The Balls Out Truth About Depression. By Amy Ferris.*
This is what i know this morning
yesterday my friend asked me, did you ever try it? yes, i said, yes, i tried suicide.
obviously, this was all around the news of robin williams & his death.
yes, i said… i was young, much younger, and so sad, i was so miserable & so unhappy & i felt all alone in the world.
i felt like nobody knew what it was like, this damp darkness. everything was pitch black. there was no color anywhere. it was dark & lonely, and the best way i can describe how i felt at that time in my life was like being in the middle of a forest, and it’s eerily dark, and you don’t know which way to turn and so you take baby steps. teeny steps because you don’t know where you are, and you can’t see anything, and you don’t know how to find your way out, and you reach out for something to touch, but it’s not there.
you fall down, and you don’t know how to get up, so you start by getting up on your knees, and then slowly, very slowly, you straighten up… and start to walk through the darkness and you’re not sure you’re gonna make it out, but you silently hope & wish & pray that you do. and i said to her – my friend – you know that saying, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, well, the truth is, there is no tunnel. no tunnel in the pitch blackness. forget about finding the light at the end… you can’t even find the fucking tunnel.
so, yes…i tried suicide.
the pills, the stomach pumped. and all that follows. but i was lucky. fortunate. blessed, whatever you wanna call it, because at 19 someone wanted to save me, help me, hold me.
and then i became a buddhist, and then i battled my demons & unhappiness & self-hatred every single day. well, not everyday. some days they got the best of me & i could barely move. but i fought like a motherfucker.
and some days i won, and some days they won. and some days it was a match. and some days i wanted to die, and some days i wanted to not only live, but live with passion & find beauty in my life and find love. and then what i found out, i found out that you gotta save your own life. because the person holding your hand, they can get really tired. they hold on so long & so tight that their arm aches. and that’s when i had my epiphany, my breakfast at epiphany moment, my ah-fucking-ha moment – if you really wanna save yourself, you gotta be willing to throw someone else a line, grab onto someone else and save them, help them, hold them. you gotta be willing to see another person’s suffering & pain and look them in the eye and say, i know how you feel.
i. know. how. you. feel. i have your back. i’m gonna hold you and i’m gonna hold you tight.
and the truth is, the balls-out truth is this: those of us who suffer from bouts of depression, who don’t believe we’re good enough, who can barely make it out of bed some days, who struggle with self-esteem and the whole concept of self-love… when we use our own pain & suffering so that we can understand another persons heart… it doesn’t eliminate our pain, or make it vanish, or go pouffff – but, it does make it bigger then ourselves, it makes it worth the struggle.
i look at the folks i know – some very personally, some on the periphery – who have gone through hell & back a million times, and they use their life every day to inspire, encourage, awaken the good & greatness in others because they know what it was like to be flat out broken, broken into little pieces.
so, yes, i tried it.
and i’m awfully glad that i didn’t succeed at it.
i’m glad, wholly motherfucker glad, that i was a failure at that attempt.
because i get to rise up every single day and work through my life-stuff, face my own demons, and strut my stuff, and then i get to tell each of you that you are fucking awesome, you are magic & glitter & all that’s extraordinary in the world. because the truth is we are, even in our darkest moments, even in our saddest moments, even in our most broken moments – we have magic in us, we have glitter & sparkles; we are goddesses & gods, buddhas, kings & queens.
and we are amazing beyond belief.
so go on, strut your gorgeous stuff today knowing – absolutely fucking knowing – that you are not alone.
this i know for sure.
this i’d bet my life on.
Jennifer Pastiloff, Beauty Hunter, is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, among others. Jen’s leading one of her signature retreats to Ojai, Calif. over New Years. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health, Tuscany. She is also leading a Writing + The Body Retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 30-Feb 1 in Ojai (2 spots left.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.
*Jen is deeply inspired by Amy Ferris. Daily. They share a brain. This is what Jen knows. Post coffee (many coffees) and pre-wine 🙂