As I was driving, alone in the darkness, tears streaming down my face, despair took over and told me how easy it would be to end my pain right here, right now, high speed.
The tears came the moment I reached the sanctuary of my car. This had been building up for some time but on this day, I was feeling more disconnected than ever. Alone in a crowd of people. Most of whom were people I didn’t know; all someone else’s friends. I’d politely listened to a lady tearing apart the quieter personality of someone she had recently met who didn’t live up to her extroverted expectations. Barely questioning her unkind judgements, I took her words to heart. That quiet one was also me, and I too, wasn’t good enough in her eyes.
By these early hours, I had lost sight of all the goodness in me; the strength and power I hold at my core. Doubting my capabilities. My capacity for connecting. My positive beliefs were called into question… Can I adapt? Can I grow? Can I cope with the painful changes occurring? Will I always feel alone and no good now? I told myself I was truly an incompetent human being. Emotionally, I was a wreck. But wisdom whispered to hold out and just see if I could weather the storm.
I scared myself. It’s a long time since I beat myself up so badly. And even longer since I had suicidal intent. So I reached out to the one person who I felt would get it. Someone who had been there himself not so long ago. Someone who I imagined wouldn’t judge me or try to ‘save’ me, but would simply be there for me in the darkness in some way, like I had been there for him. And you know what happened? My friend read the message I’d written through tears and he didn’t reply… Ouch.
It’s important to talk about how we feel. And who we share our stories with is equally as important.
Thankfully, in that moment, I knew deep down that it wasn’t about me. I had misjudged our friendship, and missed the signs that were always there. This moment triggered me to re-evaluate my relationships and start letting go of what’s no longer serving me. To look at where I’m spending my energy. Really see who I am letting into my circle –if I am holding them dear, are they holding space for me too? To think about who has truly earned the right to hear my stories. Who has shown that they are there for me in some small way? I knew in my heart that these rare gems are the people to reach out to when I’m in the dark, and my heart was right.
Now, I don’t imagine for a minute that everyone has a rare gem in their life that they feel they can turn to at this very moment. I certainly haven’t always seen those gems. Looking back with greater awareness, I can see that oftentimes, the gems were there and I didn’t even notice them for what they were.
What’s most important here is that, even when we reach out to someone who doesn’t respond positively to our courageous vulnerability (yes, you are courageous every time you share how you feel), we don’t stop searching for those wonderful gems that can hold space for us. Just because one person doesn’t respond positively to our sharing, doesn’t mean that another won’t. This goes for professionals too. Sometimes a person’s own baggage just gets in the way.
So if you are feeling suicidal, find someone to share with and do this intentionally. A trusted gem, a trained professional, a kind Samaritan. There is always someone who will sit with you in the darkness.
Hayley shares her personal stories of feeling shy, socially anxious, ‘not good enough’ and fearfully avoiding the good things in life. Growing her confidence through coaching, gradually stretching her comfort zone and connecting with others, she now uses everything she has learned to help other people grow their confidence in her role as a coach. Hayley is passionate about connecting people with similar stories and creating safe, supportive spaces to make friends and try new things. Hayley dreams of a time when all of the strengths, skills and goodness in ‘quiet’ is recognised and appreciated as readily as being bold, gregarious, and comfortable in the spotlight is right now.