Updated: Feb 9, 2020
It's taken me a whole year to decide on whether I was going to post this because... Well, you'll understand after you read it.
It being one year to get myself together and to find some help with it being close to two years with heyitsmejree as my blog, I thought it was only necessary to reveal a side of me that I've only shared to my closest family and friends.
I don't really know where to start or even how. I've hit backspace way too many times to count, I've left this post alone, came back to it, and deleted the whole thing. I guess there was a lot of second guessing, wondering whether it was worth expressing such a vulnerable part of me. But as you can already tell, I listened to my gut and decided it was time. So where do I begin....
When Ron and I moved back from Calgary June 2018, we had all the right intentions. We wanted to start a family in Winnipeg close to our family and friends. We wanted to accomplish our goals, use the skill set we learned when we were living on our own, and just become better people overall. It was all so fast and exciting knowing I was going to be back in the comfort of my home, one that I've missed for so long. Everyone could tell - I was stoked.
I moved a whole month before Ronnie, I wanted to try and settle in, get a job as quickly as I could, and start fresh. But that wasn't the case... I actually found it quite difficult to find a job, I had plenty of interviews with no call backs, so all of June I was starting to feel like I was the problem. I lived in my moms spare bedroom for a bit until we decided we were going to go back to Calgary a lot earlier than expected, pack the rest of our things, and have Ron and the dogs all back home in Winnipeg. We were going to start our lease early and everything was going to work out. Unfortunately, with the things going on with my sister, it didn't necessarily fall into place. We ended up changing our lease to a 2 bedroom apartment which meant we had to leave all of our belongings in both my truck and my moms van for a week until we were able to move things into our new place, and during that time we had to all stay in Jeni's old apartment for a week. It was hectic and a mess.
First of all, I'm not blaming my sister for how I felt during this time. I knew she needed comfort especially with what she was going through. My main focus for months was making sure she was okay. I continuously worried about her throughout the day and when I wasn't worrying about it, I was there with her as we cracked up jokes and kept ourselves busy with random grocery errands, shopping, or going to the gym together. As the days went by, she got better, she stopped crying as much, and she became more at peace with herself.
I can't blame anyone for what I was feeling. My mental state was beyond my control. Although I found a job, we settled in, and we were back with family and friends, I could feel myself slipping away. There was always something wrong. I wouldn't sleep and I'd go to work and not eat anything all day, only to go home from a long and tiring day to put on this act that the reason why I was tired or moody was because of work, when really it wasn't. I just wasn't myself.
Closer to my birthday, I realized I truly wasn't happy. I was home so why did I feel the way that I did? I felt anxious a lot, I cried a lot more, I always wanted to be alone but because I never really got that time by myself, I'd lock myself in my washroom in the middle of the night, and I would just sit on my floor staring at the wall. For HOURS I'd do this. I had no idea why I felt more at ease but it worked. I needed complete silence in order for me to really listen to my thoughts, but the more I did it, the more I felt alone. It was if I had no one to talk too even though my boyfriend and my sister were right outside my washroom door fast asleep.
Second of all, this was an on-going problem I've had since I was 16 (as far as I could remember), the only other time where I felt myself slipping (vividly) was when my brother moved to Calgary, my parents split up, and we moved out of our dream Headingley home -All in one year. I've held all of those feelings from everyone. I'd do the same thing where I'd lock myself in my walk-in closet and just blankly stare at my wall. My wall in my closet was filled with drawings and quotes, so I'd reread those quotes time and time again until I felt better. Now that I think of it, it was my way of coping. My family was never confrontational so we never actually talked about it, how it may have affected my brother, me, or my sister. We went along with a lot of what happened and kept it easy for our parents when really it wasn't. Since then, I coped with this heavy heart and ultimately thought it was normal to feel this way. Until it wasn't.
I am always one to put myself in the middle of things. I put myself in the middle of a lot of my brothers personal affairs and I spent a lot of what I can remember trying to understand my him, where he was coming from especially with all the things he was going through himself. We never agreed on anything, it was always hard to be okay with what his choices were, and I think I took a lot of that to heart. By September of that year, I barely had a relationship with him. We would see each other from time to time, but it was never as it once was. It was hard to completely understand it myself, I didn't put any more effort there and at some point, we just stopped trying. We had a falling out a few months after and essentially just gave up. I realize now that because I let things get this far without doing anything, I wasn't able to dig myself out of it. There was no more room for me to make amends with my brother. And I had to be okay with it when I knew deep down I wasn't.
October 2018 was a blur. I spent a lot of my time at work. Ronnie was always busy with work as well, and we spent a lot of time apart. I understood that this is what we would have to do for now until we could live comfortably again. We were in need of income since we spent a lot of money moving our life back to Winnipeg. We had bills and a lot of IOU's. All of which were racking up. I can't stress enough how difficult it was to see literally no money come in because we were paying off a lot of debt.
I felt like I was in a rut, I barely saw my friends. I almost never saw my parents or brother, and I always felt exhausted. My mind was filled with so many thoughts - all non-sense things, and yet I would sit there for hours anxious because of it. I felt myself worrying a lot, I would hyperventilate in the middle of the night, and had no idea where it came from and why it was happening. I was a mess. I never told anyone about it. I kept all of that stuff to myself and went on with my day as if nothing had happened to me the night before. I'd see some friends, and act as if my life was so great, where I was surrounded with so much love, when in reality, I felt the opposite.
Around the middle of October, my boss was coming in from Toronto, where he lives. He was going to be in Winnipeg at the end of October to see how things were going. I can't even re-call why I was so stressed about it. I made sure all my pending tasks were dealt with, I made sure the proper staff were working, that we were smoothly up and running. I had nothing to worry about, yet I was so damn worried. By Halloween, I just didn't have it in me anymore. I literally felt like my mind was made and I've truly given up.
Traditionally, we would go down to my cousins place, hand out candy, take the younger kids out for trick-or-treating, and gather all the leftover candy from my cousins. We would eat a tremendous amount of food, and then call it a night. My best friend was with us during that time, so we decided after to grab a bottle of alcohol, head back to our place, and drink the night away. I never really say no to that, even when I knew I worked early the next day filled with meetings. That night, we talked about a lot of things (like we always do), and by the bitter end of it, we winded down watching famous YouTube stars who made our lives feel small and boring. Everyone eventually fell asleep. I caught myself watching Tiff and Case's (my favourite YouTubers) wedding video. It is a really beautiful and sentimental video with so much support from their family and friends. So I essentially found myself crying at the fact that my life was going nowhere. I felt angry and just desperate to feel something to make my pain go away. The next thing I know I'm in my bathtub, with a razor to my wrists.
I woke up to Ronnie pulling me up from the pinkish-red run down water, running to Jeni's room to wake her up.
I .... I didn't know what happened. And I honestly don't have words to explain it. The one thing I remember was myself sobbing and telling both my sister and boyfriend that...
" I wasn't supposed to wake up"....
Everything else was a blur. I woke up the next day, got ready for work, and acted like nothing so drastic had happened to me the night before. I acted like I was okay. And I can't even imagine now how Jeni and Ronnie must have felt after I left to go to work. I can't imagine how they must of felt when they saw me that night or how they felt overall. I just couldn't bare to see them the morning after. I was embarrassed, I was scared, my wrists were scarred and covered with gauze, and my whole body was numb.
It took me about a month to start messaging people back and catching up on things that I missed. It took me a couple months after to realize what I've done. I didn't go see a specialist, I didn't want to be put on medication nor did I want to speak to a stranger about what I was going through. I wanted to figure it out on my own. Ronnie downloaded a lot of different meditation apps, we would sit in the dark at night and practice until I was able to do it myself. I would still take classes with Jeni to stay active. My friend Liz would check up on me every other day, and I spent a lot of time writing and finding peace with myself. I told my closest friends and family, which was really really hard. But at some point, I was able to cope with what had happened. I still get anxiety attacks that I am still trying to control, and sometimes I do feel the need to be in a silent and dark place to still listen to myself think. But overall, I realized I had to really let go of my past. I had to completely step out of my comfort zone and truly grasp the idea and meaning of my life. I left anyone that I felt toxic with, and I set my own personal goals on finding inner peace. I still have a lot to learn, one of which is understanding the reason as to why I woke up in the bathtub that night.
I realized my goal is to find genuine happiness. I have to be okay with what happened to me that night, and I have to be able to tell my story. So there it is....
I hope that whoever reads this and have ever felt like your life was slipping away, that you find someone to talk too. That life wouldn't be better without you. There are people out there that do love you regardless of how many days, months, or years you don't speak to each other. And that you're never truly alone. I hope you find peace and you wake up every morning with gratitude.
Social media is such a great way to broadcast and promote that it's okay not to be okay. We are always reposting Mental Health Awareness facts and we're becoming more comfortable sharing such vulnerable sides to ourselves. But yet we tend to miss the little things and we forget that everyone is going through their own battles behind these posts. It never hurts to check up on your loved ones and always remind them that you love them.
Until next time