Have you ever felt like you are in a pit, and no matter how hard you try to climb out, that pit just seems to get deeper?
The last few weeks have been the worst of my life.
I have been feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, antsy, and incredibly worthless. I have had many moments in which the urge to self-harm or commit suicide has been overwhelming. The worst part is when I try to remind myself of all the reasons I have to live- those reasons are not a blessing in those moments, they are burdens. Being able to stay home and care for my son and niece while my husband works to support us is a huge blessing. In those moments, however, watching my husband be able to leave the house while I had to stay home and care for a cranky, needy child seems incredibly unfair and burden-esque.
I have had more thoughts of suicide this last week than I have in the last 5 years. I cannot even begin to explain why, or the reasons for such a negative feeling surging through me recently. I can, however, think of a few reasons to cause sadness in me.
Two weeks ago, I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant. Last week, I went to the hospital because I was bleeding and in pain. I had a miscarriage and it had almost completed it’s course by the time I left the hospital, as they found no evidence of my child when they did an ultrasound and my levels were at 7. At 6 weeks pregnant, a woman’s levels should be well beyond 1700. They cannot even see a baby on an ultrasound until the levels are at least 1500, hence them seeing nothing.
The 3-4 days following were filled with pain, blood, and feelings of inadequacy. Not only had God decided I wouldn’t get to raise my child in 2013, He apparently decided I was to lose yet another in 2018. At least I got to hold the body of my child and gain a bit of closure in 2013 since the baby was 16 weeks. This time, all I got was blood and pain. How on earth am I expected to grieve something I can’t even tell was supposed to be a human life?
I have been having a hard time climbing out of my pit of sadness. Most of the time, I don’t even have the energy to try.
Here’s the thing though: Despite the pain and deep sadness I have been feeling, I am still able to find the joy in my life.
When I get into those deep depression moments, I force myself to see the joy. Trust me, it is not easy. Personally, I need to dig into the specific, tiny pieces of my own life to find the joy.
Knowing my husband goes to work so I can stay home with my son is too broad of a statement to elicit the much-needed thoughts of joy. Remembering the look of pure happiness on my sons face and the sound of his adorable giggles while we play-wrestle on the floor brings me more joy than anything else in the world. Thinking about the way my husband will surprise me with my favorite kind of pop or snack when he gets home just because he wanted to do something nice for me is such an amazing feeling.
Climbing out of the pits in life isn’t about finding peace in the vague, bigger moments in life- it’s about clinging to the little, easily over-looked moments that are specific to you. We all have worries and stressors to distract us from the joy found in the little, every day moments. We just have to teach ourselves how to find those little joys in heat of the moment.
Trust me, it is not easy, and it takes a lot of practice to remember to do it every time. Just hang in there, though. Once you get it down, the pits won’t seem so deep anymore. And remember, there is always someone kneeling at the top of the pit, holding out their hand, just waiting to help you out. You are never alone in your journey, and I promise that once you find those people that are willing to help you out of that pit, no matter how dirty they may get, that pit will quickly become easier to climb out of whenever you find yourself in it again.
Mental illness is a constant battle- and luckily, it’s one we don’t have to face on our own.