It really was one small moment. At least that’s the way it seems now. After eight years, it seems miles behind me, but it was this one moment that set me on the trajectory I am on now.
When I initially wrote ‘what happened to my 20s?’ I forgot to write about it because that was what it was, a long-ago forgotten memory. It wasn’t that I had pushed it away, I just never really took the time to think about it, until now.
Such is the beauty of writing I think, it allows us to stop and go through our past in more depth, especially when sometimes life goes too fast in the moment. It is our time to process and re-live.
I am going to re-live it now. I originally said this event needed its own post and it does. So here goes.
When I was twenty-four years old, I was stuck. So very stuck. I didn’t love who I was, I didn’t know who I wanted to be, and I didn’t know how to ask for help and yet I felt I was asking for help all the time. It might seem that I am putting everything that was happening and all that I was feeling at that time into 2 short sentences, but I will elaborate in a moment.
When I was twenty-four years old, I did the only thing that seemed like the best thing to do. I tried to end my life.
It is so bizarre but as much as I love writing and have kept a journal for most of my life, I never once wrote during that period. Not once. I’ve never put those word on paper. So bluntly, so easily. My body is telling me to stop, right now and sit with those words. Whilst I sit here, pondering what I have just written and what I am about to put out into the world, I am also shaking my head. At my younger self.
Now you might be thinking ‘Holy shit’ and that would be about right. Holy shit indeed. You might be wondering ‘What? How? Where? WHY?!’
I never EVER want to glorify suicide so the what, the how and the where doesn’t matter, but the WHY does. It is such a HUGE cry for help and at the time you don’t think of the people around you, the people that love you. For me, it was just my solution. What a shit bloody solution, but there is a desperation to it that is hard to explain and at the time even though it felt like a shit solution it felt like I had no choice. At the time it didn’t feel selfish, but it sure does now.
When I was twenty-four, I didn’t know how to express myself honestly, because I didn’t have the courage or confidence to see who I was. I wasn’t giving myself the gift of acceptance, self-love and learning to say no. I was the people pleaser, the peacekeeper and the yes person. The person who had a beautiful positive internal voice, but it was so weak and overpowered by the amount of attention I gave to the external happenings in life and in the lives of others. I was the person that wanted to be strong, yet not seeing how strong I was already and allowing that strength to grow.
Trust me when I say, there ain’t no hole, like the one an individual can dig for themselves. And there ain’t no harder task than slowly – oh so slowly – crawling out of that hole.
You might be wondering, am I out of that hole now? Yes. Heck yes! Do I slip back down it? No. Because of three simple things.
Ownership, Acceptance and Change
The ownership of who I was didn’t happen straight away, in fact for years after my foray in the lands of possible no return it felt like I was always taking two steps forward and about fourteen steps back. I seriously thought I was changing but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago during my twenty ninth year of life that I realized honest, wholehearted change wouldn’t come until I was willing to accept who I was and what my past was.
When I realized this, ownership of the person I was came fast. It wasn’t like I had to wait weeks or months to discover it. It honestly felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. It was like I gave myself permission to be okay with me, including everything that was good and maybe not so great. Do you know how amazing that felt? How it still feels?
That is when change began. The day after I took complete and full ownership of who I was. The day after I was able to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘I am good with who I am right now’.