Seven months ago, I came out of a really horrid six month depressive episode. I’ve struggled with depression for as long as I can remember, but it was never as bad as it was during this period. Every sensation was deadened, I couldn’t muster up the energy to cook or eat, I was unable to keep up with basic hygiene and I lost all interest in anything that had ever mattered to me. I generally have nightmares three or four times a week, but I started having multiple nightmares every night, and on several occasions, I had episodes of sleep paralysis that involved shadowy figures and feeling things moving in my bed. I was so tired I started hallucinating and would lose my train of thought midway through a sentence. My self harm spiraled out of control and I spent a lot of time laying in bed, staring at the wall.
Basically, my life really stopped being worth it. The longer things stayed like that, the more hopeless I became and it started to feel like things would always be that way. I’m trying to come to terms with what happened, but it’s hard to cope with the after effects of it and I’m terrified it will happen again.
But I took a big step today. I’ve dealt with suicidal ideation for about a decade now, but I had never really felt like I was in immediate danger of suicide. When I was at my lowest points, I would pick a date in the future rather than allow myself to follow through at that moment. But during this episode, I became surprisingly reckless and was really worried I might really try to kill myself. So I sat during one of my more rational moments and wrote a long letter to my loved ones, in case anything should happen. I held on to that letter for a really long time, because I was afraid I would need it, and I couldn’t leave my loved ones with nothing.
Today, I burned that letter. I don’t need it right now.
When the flames burnt themselves out, I found a small piece that was still intact, and it was where I had signed my name, with love. And I’m keeping it, as an act of love for myself.
I can’t say I’ll never need to write a letter like this again. And I can’t promise that I’ll be okay or say that the future seems promising to me. But right now, I’m okay. And I’m going to allow myself to have a little hope again.