Exactly 600 days ago was the last time I tried to kill myself.
Depression is a real thing. Anxiety, stress, self-harm, self-medication, self-doubt… are all very real things.
I grew up thinking that you don’t cry, you don’t express your feelings, and you certainly don’t ask for help. So, when I got scared, overwhelmed, anxious, sad, angry… I found a way to cope. Over the years, overeating was quickly replaced with alcohol.
Attempting to poison myself to death was a difficult task to complete.
After my third trip to the hospital in a two-month period, after many failed attempts before those, it was time to finally start unraveling my wiring. For me, asking for help was the first step. I learned very quickly that I was not special. I wasn’t unique. I was like everyone else. Stress, fear, anxiety, anger, regret, worry… it was how people dealt with them that was unique.
I could talk about all the awful things that I’ve done to my body… swapping stories of my heaviest drinking with other people like some alcoholic’s badge of honor. Or I could talk about how I refused to address my inner conflicts, how I ignored them… how my denial led to a failed marriage and loss of friends, jobs, opportunities, and almost my life. If asked, I will talk about as many moments as I can (or care to) remember.
People count the number of days they’ve been sober. I count the number of days I decide to stay alive. I also count the number of times that I confront those things in my life that scare the ever-living shit out of me. And do my best to do the HELL out of those things.