The Trauma and Pain People Did Not Notice
Seasonal depression is nothing new to me. Certain times of year remind me of the pain I have experienced in years past.
October 2019 was a very painful month. This is the time when things took a turn for the worst. The events of late 2019 and early 2020 led to my hospitalization in a mental health facility. This was a dark time when I first began to seriously have thoughts of suicide.
One thing that is important to remember is that not everyone who is suicidal wants to die. I wanted life as I knew it to end. I did not want my life to end. This is a topic that we often run away from. Talking about it actually prevents it.
There were things I wanted people to know, but couldn’t say. Given what has changed between then and now, I wish those around me had seen the signs. I look back on those times when I was not doing well wishing more people had noticed. I acted out. I was not myself. No one asked what was bothering me to make me behave out of the ordinary. I struggled alone during this dark time. Even in a crowd of people I felt invisible. I had begun to think no one would notice should something happen to me.
I was stuck in a hard place. I did not have co-workers or associates to take me out after a rough day. The few friends that I had left were all spread out living their lives and battling their own trials.
Unfortunately, late 2019 and in early 2020, I was surrounded by one tragedy after another. I had to cope with the deaths of acquaintances. Funerals became extremely triggering for me. So much was going on that I never really had the chance to express how I was impacted. While others expressed their grief, there was something building up within me that I did know how to cope with.
It would not have been fair of me to expect others to claim my troubles as their own. I also began to see that the people near me had no trouble doing this depending on the situation. When there is a death, people send food, cards, and flowers. I paid close attention to the outpouring of support that comes with a tragedy. Slowly, I began to believe that in order for me to be seen and heard, something tragic would have to happen to me. Among the losses that stacked up during this time, I almost lost myself.
Ever since, autumn reminds me of the trauma. I find myself having flashbacks and “what ifs.” My therapist reminded me how important it is not to forget my trauma. I have been reminded by my therapist that I can look back on how far I have come, rather than worrying about the trauma that people did not notice. The further I get from that time, the more I can see how much I have grown.
Photo by Ty Williams on Unsplash