“Don’t give up,” “keep trying,” “things will get better!” I guarantee you’ve heard these words a million times over, and whilst they mean well, they hardly ever really help. They’re thrown about so much by people who care but don’t know what to say, that they’ve lost all meaning. Which is distressing when you’ve lost all hope.
I’m asking you today to reevaluate these words, to dig deep and work hard. And please, don’t give up.
Depression, anxiety, self harm, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, personality disorders, learning difficulties, schizophrenia, bipolar, medical illnesses, physical disabilities, a cold. Life is hard. No matter who you are, you suffer. Suffering does not discriminate; it doesn’t care if you are 3ft2 or 6ft1, or if you got an A on that maths test. It doesn’t care if you are black or white or big or small. Whether you are 2 years old or 91, suffering will find you. It will come into your life uninvited and it will wear you down. Some people have the belief that others suffer more than them, or that they suffer more than others, and whilst I appreciate the thought behind this theory I do believe we have to abolish it from our minds. To a 3-year-old, a cold may seem like the end of the world simply because they have not experienced any other type of suffering. But it is not our right to tell them that their suffering isn’t as bad, purely because we have experienced suffering that we personally deem worse. If it upsets them, or makes them feel bad, then it is important. End of story. If suffering does not discriminate against us then we should not define suffering on a scale: all suffering is bad suffering.
When suffering comes in to your life, it is a shock. We are not prepared to see bad in the world because we have grown up believing that all is good; that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and that prince charming will save us from the burning towers. So when suffering crashes down on you, drowning you in bitterness, we hardly ever know how to react. And that is why suffering is so powerful. That is why it kills. But I would like you to know that you are powerful too; you have a storm inside of you and if you can harness that power then the winds will swallow suffering whole. No, I am not saying you are strong enough to live a life without suffering. I wish that were true. But you ARE strong enough to banish the suffering that tries to harm you or darken your mind. The truth is, we need suffering in order to witness the good. In order to realise that the good days are in fact brilliant. Because without suffering to compare it to, they would all just be ‘days.’ But the bigger truth? You are powerful. And strong. And beautiful. And I sincerely believe you can beat your monsters.
I know, for many of you, this may seem like an impossible task. It feels like sadness is the air you breathe and the words you speak, and the blood pumping through your body. It feels like the ground is permanently shaking and at any moment a monster will rise, and beat you down. It feels like there is a darkness so deep in your mind that it is now intertwined with your soul, that the only escape now is to kill the monster’s life support: yourself. And I also know the catastrophically sad realisation that suicide seems like such a beautiful silence. No more whisperings in your ear telling you that you are worth nothing. No more twisting in your stomach every time you wake up. But please, if you relate to any of this, or agree with one word I have said then trust me when I say that; suicide, self harm in any form, or giving up in one way or another is never the answer. Don’t let those monster win. Because when you hurt yourself, in any way, whether it is physically or mentally or by discouraging your future you are not killing that monster. Suffering will always, always exist and you hurting yourself only makes it stronger, only makes the monster realise it’s power. Show it your power. Show it how strong humans are and show it that you can win, too. When you kill yourself, yes, your suffering ends. I won’t lie to you. But that monster that roamed inside of your walls? It’s found a new victim. And it is stronger now than ever before.
Suicide, self harm, giving up; they are not beautiful or romantic. They are not an escape. They are not to be treated in this way, ever. They are the downpour before the storm that kills off an entire village. They are convulsions and rope burns and scars that will never heal. They are dreams that have been lost and dates never been on. They are children never born and lives never lived. They are desperately trying to make yourself sick in the sudden realisation that you have something to live for, and the pills you swallowed don’t taste like sugar anymore. They are the broken relatives; shells of humans now. Don’t give in to this nightmare, live your dreams.
Please know I am not saying that people who have given up are not strong. They are quite the opposite. All I am saying is that suffering does kill people, and suffering is strong. So strong. Sometimes a lot stronger than us. And those people who gave up, they were strong too. They just didn’t realise just how strong they were. And it saddens me to my bones that they were so sad, and so broken by suffering. And if you have experienced this pain, whether it be personally, or through someone you know; I am so sorry. Words cannot express my sorrow for you. If you would ever like to contact me, for advice or a rant or to tell me I am wrong even, please do so. I welcome you.
So how do you do it? How do you beat the monster so strong, the killer of so many before you? Honestly, I do not know. I applaud those who have. But I know ways in which you can win a battle, and I feel that if you harness these ideas and you figure out what works for you, if you keep fighting and fighting then one day the monster will realise that it has met it’s match. And maybe it will come back from time to time to try and reclaim it’s prize, but hopefully you’ll know by then that your life is yours. And you can fight for it.
For a very long time, I didn’t realise you could fight the monster at all. I thought that it was a part of me now and that this is just who I was meant to be. Please, please know that you aren’t meant to be this sad. No one deserves to feel empty and broken and without hope. You can do something about it!
I know how scary it is; the thought of sharing the darkness in your mind with someone else, of the judgement and the labels. You hear stories of people who have reached out and gotten nothing in return. And I was terrified. Terrified to the point where I would stay in my room all day so that people would not know how sad I was. To the point where I made up ridiculous lies to try and hide what I really did with my time; how I sat on the floor by my bed and muffled my screams with a pillow. I honestly believed that no one could help, and that everyone would judge, and I would be taken away somewhere with white walls and needles and people who poked and prodded.
I realise now how pointless these thoughts were, and how much of me I lost in that dark time. Because sadness is not who you are. It is a sickness, and like all sicknesses, it can be treated. I urge you, no matter what you are going through -whether you believe it to be big or small- talk to someone. It’s scary, I know, but you have no idea how good it feels. How clear your mind begins to feel, after only one little chat. It doesn’t have to be someone professional, if you do not want it to be. Just please, tell someone. But know this; not everyone will understand. They won’t think you weird, or abnormal, but they might not know what to say. And it is a lot of pressure for someone who does not understand, to deal with. Don’t let that put you off, you’re not burdening them. But realise that people aren’t being mean, that they do care, they just don’t know what to say. That the “things will get better,” is really just code for “I really hope you find a way to beat this, and I’m sorry I don’t know how.” Keep this in your mind always. Talking to someone is a huge step, and it requires a lot strength; I’m not saying it’s going to be easy at all. It will probably be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do in your life. But that’s kind of the point. Nothing easy was ever worth it. And because this is so difficult, it is SO worth it. YOU are so worth it. This is your life and it is IS worth fighting for. If you feel like no one in your life will understand please talk to me. I’m not just saying that; I honestly want you to contact me. I don’t care if it’s 3am and all you want to do is rant. Do it. Rant at me. I don’t have to give advice or even answer if you don’t want me to. But I ALWAYS will if that is what you need. I will read everything sent to me and I will answer everything sent to me unless stated that you don’t want an answer. I will never judge you. I promise to be here for you, for as long as you need me to be. I don’t care if you’re a stranger on the other side of the world or if you live three doors down from me. Please, do not suffer alone or in silence. You are so beautiful and your life is worth living. If you wish to contact me, please do not hesitate to do so. You can remain anonymous if you wish, or tell me who you are. My email is – firstname.lastname@example.org. My twitter is – @llilacwine.
Talking to someone is probably one of the biggest steps, and the hardest steps you will do but it also one the most effective. There are other ways to deal with sadness but when it is deep within your soul they may not always help – for these methods read my “happy days,” or “help,” posts or talk to me. I’m sorry this post isn’t more detailed, maybe I will add to it soon. For now, I hope you find your power and fight for your life. I hope you are brave and talk to someone and I hope, if necessary, that leads to you getting the help you need to live. Remember, no one deserves to feel empty or broke or without hope, so please, don’t give up.