Sep 25, 2019
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
It was only a few short years ago, but I can honestly say that everything I’ve done, and everything I am today, is attributed to that one failure.
I remember it like it was yesterday – April 21, 2013. I woke up on the floor, disoriented and weak, only to realize what had happened – I can now add suicide to my long list of life’s failures.
I was “lucky” they said.
That being said, I’d say it was the ultimate failure of all, in the sense that if you’re going to fail at anything in life, this is probably the best thing to fail at. The doctors at the hospital told me it’s nothing short of a miracle that I’m alive, and that I’d been given a second chance at life. I was “lucky” they said.
To be honest, in that moment I was feeling a lot of things, but lucky was definitely not one of them.
One of the things people most commonly say about suicide is that it’s selfish. But I have to tell you that in those moments, my thoughts were not my own. Having been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and OCD – the ultimate mental health trifecta, it was a scary time for me in more ways than one. Not having control of your own mind is a scary way to go through life. It’s not something you’ll ever understand until you’ve gone through it.
My diagnosis and suicide attempt were a catalyst for realizing that my emotional state was largely influenced by my physical surroundings. The affects were adverse, which prompted me to change. If I couldn’t control my mind, I had to take control over my surroundings. I would not allow my “stuff” to weigh me down any longer – be it a pile of clothes on the floor in my bedroom, causing many a sleepless night; or a sink full of dishes, preventing me from eating proper meals.
Through decluttering and organization, I was able to gain a level of inner peace I didn’t even know existed.
With this newfound knowledge, I decided to make the most of the second chance I’d been given, and channel that path to inner peace. As a result, I was able to go off my medication, start my own business, and create new friendships and relationships. I’m no longer exhausted every minute of every day, and I’m living life to the fullest. I know that if life throws me a curve ball, I have the tools to hit it out of the park – especially since it’s now easier to find my baseball bat in my organized space.
This illness is a powerful sucker.
Don’t get me wrong. My days are far from perfect, but I’m now able to recognize when I’m headed down a dark path and I’ve got my methods of snapping out of it…99 per cent of the time. There are still days where depression wins and I’ll sleep the day away, and that’s OK.
This illness is a powerful sucker, so I can’t be expected to win the battle every time. We all need to recharge every now and again, so I’ve allowed myself to use those days for what they are and not beat myself up about it. That said, those days are now few and far between, so I’m taking that as a small victory!
When you’ve been “gifted” the diagnosis of depression, it’s easy to focus on all the things you can’t do – because there are a LOT of them. Those things still exist. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is my shift of focus from the million things I can’t do to the handful of ones I can. I no longer allow this illness to define me.
After all, I’m simply sick, not weak!