(NOTE: This post may cause triggers for anyone dealing with depression and having suicidal ideation. Please proceed with caution.)
For today’s prompt, write about what the biggest or smallest makeover you’ve done in your life so far? What did it involve? What challenges did you face in achieving that makeover? Who helped you along the way?
The biggest “makeover” in my life thus far has been having the desire to live. I’ve written here on this blog about my bouts of depression many times. Of how it sucked the will to live out of me and left me suicidal. For the better part of eight years, I wanted only to die. I felt like my life had no worth, that *I* was worthless and that I was a burden to everyone around me, especially to my husband who never tired of telling me so.
I have not talked much about the psychosis that I experienced during these tumultuous times. I hear voices all of the time. I have since I was a child. But the voices that I normally hear are from Catharine and Evelyn (my muses) and Stefano (my animus). However, when I was deeply depressed, I heard two other voices. Dark and deadly ones. One called himself Slash and the other I knew as merely The Demon. When I heard Slash’s voice, I resolved myself to cutting and burning my arm with a cigarette lighter. They were the only means I had of experiencing any sensation as I was completely numb. However, the pain only lasted a few moments and I would once again grow numb. When I heard The Demon’s voice, he would tell me that I was better off dead. It was because of those words that I attempted suicide 7 times. My pdoc put me on Risperidone, an anti-psychotic, but it merely masked the voices of my muses and animus and did very little to deaden the voices of Slash and The Demon.
In late 2012, I was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer. Suddenly, I had an out, if I really wanted it. I could have allowed myself to wither away from cancer. Instead, I had an overwhelming desire to live. Luckily for me, during this time, my pdoc found an excellent cocktail of drugs for me and I also began seeing a new therapist. She taught me Mindfulness. The drugs kept Slash and The Demon away and the Mindfulness kept me grounded in the present. I was able to focus entirely on my health and beating cancer.
I still occasionally feel the darkness seeping in. I guess I always will. But I no longer hear Slash or The Demon. I also have the desire to be alive and the tools to remain so.
How about you, dear readers? What was the greatest “makeover” in your life? Share your thoughts with me in comments.
(Note: if you would like to participate in this month-long journal writing activity, sign up for emailed prompts here)