To say there weren’t times in my life when I’d thought about it would be to lie. A bold-faced, outright, screaming to the heavens type of lie. The truth is, there were so many times in my life when I just wanted to give up. Like that year I had to quit ballet because I needed yet another knee surgery.
Or that time when I was twelve. When no one heard me, listened to me, cared at all. At least that’s how I felt. When the world tightened it’s claws around my throat and I couldn’t get out. Didn’t know what I was stuck in. Didn’t know that I even had a chance at freedom. When I was a beaten, broken, abused little birdie with wilted feathers and crippled wings. That’s when I found myself standing in my parents’ kitchen, all alone, with a steak knife in my hand. As I remember it, my parents were gone, most likely already asleep or in bed. And I snuck down to the kitchen during the late watches of the night.
I held the blade, serrated side towards my stomach and just stood there. I wondered what the knife would feel like as it sank in to the soft, fleshy weakness of my tiny, little tummy. I wondered if anyone would notice, or if they’d all just step over my dead body as if it didn’t exist. I wondered if anybody would cry, or if they’d all just exult with jubilation and cry, “Good riddance!”
That’s how highly I viewed myself. “Good riddance!” To think about how little I loved myself then horrifies me now.
But the curiosity passed. And for some unknown reason, perhaps cowardice, perhaps a tiny glimmer of wavering hope, I pointed the knife away from me and slipped it back into the drawer. I crept back upstairs in my sock feet and tucked into my twin size bed.
I’m so glad that I put the knife away. Though I wouldn’t be for many, many years. Maybe it was foolishness, but considering where I am now, I will never doubt it again.
Especially during the holidays, loneliness and sadness can creep up on you. If you’re not having the perfect, white and snowy, leave-it-to-beaver, time of year, your thoughts can really get dragged down. Maybe you don’t have someone to celebrate New Year’s with. It’s okay. You are not alone.
There is still hope and there is always hope, even when sometimes, hope is all that we have.
If you are feeling suicidal, extreme hopeless, or depressed about the outlook of the future, I urge you to seek help, reach out to a good friend, stop driving and count all the reasons why life is worth it. It could be something as simple as the sun shining, a good friend, that you read a cool quote, got a nice hug, did well at work. But it never hurts to make a list of positive things. ANY positive thing, no matter how silly or trivial it may seem.
Here are some of the things on my list:
sister, friends, my sweet dog, a warm home, good food, and, with my current cold, cough syrup and hot tea! Just remember that, in the smallest of things, in the darkest of moments, there’s always some remnant of goodness and joy left.
So put the knife away, little Lauren. Hope is waiting.