Before September, National Suicide Prevention Month, was over, I wanted to share a recent realization that’s been helping me to deal with feelings of depression and hopelessness.
I may not be suicidal anymore, but it’s not like I’m magically cured of my issues. Anxiety seems to be with me 24/7, while depression is something that comes and goes. In 2019, though, it’s come more than it’s gone. Thankfully, it’s only triggered one noteworthy dark spiral this year, but I do find myself often having negative thoughts about myself and my life. I struggle to write blog posts (aside from ones I’m in the habit of writing, like H54F) because it feels so exhausting to fight against all the negative mind chatter telling me not to do it. I want to be positive, to potentially help others and be a light for them, but that’s just not who I typically am. I’m more dark and twisty, like Meredith Grey.
But—PLOT TWIST—what if that’s okay? I mean, A.) it’s just how I am, so why fight it? and B.) it leads me to writing blog posts like this one that give voice to what others might be experiencing (and not talking about).
What if these things that are uniquely, inherently me are my power, rather than a problem?
My therapist and I have begun to use these uniquely Jess things to inspire me, in lieu of stuff like affirmations (which so often feel false or forced to me). I actually made a list of my Jess things in my journal a few months back, and you will recognize a lot of them from my H54F posts:
My inability to ignore pretty flowers
My cat-lady tendencies
My love of ‘90s video game music
My preference for trauma-sensitive yoga
…You get the idea. I might share interests with people, but no one is exactly like me, and that is my power. My unique perspective and voice (which is colored by the things that I enjoy) are what I have to offer the world, and that is something I can look to when I’m feeling depressed.
In therapy, we’re also working on the notion that, when I retreat so as to not be a burden, I might be depriving people of something, rather than sparing them pain or aggravation. 🤯🤯 (Therapy is the best, can you tell?!)
At the height of my suicidal depression, I couldn’t see the good in myself, in these Jess things, at all. It is so so hard to think like that when you feel like everyone would be better off without you. But no matter how I felt about myself, the things made me me, the things that other people loved about me, were always there. Depression is just really good at masking them.
What things are uniquely YOU? Share ‘em down below!
When I was suicidally depressed, I needed others to encourage me to keep going and support me through that time. Friends and family helped, but so did medical professionals and the Suicide Hotline. xoxo