I remember hearing that Robin Williams had taken his own life and feeling a sadness that shook my bones. It’s the same sadness I feel when I hear of anyone who takes matters into their own hands due to a mental illness.
Because I know the fear of never being able to escape your own head far too well and yet I can’t envision the pain it must take to do such a thing. To put a full stop against your life and subsequently cut all ties with everyone you love permanently.
How much suffering has this person endured before they make that decision???
All in the same breath I can’t imagine and then I can because bearing such a heavy weight is only doable for so long and in moments of anxiety that spiral out of control, I sure as hell appreciate the relief of switching off my own head.
We all have our coping mechanisms and mine is fitness and food. But my god what if our mechanisms stopped working and that pit in the deepest part of your stomach doesn’t leave and begins to swallow you whole, inch by inch? You feel as though you’re drowning in a cloud of bad thoughts with no way out yet the world still goes on around you whilst you find the energy to force a smile on your face. To love your partner and hug your kids.
But it’s so fucking important to write the words and say them out loud, to share them and scream “IT’S OK TO HAVE A DARK DAY!” Life is not all highs with gift wrap and sometimes even your best intentions to make the day an outstanding one are going to come crashing down around you in an epic avalanche of FML moments.
At my lowest point I had no job, a broken relationship with my parents after a string of mistakes on my part and spent my entire existence eating, watching TV and demolishing double vodkas with Redbull. One of my most shameful moments was declaring to a pub full of people this guy was gay because he’d had the common decency to take care of me one night and hadn’t attempted anything. And I don’t even remember doing it – I had to be told the next day.
I was off the rails, my mental health was in a state of turmoil and for the first time in my life I remember thinking I want out. I don’t want to be here anymore.
But that place wasn’t the darkest I could withstand; I had more in the tank. For me there was light at the end of the tunnel and it was one hell of a journey to get there that gave me the strength I have today even though LOLs, I cry every month when I get my period.
Because I didn’t always have my shit together. I’m not the bubbly blonde who came out of the womb with a smile on her face and found opportunity in life with every stride.
I was a wreck who had no direction. I fucked up and hurt the people I loved and most of all, I spent months hurting myself with no clue of how to stop.
Becoming the person I am today was not the person I envisioned at school. I wanted to move to America to be a killer whale trainer at Seaworld because being friends with the whales would be AWESOME and how cute are the babies?!
And yet somehow life took many turns and here I am, passionate about mental wellbeing and spewing word vomit onto anyone who’ll listen, keen as a bean to get into schools and talk about the pillars of wellness and lapping up every blog post or website or quote that envisions a world that isn’t sick with stress and how to make it happen.
I didn’t choose to be the anxious little bundle of worry that I am but I can choose to not let it destroy me, for it to mean something great and to have a voice that admits all sides of life. Even the ugliest parts.
Because I envision a world where less people fall into a hole so deep, they see no other way of getting out than by taking their own lives.