Three days before Christmas 2016, I was close enough to killing myself that my two GPs wanted to hospitalize me. But I refused.
I had gone there to take one last ‘stab’ at saving myself. I was at such a nakedly emotional, impulsive place that I was capable at any moment of acting out in the most self-destructive ways possible.
The idea of stepping backward into traffic beckoned to me like a friend…
And I thought it was a friend.
Depression is a process of your inner darkness consuming you. Some emotional trauma or event — or a series of related events — have caused you not only to question your self-worth but to become increasingly positive that you HAVE NO self-worth…
You’ve never had the chance to correctly deal with the cause of your emotional wound. It is no different from sustaining a hairline fracture in your arm that you never treat, never deal with — but then causes you pain forever. And it’s just a matter of time before you put enough pressure on the fracture to finish the job.
In your arm it feels like a knife blade. In your psyche it feels like self-loathing.
And the self-loathing all goes back to the original fracture that never got dealt with. One of the problems with how we treat depression at present is we treat the symptoms and rarely the CAUSE. It’s depressing how poorly we treat and even think of HAVING DEPRESSION.
The trauma, whatever it was, starts a whisper in your ear. In my case, it was being sexually molested when I was 14. The man who did that to me put me on an island — I had a secret, a terrible secret, about myself that I could never tell anyone. No one therefore could ever really KNOW me. I would be, forever, alone on an island. Just me and my secret.
That takes root in your mind. And when you BLAME YOUR YOUNG SELF for being the cause of your molestation — your feeling isolated in the face of emotional hardship becomes your fitting punishment. It is not rational. But it is.
Some people call this ‘Their Darkness’. I call it ‘My Bullshit’. I had other bullshit at the time but this became the ‘organizing principle’ around which all other bullshit in my life would from that point forward be designed: I had it coming to me.
You question anyone who sees value in you. What the hell do THEY know? YOU know better — because YOU know the TRUTH about who YOU really are.
And every bad or terrible thing that happens to you happens BECAUSE of you.
The trick is in realizing — in time — that the voice now screaming at you is the Voice of Bullshit. It’s NOT your voice.
It’s not easy convincing someone whose BULLSHIT has convinced them that they have no value that they do. Loving them even harder won’t work — because the love feels so terribly unwarranted. You’re throwing it away…
The fix lies in KNOWING that there’s a deep, dirty WHY — and in letting your depressed loved one know that it’s okay to ‘HAVE’ that deep, dirty WHY — that the WHY wasn’t their fault. That they CAN let go of their WHY — and not only survive — but thrive.
Some people already know what their ‘Core Why’ is. It’s the mountain in whose dark shadow they’ve lived their whole Life. Some people only ‘suspect’ what their ‘Why’ is. It’s an ‘Undiscovered Country’ that scares the hell out of them. Who knows, they worry, if once they cross that border whether they’ll be able to get back to safety.
But naming your Core Why – Your Bullshit – is the essential first step to helping yourself. Refusing to allow yourself your own bullshit’s warm embrace — that’s the real trick.