forgive yourself

I’ve spent some time thinking about whether or not this is something I would like to share. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer and I also don’t think I can get an answer from someone else. It’s something that I must decide on my own. How much of myself am I truly willing to share? How many of my lowest points am I willing to put out there for everyone to see?

This is something that happened pretty recently— maybe a month ago. I was at such a low point. I had no direction, no sense of self, and no idea who I was. I’ve learned that as humans— especially with mental illnesses— we come to different pitstops as we live. For a while, every one we stop at is new. But eventually we must come to the same ones again. Yes, as life goes on new ones will be built, but we always, always end up where we once were at some point… Not always on the same level with the same extremes— just in the same realm of struggle.

This is especially true with depression. I’ve been very outspoken about who I am, and who I hope to be. I haven’t backed down when it comes to being questioned by people. Depression, however, has a way of sneaking into your life and knocking you down just when you think you’re finally figuring things out.

So as I said, I wasn’t in a good place. I felt like I was never going to get anywhere, my life was going to be a waste, I was going to be stuck here forever, who the hell cares about my writing anyway, I just need to go to college and get a boring job, then proceed to live my life in a fog… I was having a particularly bad day compared to others and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I remember getting super upset over something really small— something having to do with my OCD. It was around 8 o’clock when it happened and I’m pretty sure it was just my brother and I home.

I rushed down the stairs in an absolute rage, ready to punch a hole in the wall. I saw a football sitting in the corner and threw it, three times, as hard as I possibly could against the walls of the basement. Before I knew it, the tears where flowing down my face, I was out of breath, and I found myself on my bedroom floor, rocking back and forth, unable to think.

After being on the ground for who-knows-how-long, I got up. I was still having trouble catching my breath and I had a thousand thoughts running through my mind. I was in the middle of a panic attack when I decided I had no other place to turn. I shut all of the lights in my room off, lit a candle, placed it on my desk, then sat on my stool in-front of it.

Writing this out now, I really have no idea what the hell I was thinking. I just reacted and this is what came of it.

I closed my eyes and started to talk. I’m going to try and be as real as possible and type out exactly what I remember saying. So here goes nothing…

Hey, whoever you are. God, Universe, whatever it is that makes things the way they are. Why am I me? What makes me feel these things? What pushes me to such a high level of anger over the smallest things? What did I do to deserve all of this shit in my life? Why’d you have to give me three different kinds of mental illnesses, why? I truly don’t know what I ever did to deserve this. I don’t understand. Why? Why? Please just tell me what I did so I can fix it. Please just tell me how to fix it. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I can’t live this way anymore. It’s too hard. Nothing ever feels safe. I never feel okay. I never feel truly happy. I don’t feel anything good. I feel scared. I feel stupid. I feel confused. I feel lost. I feel helpless. But above all, I feel sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever I did to you. If I did something in a past life, or something in this life to piss you off bad enough to put me through this— I’m sorry. I’ll say I’m sorry for the rest of my life if I have to. Just take this away from me. I can’t continue to be like this. I’m sorry…

Wow… That was the first time I really sat and thought about what had actually come out of my mouth. I went on longer than that, but the basics of it hit pretty close to what I wrote above. I just continued to apologize and ask for the pain to be taken away. I was tired of being pushed so far down, over and over again.

I’ve always reacted to being at such a low in different ways. That was the first time I’d ever completely surrendered, begging for it all to disappear. I think it’s because I’ve chosen to keep it all inside for the most part. I usually react with anger, with shutting people completely out, with just making myself worse.

In that moment of desperation I felt a new chapter of my life beginning. Although I was going through the same old thing, I felt like I handled it in a complete opposite way than I ever had before. I broke down yes. I broke completely down. The difference, though, is that I allowed myself to feel. I allowed my mind to just express what I’ve been thinking for years. And frankly, I sounded desperate. I was at a new level of low; a begging level.

I proceeded to stand up from my stool and go to the bathroom so I could splash some cold water on my face. I froze when I made eye-contact with myself in the mirror. I looked and felt pathetic. I’d just talked to a freaking candle for crying-out-loud. Staring at myself in the mirror only caused my breath to run away again. So I looked away from myself and took many, many deep breaths. I went back to my room, blew out my candle, sat on my bed and watched Netflix for the rest of the night.

I wouldn’t say I woke up feeling perfect. The Universe doesn’t work overnight. But I did wake up feeling like some sort of weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I’d finally felt true pain. I’d looked myself in the eyes at one of my lowest moments. I’d begged for things to get better. I’d cried for hours. But ultimately, I accepted it. I finally accepted that this was my life. No amount of begging was going to change that, and I knew it. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t help me to try.

Since that day I’ve truly accepted myself. I know I’ve said before that I love my mental illness because alls it has done is made me stronger, blah blah. That’s true. But after that night, I can say that I 100% accept myself. I know what I’m dealing with, and I know I’ll be dealing with it forever.

I don’t believe that you can manually push yourself to a point of accepting who you are. I think that it has to happen on its own terms. You aren’t flawed, you aren’t stupid, you aren’t incapable, and you also aren’t perfect. You are just you. The shit you have to deal with comes with the package of life. Everyone is given something different. Everyone deals with things differently. And everyone definitely deals with things on their own time.
The idea that some ways are right, and some are wrong is a very confusing and debatable subject. So I’ll just leave you with this: You are strong. You have gotten back up one-hundred times before. You have been knocked down, but never defeated. You must not allow yourself to stay down— giving up isn’t a part of being human. Everyone suffers. Everyone breaks down. That doesn’t mean you are just like everyone else, it just means that you aren’t alone. You are never alone. You are you, and you can only be better than the person you were yesterday; so don’t compare you, or your struggles to other people with a negative attitude… It will get you nowhere.

Lastly, always smile at strangers, and ALWAYS forgive yourself. You are worth it.

-Kelsi

2 thoughts on “forgive yourself

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