feel strong and certain at this time, the time of my choosing. I didn’t feel strong. I didn’t feel certain. I shook. I felt weak.

I shuffled to the car and climbed up so I could reach the beam that ran across the garage. I leant out and began to wrap the rope around the beam. I could barely stand on my precarious perch. I tugged on the rope and it didn’t give. I climbed down to the ground to check the length. Perfect. I climbed back up, slipped the noose over my head and tightened it around my neck.

I stepped off the car.

There was a moment as the rope tightened around my neck, I thought to myself… finally.

Then I landed on the ground. I collapsed to my knees, the noose still around my neck and began to cry again. Even then, in the darkness I had chosen life. I’d messed up the knots around the beam.

I slowly removed the noose from around my neck, crawling I returned the rope to its corner, stood up carefully and walked back inside.

I spent hours sitting up in bed. Alone. Trying to find that moment again, that moment that made me get up and walk into the garage. It was gone. I’d failed. I went and found a razor blade, sat in bed and began to cut myself. Mostly small cuts. Lots of small cuts. With each cut I knew that I would never try to take my life again. With each cut I knew I’d failed. With each cut I shrivelled up a little inside. (Ohh, note to self… was this when I detached? Hmm, maybe one of a number of times detaching?) I walked back out to the lounge, found R’s smokes. I had decided, I would smoke again. Smoking became my suicide. I sat in bed and smoked and cut and told myself I would die one day. I didn’t know when. I just knew I wouldn’t live a long useless life.

When I had a choice, I chose to live. When I had chosen to die, I had actually chosen to live. I will always choose life. But, is this living? Are the moments of joy enough to call this living? I want more than this, more than momentary tastes of happiness. This is what I hope to achieve in 2011… a way out of the darkness forever and to live, really live life.

There are no 10 things I can say, no 10 things I can do that can take this darkness away today. Time and work and healing. Life without darkness doesn’t exist right now. Only moments of joy blanketed by darkness. So many scars inside.

Please. This was hard. No judgement. Writing this. I feel the pain of the past tonight. I feel myself against that cliff. I feel the rope around my neck. I feel it all. Wanting to die, choosing to live. Wanting more than just life. I know I have to feel it. Just… hard.

{Future tool: Gretchen Rubin’s Start Your Own Happiness Project (and be sure to visit the Happiness Project Toolbox!). For the next 4 days as you round out your year, we’ll share one tool each day to help you plan your year ahead.}

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5 thoughts on “#reverb10 – Achieve

  1. You taken a courageous step to achieve what you want – just writing about it and hitting publish. I won’t tell you all will be well when that is not what you want to hear. But I’m reading and I’m listening and I believe you are healing yourself.

    • Shannon, Thank you for listening 🙂 I’m really grateful we stumbled upon each other during reverb10. Pfft, I don’t even remember who stumbled first 😀

  2. Pingback: #reverb10 – Gift « Randomly Mari

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