I usually try to post something for World Suicide Prevention Day. I like to be helpful, I like to offer people hope and support, I like to feel like I’m adding something positive to the world. I like to destigmatize mental illness and remove the shame around suicidal feelings. Even when I’m at my worst moments, sometimes trying to save the world can help you save yourself–if you can’t find a reason to keep going for yourself, knowing you’re making a difference can give you a reason to stay.
But I am…I am tired. So tired.
Sophie was my reason for getting out of bed in the morning, the focus of my entire world. Dinah was the other part of my soul, my heart. Without them, I am very lost and just…tired.
Eight years ago today, Dinah had been living under a dumpster for months, starving and afraid, until she came into my home. She was always mine, she was just waiting for me to find her–she saved my life as much, if not more than, I saved hers on World Suicide Prevention Day.
So yes, sometimes saving the world can help you save yourself; other times, it doesn’t matter. I know I make a difference. I know I save lives. I know I’m loved. I know the world at large is better with me in it, that I am a necessary light for some. But that’s not always enough to keep the darkness at bay when it’s your world that’s gone. Because I don’t always want to be necessary. I don’t want to be important. I don’t want to be Wonder Woman, I don’t want the pressure of being a light in the darkness.
I am tired and I just want MY light back again.
So sometimes it’s just the little things that act as stepping stones to get you across the water. To have small things to look forward to, and for me, that’s stories. In two days I get to play Tomb Raider and that has sustained me for five months now. I think of the handful of things I feel even a small spark of excitement about–the new season of Jane the Virgin, an upcoming book, an upcoming movie–and treasure those tiny moments as another place to land on the path ahead instead of sinking. And soon there will be a whole trail behind me even if all I can concentrate on is staying above the water in this little square area I’ve landed on right now.
For me, that little square at the moment is retreating and doing things for myself. Protecting myself, taking care of myself, not running myself ragged trying to save the world. It’s finding the small bright spots of joy that I can and holding onto them. It’s pouring everything into my release next month in the hopes that maybe it will give someone else something to look forward to, and maybe be that stepping stone to keep another person out of the water long enough to reach shore.
You, reading this right now: I know.
I know sometimes being loved isn’t enough.
I know sometimes feeling significant isn’t the cure for the prevailing sense of hopelessness.
I know sometimes you feel bad because others reach out and it doesn’t help.
I know sometimes the pressure of existing in the world for other people makes it too much to bear.
I know sometimes you are tired. So, so tired.
There is no answer or wisdom to be found here, except to tell you what you feel is valid and I know. Staying alive when you don’t want to requires a level of faith in a world designed to make you feel the opposite. It is an act of defiance, an act that sometimes defies all reason. I know and I am here with you, and I hope we can crawl from stone to stone long enough to see that faith was well-founded.