On Taking On the Demons Within.
Hey, everybody. This was a bit of a tough one to write, but the more I kept thinking through it, writing it, and editing it, I realized that while it was a bit cathartic, it also could potentially help those who may be stuck in their shells hiding the struggles they’re going through and the demons they’re fighting. This isn’t going to follow the typical “Le Cinq” setup, but you’ll see some elements for this edition.
Fair Warning: there’s some really tough content in here, so if you don’t feel comfortable reading on, I completely understand. That said, I hope you do because the following topic is a really important one to open up about.
Depression, suicide, and death have always been a part of my life.
I’ve had suicidal thoughts multiple times (even a few more recently).
I’ve contemplated committing suicide around the same amount of times.
And, well, I attempted it twice (hanging and wrist cuts, obviously failing both times).
I lost one of my closest childhood friends to suicide; he hung himself because he felt his parents didn’t love him anymore.
I’ve seen and worked with death in ways I wish that nobody should ever have to interact with, thanks to my time as a volunteer firefighter. While I only experienced two deaths during my tenure, both were heartbreaking: a truck driver burned alive because he could not be rescued from the cab, and a daughter instantly killed, limbs ripped out, still in the front passenger seat, on Easter Sunday, due to a freak accident on the highway. To make matters worse, I saw this horrific scene (as the crash truck tried to get her and her mom out to safety) with my poor father and older brother (also firefighters at the time), and it was one of the few times I saw my dad just fall apart.
Stories like this have always added to my battles with my inner demons of inferiority, failure, and feeling that I keep letting people in my life down. The thing is, I know I’ve let people down because I’ve made mistakes and stupid decisions in the process. Yes, we all do, but it’s one thing to try to work forward and become a better person out of them, but more often I stew in my failures, stuck in a downward spiral of thinking that everyone is laughing at me, turning their backs on me, and wishing I would leave this world forever.
That spiral transpired into me falling into a very dark mental place; I literally started working out how to successfully jump off the Williamsburg Bridge. It’s scary to now see the process I went through for it, and I’m glad I was able to take on that very low and very scary point in my life, but it all was due to letting my failures pile on me so hard that I didn’t want to live anymore.
I could tell you that I’m better now, that I’ve been working on ways to channel these spirals and battle back against these demons, that I have plans with therapy, self-awareness, meditation, mindfulness, and deeper levels of presence. And yes, I have done all of those. But it’s easy to say all of it but harder to showcase all of the actions. Fortunately, I’ve recently found a solution of truly holding myself accountable on bettering myself, but I also know that there are many friends, colleagues, and people out there who haven’t been able to escape their own spirals.
So, why am I writing about this?
The answer: If you’re reading this and you feel that you’re stuck in that spiral and too scared to come out of your shell and talk about it, I am here to listen.
I want to help, the same way that some friends and family have done for me. They opened up, never had any underlying agenda, and genuinely wanted to help me out.
My demons will never leave me. But I’ve worked towards how to take them on and channel them to more positive levels. It’s a scourge that a band of brothers and sisters can battle and win versus an army of one.
As Mac said, to be continued.
~ C O L O P H O N ~
Please send all feedback, both positive and negative, to firstname.lastname@example.org as this project continues to evolve.
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