Anyone who knows me will undoubtedly understand that my father’s suicide shaped my future and maturity as quickly as it happened. While other preteens still had a grasp on their innocence, mine was certainly gone; a characteristic that would mold my personality into what it is today.
Which is fine. Now, I mean. It wasn’t fine for a long time, and neither was I.
Many of my problems stemmed from the blame I put on my father. Problems I had created for myself were automatically his fault, and younger me didn’t see an issue with tacking the blame on someone who wasn’t even alive anymore. Sure, a lot of things were his fault. In a way, he ruined a bit of my life- that still holds true. But it was up to me to determine my future, and I couldn’t do that by holding on to a dark past.
I had a lot of self-created issues and a tendency to blame anyone or anything but myself. I put blame on where I came from, who I hung out with, my financial status, my dad, my childhood, my this, my that. None of it made a difference. Once I realized that I was the only one to blame for the problems I managed to make, my world became a little less messy.
In fact, once I realized the grass wasn’t always greener on the other side, I became a better person all around. Moving away wasn’t going to change where I came from. Being in a relationship wasn’t going to change how I felt about myself. Working less wasn’t the answer for a fast-track to happiness. Having a lot of friends didn’t mean I was better off. I always thought to myself,
“Well if I changed this, then this would be better!”
But life doesn’t work like that. Changing one part doesn’t make another part better, and thinking that way will destroy any glimmer of happiness you may have a chance at.
There were days during my high school years where I felt like taking my life was the only way out. Taking my life was the only chance at peace that I had. Ending my life was the only way.
How wrong and selfish of me to think that closing one, final door, was the chance for me to know peace.
Now that I look back, I don’t know if I really wanted to die. I don’t think anyone really wants to die. I suppose some do, but I think for the most part, we just want to stop feeling a certain way. We want to stop feeling trapped, or hurt, or empty, or unwanted. We don’t stop to think that there are options and routes we can take to start feeling. We only think about the stopping.
To a degree, I understand why. But I’m experienced enough to realize that the ‘stopping’ only does so much, and the rest is left to the family to deal with. The ‘stopping’ never really stops after one is gone.
I sought help for a long time. There are many methods of treatment and no definite answer. An answer for me may be a different answer for someone else. There are tons of treatment options out there. Not all of them involve taking medication. Medicating is what helped me, but I understand the side effects and the withdrawal symptoms are not everyone’s first choice. That’s okay. If an individual keeps keeping on, they will find something that works. It may take years, maybe it will only take months- but it will happen. I’m glad I took that initiative.
The point of life isn’t for it to be easy. It’s rarely ever easy. But the sooner I understood that I have to take responsibility for my own actions, the better off I became. The mentality of always needing something bigger and better is a simple way of becoming miserable. In this day, the internet and social media have become a straight way of hating ourselves and our lives because someone always has something better than us. Someone is always living their better life. Someone is going here, someone is doing this, someone is doing that. It’s easy to lose track of what is right in front of us when we are hell-bent on getting ‘more’. At what point do we just say “fuck it” and accept what we have with open arms? After all, many of us are blessed in ways we haven’t even accepted or realized. The wish for more isn’t always the answer for a better life, often it’s just a waste of the life we were given. (Corny, I know. But seriously.)
I’m only 20 and it feels like I have lived double my life time. After the years I have wasted, I realize how important it is to love who I am and where I came from, unapologetically. Maybe I’m not meant to live a certain life, but I’m meant to live my life which is just as important and necessary. I love where I’m at, and I am ultimately happy with where I seem to be going- but that doesn’t mean I’m happy all the time. We all have bad days along with good days. Some bad days last weeks, and that’s okay too. Everything always falls into place as long as you let it.
In the words of Hunter S. Thompson,
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”