Chapter Four: You Have to be Your Own Reason to Live

TW: Self-harm, suicide

I know this sounds crazy but, in the words of Rihanna “Who [are you] living for?” We all hold so many titles and positions in the lives of others but what title and position do we hold in our own?

I remember being in high school and going through so many issues.  Yeah, the usual stuff but the deep stuff was what got me.  Things weren’t great at home and I felt invisible everywhere I went.  I started cutting myself to feel some type of release.  I needed to feel and I had become so nonchalant about my situation it was like I was going through the motions.  

Even before that I remember being in elementary school and being teased with no end.  Coupled with what was going on at home I felt like it was pointless to be here.  Around this time I contemplated suicide two or three times with one attempt.  Crazy part is, no one knew.

The last time I cut myself was sometime in high school.  Honestly, I remember my mom crying once after seeing some of my cuts and the thought of that kept me doing it again.

When I got to college and started learning about mental health I felt like I had everything from depression and anxiety to obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.  That was when I really began to pay attention to what my triggers were, understanding which feelings would manifest in which actions.  Do you not know how hard it is to love (I mean can’t live without) coffee but realize that you simply cannot have it if you’ve been emotionally unstable for a few days and unable to get out of bed????  Yeah, that part.

After graduation I moved a couple of times and then had a depressive episode.  There was so much disconnect, so much stress.  I couldn’t handle it.  I did end up cutting during that part of my life (I know, I said I stopped cutting in high school but I couldn’t ruin the story).  I was told I was selfish and didn’t care about the people who care about me.

It was all wrong.  I can’t believe it took me this long to understand something so gotdamn simple, I have to be my own reason to live.  As we all know, we aren’t perfect.  We don’t always live up to the expectations of others.  We barely live up to the expectations we set for ourselves.  How could I possibly value life if I didn’t value MY life?

A couple of weeks back I saw a post of someone who stated that their ex partner committed suicide because he couldn’t bare living without her and that his family blamed her for his death.

How crazy is that?  His family blamed her for his choice to take his life.  How could she possibly be the blame?  How could she possibly make him value his life without her in it?  How could she be responsible for mental health concerns that he probably dealt with all his life but no one knew, with this being the final straw?

This brings me to a sidebar: stop staying with people because they have mental health concerns (or even physical health concerns) if you don’t want to be with them.  They have to learn to value their own life.

There are parents and family members living with so much guilt because someone they love committed suicide and they feel they’re the blame, or someone is telling them they are.  But they aren’t.  The only thing that can be done to help someone feel better about themselves or about life is being a decent human being.  Be patient with people, show them love and kindness.  Show people you care.  

If it has come to the point where someone decides to commit suicide that means they haven’t received that, or enough of it.  It also means that they haven’t taken the time out to build it within themselves.  It doesn’t make them weak or selfish.  It makes them human!

I came from a pretty bad background, and I’ll spare the details at the moment.  I didn’t receive a lot of love or support.  Hell, I barely received love and support.  But I’m here.  I’m here because when it came down to it I chose to me.  I didn’t choose someone who chose me.  No, I told myself that I matter.  So I began to love on myself and understand that if I didn’t get it from anywhere else, I got it from myself.

This isn’t a once size fits all situation, so please blow out the torches.  I’m not here to place blame, I’m here to remove it.

Stop blaming yourself for the actions of others.  Stop allowing people to blame you.  And from this point on, remember to be that decent human being.  I hate when people say be careful how you treat or talk to people because you don’t know what they’re going through.  How about be careful how you treat and talk to people because you know what you’re going through, and what you’ve been through.  Shouldn’t that be enough?

You wont’ always know everyone’s story.  What makes them happy or angry.  You won’t always see signs of help.  But know that what you can do, what should do, is continue to love people for the sole reason that we’re all here together and we each deserve it.  No matter how horrible you think you are or how horrible you think someone else is, love for the sake of knowing what love should feel like.

-Be Light and Be Gentle With Yourself

📸 : p.l.berry


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