Another day, suicide and life

It dropped lower and lower.  The weight of my forehead nearly rested upon the cushion as my body caved in around the tender air. I was sitting no more and found all of me in a curled cower.

The pressure pushed against my chest and both fatigue and failure inhaled without respite for exhale. 

I was choking on life.  

This is what it meant to finish another day. He opened the hours before me, so timidly unpacking a minute at a time,  I parceled out my energy to see others, to meet requirements, to do right by a career and family, friends and a future.  

After all, in breathing came life, in doing I proved I was alive.

But depression clung to my every step.  It seeped into my pores and criss-crossed my face leaving hollow eyes and an unrelenting somber sheen.  Life did not wait for me; no, it created a tide of expectations and a current of must dos. 

The formula for joy alluded me and the season of sadness seared itself to my shoulders.  My smile real enough to some and the shallow clear to others.  

Earlier that day I shifted from flourescent lights to the crisp cold of the outdoors. I beheld a new ceiling, a canopy of heaven stretched over the snowy floor. I witnessed the creator kneel to kiss the earth. The sky wrenched itself into showing the sun. Colors and splays of nature beautiful enveloped me. Gasping in the frigid air, I stored life in my veins and could reflect hope for another moment in time.  


Yet what about the time suicide asked me to play? When time took these three decades and reduced them to a single story of unworth which wrecked me as a kid and could dismantle me as an adult.  Why did it look so alluring and okay? Why couldn’t I stop the lie it offered?  

What about the time abuse took what was not to be detached from me? Each grievance never looking back and I was left to make sense of fighting my way to health and whole.  Could I ever be healed from the shredding? 

What about those who removed their love or favor when my presence clouded with something other than ease and light-hearted life? Why don’t  I make sense to others and why does it always matter so much to me? 

This week could not outdistance memories.  

This week could not unhinge from the present.  

This week a colleague laid his beloved wife to rest after a torment of days and a life journey with the demon of mental illness.  This week a student could not stay where bridges were built and allies found.  This week my husband had to carry the home and  children grow up faster than innocence would ask. This week my friend could not conjour words from myself, a writer, when my own death attempt danced as memory and marker. 

Yes, it dropped lower and lower. The weight of my forehead nearly rested upon the cushion as my body caved in around the tender air. I was sitting no more and found all of me in a curled cower.

In the choke of life, I felt removed from all I offer the community around me.  Depression robs me.  It thieves from many. Yet this I know, when strangle felt close, my lungs still filled.  One more breath, one more day.

I can not do all of life the way I wish or take away others’ pain. I can not belong in all the ways an orphan girl is supposed to once adopted. I can not change the color of my skin or how I fit into people’s constructs. I can not unlearn my trauma or forget my twisting of perception.  

But as sorrow lies near–I live

To love.

To teach.

To lead.

To write.

To whisper.

I do not know who will follow or who will listen, but my steady foundation of faith and the formation of friends and family remind me: be me to the world.  

Who I am, whether small and in a ball, tired from the day or I am strong and tall knowing my purpose, I am alive.

LIVE with me.

One more day, friends. To tasks and talents, give what you can.  Allow others to lend you hope when yours is low and depression is real. 

Another day, yes, the light still shines. 

——

With respect and deep sorrow for those near and far, recent and years gone by, who have lost a loved one to the grips of mental illness’ lying voice.  

—–

A song by VERIDIA shared to me by a friend–raw art https://youtu.be/hymuOXYAuwk 

—-

Find someone to text or talk to if you need it. If you feel alone:

CRISIS TEXT LINE: 741741, text GO any time, for free, and trained professionals will interact with you during your rough hours. 

CRISIS PHONE LINE: Call 1-800-273-8255.

19 thoughts on “Another day, suicide and life

  1. Thank you for your honesty and for being so open about mental illness. I am a widow and survivor of my husband’s suicide. He suffered from depression and bipolar disorder. I now suffer from PTSD, anxiety and depression and I am an advocate for ending the stigma and talking about mental illness. Its so important. If mental illness was an acceptable topic of conversation and we respected all forms of it, maybe my husband would have been able to express his pain. The same for so many others who suffer and walk the same path as me and my beautiful husband. Thank you again for speaking out. Its so important. Please check out my posts for my story and a call to end the stigma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read, to write, to allow my story to join yours in the fight against mental illnesses. There is much work to be done for youth and adults, those in our personal lives, and the grief for those who are changed by the death of personality and persons that it does. I will be sure to find your words and respond there as well.

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  2. Thank you for this post. Beck was my neighbor and friend for 10 years. My family was so sad when they moved away. I too suffer from depression and anxiety and I’m not afraid to share my struggles. It sucks to live in fear and sadness but I force myself to move forward and share when things are unbearable even if it is a call to my physician. I wish I would have called her more frequently, I wish we would have planned dinner out like we talked about, I wish I would have made the time to swing by and visit unexpectedly to surprise her and remind her of the day my young daughter asked her for the recipe for Ramen. And when she called me laughing so hard on the phone to tell me to go buy my daughter some .15 cent noodles! Or when we would call each other and ask ‘hey can you hear me yelling at my kids’ and laugh about how being a mother was frustrating at times! Would I have made a difference on a down day for her? Could I have chased those demons away even for a day? This week I panicked, cried and felt hopeless for my friend and her family. I felt despair like many. I laid in bed feeling down and depressed not wanting to face the day.

    Mental Illness needs a voice and I choose to bring awareness. No judgements period.

    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for taking the bold stance of writing publicly and presently, Lisa. My deep and sincere condolences.

      I have gotten flooded with private statements of those who feel guilt and wonder if they could have been present, for her, for others, for me. It is a hard question for me to navigate privately and until now, I have not had to address it publicly.

      This is such sensitive ground.

      What I do know is that Tom highlighted all the victories Becky and allies did have at fighting the demon. May our actions taken so many times lead us from despair to resolve to stay in the light. We may not be able to dance in the light now, there is an entrenchment of grief that will accompany for a lifetime. But my prayer is that we see the light, a God above, a friend who will listen, professionals that lend wisdom and strategies, a family member, or a community that cares.

      I beg students to cling to life as they head into weekends and school breaks. I wait for those who have lost lives around them. I fold and feeble when I think of my own demons and pain areas.

      So to your brave share of your struggles and your wonderful gift of remembering stories of light and hope, keep on. Please, keep on.

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  3. Nasreen,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts when it comes to mental illness. People are scared to speak up about it. People are afraid of rejection. You truly have inspired me. I always look forward to reading another one of your story. Leah had been sharing these with me and I’m in awe of the courage you have. I feel that we will always continue to fight these demons, but our strength is much stronger. Even when we feel that we are so weak and can’t hold on any longer, it’s the Lord above us who gives us strength, it’s the ones we love that gives us strength. We will keeping fight until we win. Thank you for smiling, thank you for speaking, and thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for taking the time to post, Zoua. I am glad these get shared out. Many have honored me in this and it helps the message get to more people. Leah has been a unique bonded beacon of hope and friendship for me in the tumult of depression. She helps many and anchors me back down. To those who reject ones suffering, may the know they do not silence the diligence in fighting demons. Be brave yourself when life asks– and ever radiate the joy you bring. Peace.

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  4. We are saddened to hear of your continued struggle with depression and all the burdens you carry. I’ve been trying think of the right words to say in response to your post, but my words are few.After Dad read your post this morning, he played “Because He Lives” on his phone. One of Grandpa Pete’s favorite, so meaningful and uplifting!Just know that we keep praying for your healing,health, and happiness. You so deserve those things. Take care of yourself, OK? Holding you in our hearts.

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  5. Dear Nasreen,
    This fight…is so real. The way the lies twist themselves to shine as truth. I am thankful you fight to take just one more breathe…so you can see that spark that fights the darkness and hear the voice that quietly speaks truth. You are loved dear one. Fight on.
    Janel

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Nasreen,
    I just want you to know that you are a wonderful writer!
    I just want you to know who I am in case you don’t know.
    I’m sure you remember my mom Wilma Faber. Your family was very important to her and your father and mother in law especially! She kept a prayer notebook and prayed for all of you often.
    Thank you for all your family did for my mom and please say hi to your in laws for me.
    Keep writing!! You put into words what many who suffer with thoughts of suicide cannot. People need to hear what it’s really like for those who suffer with this struggler to live! My brother Walt is one of those and it is so hard to know what to say to him. I just listen for the most part.
    Thank you again !
    Jean Hoekstra (Faber)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To our shared connections and my belief that your story and gift to the world will be the hope you carry forward. Thank you for celebrating words that are hard to write, but landing well on people’s ears and spirits. Prayers as you walk alongside Walt. I will give your regards to my in-laws.

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  7. Nasreen and Tom: we are all here for you! We are here to listen – we are here to hug – we are here just to give you a smile or even just a knowing nod! While I have not had the experiences you both have had – I have my own demons lurking. While different – they still dig deep in the soul and seem to come out when you least expect it! I just don’t have the willingness or strength to let them completely out. I think everyone has something inside. Some never let them be known and others are able like you both to express your inner most feelings. To me that is amazing. I am in awe of the strength you both have in sharing. Stay strong! ((Hugs))
    πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your words here, Sue. To what we fight each in our own lives and how we borrow courage and lend hope within community–thanks for being you in our lives. May Tom ever feel the Irondale support when the dark pulls close to him.

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