Just do it. . . I’m not talking about the famous Nike quote. I’m referring to the deepest darkest voices in your head, hitting you at the hardest moments, enticing you to just do it.
I found out today that one of my favorite clients from my previous job committed suicide. It was a complete shock to me, as this woman was the bubbliest person in any room. She was charismatic, loud and always smiling.
They always are. . .
Some of the happiest people you know are fighting the darkest demons. Some recent, and others rooted from childhood. Some days, these issues may not phase them – but other days all it takes is one small thing going wrong to cause them to rise from the ashes.
The last time I personally knew someone who had committed suicide was when I was in high school. Another in middle school . . . and one more in elementary school. Back then, I knew grief. I mourned for my friends that I had lost. I cried alongside our mutual friends and their families.
Recently, I went to visit my friend’s mother and brought her flowers on the anniversary of his death. She was thrilled and we talked about the memories we had with him and how much we miss him.
When you’re in that dark of a space, you don’t think that you are doing a disservice to the people you are leaving behind. Thoughts dart around in your head telling you:
“You’re a burden“
“They’re better off without you“
“You’re not worth their time nor energy”
“You’d be doing them a favor“
Over the past couple years, I hit some very low moments where my brain was constantly telling me things like this. I felt worthless. People in my life that should be there for me were letting me down. My expectation of what I should be was different than who I am.
During one of the happiest years of my life – freshly engaged, we bought a house, got a dog – and I hit some of the lowest lows that I have ever experienced.
For me, these thoughts were triggered by a medical condition that has since been resolved, but stem from mental issues that I am still fighting every day.
There were times where I couldn’t stand the thought of getting out of bed in the morning and facing the day. Days where a shower or brushing my teeth seemed like the most exhausting tasks. Moments where I couldn’t smile, even though I wanted to.
I knew that I had people around me that I needed to show up for – people that truly need me in their lives and appreciate me. Even with that, there were times where I would think. . . “you know, if things get too bad, you could just do it“
Those 3 words haunted me. I never got so low as to actually doing any harm to myself – but the thought always lingered that IF things got to be too much to handle, it was an option.
It should NEVER be an option, but when you’re that buried under the piles of expectations and negativity that the world has shoveled on top of you, it’s difficult to see the light.
I’m not sharing this for sympathy or attention. I’m sharing this because there are so many people out there struggling every single day – especially right now in the middle of a pandemic. You never know what someone may be going through and not telling you.
Don’t think that if someone were considering harming themselves in any way, or are in that deep dark hole that they would tell you. Honestly, if you’re close to them, chances are that they won’t say a word. Why?
- They don’t want to be pitied
- They don’t want you to think of them any less
- They are embarrassed
- The social stigma around mental health tells them that being depressed is weak.
- They may know that how you’d react is not something they can handle
- They don’t want to be a burden
There’s many reasons as to why someone won’t speak up when they’re struggling with their mental health. If you’re one of those people, know that you are not alone.
Finding a therapist has been one of the best things I’ve done for myself. With the help of my fiancée, we were able to get me into sessions during one of my darkest times and start helping me find a way to start climbing out.
Mental health is not a myth, a joke, nor is it something that requires people to be locked up and institutionalized. It’s something so common and mental health issues make themselves known in so many different ways. It’s not the same for everyone.
Another thing that helped me significantly is letting go completely with my fiancée. I shared every feeling with him and he would catch me every time. No judgements. No making me feel guilty or like I was burdening him in any way.
He would hug me if I needed. Make me laugh when I needed. Send the dog to give me kisses when I needed. Just hold me in silence if I needed. Took me for a smoothie run if I needed. He knew how to help in the best way possible – and that was just by being there.
My dog was also a significant help. The unconditional love from a dog is something so unmatched. They don’t know what’s going on, but they want to love you and help you feel better however they can. You can do no wrong in their eyes – and that is so refreshing.
After a while, that 3 word phrase started to take a different turn. I was brushing my teeth regularly again, showering without a breakdown, getting out of bed without hitting the snooze button. I was finding ways to keep the demons away.
I started sketching again, which turned into a sticker business. I started taking an hour in the morning to enjoy my coffee and snuggle with my dog. I found a new fashion style that fit my personality and made me feel confident.
Just do it turned into a way for me to do the small daily routine steps again, and graduate to larger and more fulfilling tasks. Need to make lunch? Just do it. Need to put on make up? Just do it. It was a mantra for continuing to prove my own strength to myself, when I felt the weakest.
If you have hit a dark spot – find your ladder and start climbing. Don’t think about it, just do it.