I’ve been having a rough time of it lately. It’s been hard to not only face the day, but to live, work, and be a mom and wife in it. So much so that doing every-day things is like trying to run in neck-deep water with no sleep.
Every part of me wants to stop and get out of the water.
But I can’t. So I have to drum up the courage to stay in the water. I have to find the courage to work at it. The following statements are what having courage feels like for me TODAY.
Today I have the courage to cry. Not the silent, soft tears in my office or in bed after my husband is asleep, but the loud, feeling like I was going to throw up kind of cry.
Today I have the courage to get out of bed, pack lunches and get my kids to school.
Today I have the courage to stay in my lane on the way home, to arrive home safely.
Today I have the courage to go to everything. I didn’t cancel or call in sick. That’s BIG courage right there.
Today I have the courage to actually work while I’m at work: to reply to clients, to conduct research, to work on boring projects.
Today I have the courage to finish something. I started making sourdough bread yesterday. I finished it despite the fact that I wanted more than anything to throw it in the garbage and forget it.
Today I have the courage to take a moment and completely fall apart.
Today I have the courage to reply to texts with humor and encouragement instead of complaining and sadness despite how lonely it makes me feel.
Today I have the courage to cry. On and off all day. to release my anguish in tears.
Today I have the courage to say it’s hard. Today. Is. Hard.
Today I have the courage to share with you a glimpse into my day. A day when I’m struggling to accomplish every-day tasks. Each one takes SO. MUCH. EFFORT. It wears me down.
Today I have the courage to say that sometimes I don’t want to have the courage anymore.
Today I have the courage to say I feel lost. empty.
Today I have the courage to say I don’t care. about anything. I WANT to care, but I can’t seem to conjure the emotion. not today. not in the last 3 weeks.
Today I have the courage to tell you I am a suicide survivor.
Today I have the courage to tell you I’ve been finding the courage to survive for 21 years.
Today I have the courage to say I know from experience I just need to get through this day. Today.
Today I have the courage to say I am a survivor, a fighter.
Today I have the courage to say I fight this illness daily.
Today I have the courage to say I am doing it, but it’s really hard and sometimes I don’t want to.
Today I have the courage to say I feel so alone.
Today I have the courage to be vulnerable, to take the risk of my friends, family and co-workers looking at me weird, treating me differently, getting the pity stares because now they know I have a mental health disorder.
I am vulnerable today for YOU. I share my story so you know you aren’t alone. Among all the challenges listed above, the toughest one is that is so very isolating.
Sometimes I’m perceived as distant, stand-offish, seeking attention, dramatic, flaky, and selfish. I just want you to know that if you see me or a friend or loved one that way it may be because we’re trying to be brave, trying to have the courage to walk through the day.
15 million Americans suffer from depression. On average, there are 121 suicides per day in the U.S.
That’s crazy, isn’t it? We are lonely among millions, MILLIONS! It doesn’t have to be that way.
What can you do?
Have the courage to give COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING and HOPE to the millions of people who (silently) struggle with this illness.
Have the courage to reach out to that friend who seems down lately.
Have the courage to listen to your friend complain about the pain he/she feels.
Have the courage to pray for anyone who is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide.
Have the courage to spend time with them even though it seems like they want to be alone.
Have the courage to tell them why you love them and need them.
Have the courage to suggest they seek some help. And keep suggesting in a loving way.
Have the courage to see us as strong fighters instead of weak, crazies. We are fighting. every.day.
- Get help from a trained professional as quickly as possible. The person may need to be hospitalized until the suicidal crisis has passed.
- Encourage the person to call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
What are you struggling with today? Will you have the courage to share today? Share if you can, come back another day if today’s not the day. We’ll be here praying for you.