This really got me thinking. What would I say to keep someone from going over the edge? I shared the following on Tumblr but I wanted to share it with you guys too. Because when you’ve survived something and find yourself on the other side looking back, you want to help people come through it like you have. If you’re thinking things that you know could lead down a path towards suicide, don’t think them alone. Talk to someone, talk to me. Don’t be alone.
Your body is made for more than darkness.
This photo was taken about ten years ago, during a really difficult stage of my mental health. An artist friend of mine was working on some skin projects for our Art class and I let her test on me and take a photograph.
I had been fighting depression since I was a child and it had given me a strange, nihilistic attitude towards my own life. I honestly did not think I would grow up into a real person. I didn’t have a plan for the future. I didn’t dream about a wedding with an imaginary husband. I didn’t really believe I would get there. I thought I was going to kill myself before I got that far. In the truest part of my soul, I knew it was only a matter of time. If you had asked me where I wanted to be in my late 20’s, I would have thought I would be gone by then. I wasn’t active about it, I wasn’t seeking death, but I just knew. Every day I felt like I decided to stay on the planet rather than leave it, and sometimes it was a really hard choice to make. It felt inevitable that the hatred I felt for myself and my body would eventually get me. One day I would just stop fighting.
This photo first gave me hope that maybe I didn’t have to hate so much. Maybe my body was made for more than self-harm scars. Maybe it was made for more than starvation, more than pain, more than hate and self-loathing. It was the first time I looked at my body and thought there might be a way out – maybe there was a way I could make art out of my body. Maybe there was a way I could learn to live peacefully in it, this house that I hated. Maybe this whole life thing didn’t have to end with total self-destruction. Maybe I could live.
There have been dark times since then, really low moments, but since this photo I have always held onto that feeling that maybe things could be made beautiful, no matter how broken they were. That maybe surrendering to the darkness is not inevitable. Maybe there’s hope.
Because now I’m in my late twenties. I’m in my late twenties and now I plan for the future. I’m in my late twenties and I’m still here, choosing each day to live.
Your story is not over. Something beautiful could still be made.
Don’t give up.