Around Christmas I disappeared from here. It’s typical for me to take a break but it’s usually a week or so. Aside from a Merry Christmas post and Recap post I didn’t write anything after mid-December.
In November and December I posted half of what I usually post in a month.
In real life I locked myself in a bathroom stall at work and cried. I thought about not waking up more often than I had in years.
I wondered how I came back to this point.
This is a post I started in January. As we come to the holidays again I find myself thinking about this time last year and wondering if I should share.
I didn’t at the time because I honestly didn’t believe anyone would care. I pushed myself back to a childhood state of believing the things I felt were completely invalid. I felt if I shared then I’d have to immediately apologize for feeling that way and possibly even be punished for it.
It had been years since I actually had suicidal thoughts but last Christmas, for me, they were alive and well. I tried to remember everything I would leave behind. I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t really that bad because I could at least think of things worth sticking around for.
I tried to think about things I had accomplished. I tried to make sense of my life in terms of gratitude.
None of that stopped me from constantly thinking about ending it.
I don’t feel that way anymore but I fear at any moment it could engulf me again.
It makes me feel defective. Of course I’ve remained single. Of course I’ve had trouble keeping up with friends. Of course. Who wants someone that could slip into this at any time?
I say this year has flown by but in reality I just feel like I’ve lost it. I’ve felt mired the entire time and have struggled to get past it.
Maybe it’s a late quarter life crisis or a very early mid life crisis. Maybe it’s just a life crisis in general.
In reflecting over the past year I decided to share, if for nothing more than to get it off me. Maybe putting it out into space will help clear some of it. Maybe someone reading this needs to know they aren’t alone.
Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255 – they also offer online chat – You can also text HOME to 741741 (in the US)
Taking a little bit of a different path today.
What am I good at?
I’ve been asking myself this a lot lately because I haven’t felt that I’m actually good at anything. In search of answers I took to Dr. Google, why not? My searching was promptly rewarded with an article asking what skills you developed as a child or throughout your life. My initial response was comprised of things like “I like to write,” but the article encouraged me to dig deeper. It wanted to find things that were developed out of necessity but never really considered in the context of “I’m good at that.”
It aligns with something else I’ve been attempting lately. I wake up every day and I find things that I’m proud of, things that I like or things that I’m good at. I give myself a little mantra and pep talk and go on with my day.
These things are important to me because I was raised to have practically no self-esteem. I was bullied in school, bullied at home; when I was younger I felt completely void. As far as I was concerned I was safe nowhere and no one would care if I wasn’t there anymore.
That doesn’t translate into the healthiest adulthood. Thinking of skills I learned out of necessity in childhood I often myself thinking more of weaknesses.
Giving it some deeper thought I found the things I thought were weaknesses or completely useless are worth something.
I’m extremely resilient. I’ve spent my life constantly adjusting to changing rules and expectations. As a result, I can change pace, path, vision in an instant and remain calm in the middle of it. I never realized my resilience was a skill worth noting until I joined a job where mental gymnastics and constant changes of pace were a requirement every second of the day.
I can cook. Cooking is a stress reliever for me. I can take ingredients laying around in the pantry and turn them into something palatable easily. I learned to cook early in life, starting with frozen foods thrown into the oven for my family dinner (kitchen 101!) By middle school I understood the concepts of cooking and flavor well enough to improvise (kitchen creative for beginners!).
When I put more thought into it I clearly see where these are skills to celebrate but the key is reminding myself to own them and celebrate them.
What are your strengths? Do you have skills you’ve learned throughout life that you haven’t normally considered?