There was a time not long ago that I had no feeling, no emotion, no will to live. I was absolutely certain that no one could comprehend what was going on in my mind. At the very least, I was sure no one could relate to my circumstances. In some ways, there is truth to that line of thinking. Granted, I know many people that have experienced the same things as me. I also know every experience affects people in different ways, that’s one of the points I always made when I used to conduct suicide awareness training in the army. What may bring me to my knees may be a walk in the park for you, and vice versa. Similar experiences, different reactions. And likely for each of us that have questioned life and the hand it dealt us, there’s always something different for everyone that ends up being the straw that broke the camel’s back.
A friend of mine is currently battling cancer. She is about half way through chemo treatments and having a rough time of it some days. I have no idea what that feels like. I can’t relate to that. I can only imagine what it takes physically and emotionally to endure that illness and those treatments. But she asked me the other day, somewhat frustrated at the time, “Do you have any idea what it’s like to want to feel human again?” I had to say, yes. Because in that context I do know what she’s feeling. I know exactly how that train of thought works.
I realized that there are many events in life that people go through that have a very similar effect on how each of us view life. The events and circumstances might be completely different, but the mindset we take from the events can be the same. Depression, anger, confusion, self-pity, isolation, and more. The list of negative reactions to a bad life event is probably quite long. And any combination of those reactions can create a dark outlook on life. And after a while, the feeling of being human is lost. I realized that even though I don’t know what it’s like to have cancer, I can relate to her mindset.
It is well documented in my blog the struggles I’ve gone through. I have opened up about some very dark and scary things that have rolled around in my mind. My experiences are unique, no matter how many people have gone through the same thing. You have no idea what I’ve gone through in life or my mind. However, if you have ever thought about suicide, been depressed for a long period of time, given up on life, or just wanted to feel human again, you might be able to relate to me on that level, as I can to you. That’s a starting point and a building block to helping each other get out of the funk. Or at a minimum, to let someone know they aren’t alone.
Let’s pretend that getting to the point of wanting to feel human again can be a number, just for this example. Let’s say 12 is rock bottom in life. How many ways can we get to 12? 1 + 11. 3 x 4. 5 + 7. Uh oh. Now it tricky. 30 – 18. 24 divided by 2. The square root of 144. There are a million ways to make an equation equal 12. Same thing for hitting rock bottom and hating life. If you’ve been there, it doesn’t matter what equation got you there, you can at least understand a little of what is going on in someone else’s head that is there now. Be open-minded that there are many ways to get to the point of wanting to feel human again.
I am feeling more human lately than I have in a long time. My life is a complete mess, but I feel good about it. It’s my mess and I’m managing. I’ve already been to rock bottom, questioning life and trying to figure it out. Well, I haven’t figured it out, but I don’t question it anymore. I still have many issues that stem from my PTDS that keep me from being who I used to be and who I want to be. I still have dark thoughts from time to time, but nothing serious. I have days where I’m depressed. But I’m not anywhere close to rock bottom anymore. But I will never forget how it felt to be there. I will never forget the struggle I went through to get where I am now. That was truly the hardest part, to pick up and move on with life after I had already given up completely.
I want to thank my friend for reminding me this week that I do remember how bad I wanted to feel human again. And while I can’t imagine what you are going through, I can relate to how you feel about life. You reminded me not to take my marginal success in my PTSD recovery the last year and half for granted.
Thank you for reading this week. I hope you got something out of it. Good day, God bless.