14 years ago today, I woke up in hospital. I was still alive.
The night before I had taken numerous packets of ibuprofen in an attempt to kill myself.
I can’t describe in words the desolation I felt that I had not succeeded. That I was still alive. That I had to carry on living with the endless turmoil and numbness of depression.
14 years on, I am glad that I did fail.
Because at the grand old age of 38, I am alive. And I have a lovely life.
I have things in my life that I have longed for. And I am happy. I am very happy.
But I can never be 100% happy. And that is because of mental health and the way I see myself.
I know that people must think that I talk too much about my depression. Maybe they feel that I exaggerate the effect that it has on my life.
And that could be true.
It is hard to equate the smiley and generally happy person I am today with the empty shell I was then.
But the truth is, at that one moment, the moment when I was swallowing pills, I was completely alone.
I was alone with my thoughts. And I was consumed with hatred for myself and my life.
Only I know what it felt like to take those tablets. Only I know the thoughts that whirled through my head that night. And only I know how devastated I was the next day to still be alive.
I live in fear of visiting that place again. I am terrified that one day I may be consumed with those thoughts once more. On that day the depression will have taken over and won. Lucy will disappear into the background.
So I will never forget what happened 14 years ago. I cannot forget. Because the moment I forget is the moment I run the risk of becoming that person again.
That is why I can never just “be”.
I question everything.
Every thought I have. Every emotion I feel and every action I take. And most of the time I battle and I struggle with myself.
Today I woke up in a bad mood. I could not find the happy.
I couldn’t work out why I felt this way. But it seemed that my subconscious knew something I didn’t.
Then I looked at the date and I remembered how I felt 14 years ago today.
And I haven’t really been able to shake off the feeling since. So I am doing something that I know will make me feel better. I am writing.
I’m, selfishly, writing this post for me. I am writing as a form of catharsis. To put my emotions into words. To send them into the ether and then to move on and forget about them.
You see, I am a very different person from the young girl I was 14 years ago.
I have changed. I have grown up. I have become strong.
But one thing from that time still remains.
I have always wanted to be better than I am; a better person, a better woman, a better wife, a better mother and a better blogger.
I am constantly comparing myself to other people and falling short. I’m left wondering how they do it all and why I am so crap.
And I am constantly setting myself unattainable goals and targets that I just can’t meet.
Because I’m never going to be a different person from the woman I am.
I am never going to look like Liv Tyler.
I’m never going to be an amazing Pinterest mother.
I’m never going to be a fantastic wife.
Given the choice, I will choose sitting down with a cuppa and cake, cuddling my children and watching an episode of Gilmore Girls over cleaning the house.
And I will feel guilty for making that choice.
I am always going to wish that I were prettier, smarter, more organised, less annoying, a better wife, a better mother and a better person.
But I am who I am.
And 14 years ago today, I woke up and I was still alive.
Being alive is hard. It is filled with struggles. Daily struggles. And life is filled with huge earth-shattering emotions.
Being alive is fucking hard. You can’t pretend it isn’t.
But being alive is a gift. And I am grateful, that I did not succeed in throwing that gift away.