By: Autumn Smith
Last year and the year before, I wanted to die.
It’s strange to read that out loud. It’s hard to believe that I ever fully grasped the realness of that, but I think I did.
It happened over time, and it was a combination of severe depression, hormones, and finally realizing how sick I was. I’ve always dealt with chronic anxiety and it’s easy for me to slip into a depression. It’s also easy to let it go untreated. Lupron is a strong medication to stop the production of endometriosis, and it basically makes you go through menopause. I knew nothing about this drug before I started my two years on it, and as much as I love my doctor’s care, he didn’t tell me about the side effects. It hit me at the worst time in the worst way.
When you first start to get sick, it’s tough. When you realize you might be sick for a while, have multiple surgeries, years of pain, and the high possibility of never having children, it’s traumatic. You almost have to go through a process of grieving, grieving your old self and the life you once knew. I was depressed, pumped full of hormones and going through that grieving process at the same time. I was lost in a fog of pain and fear of the future and I couldn’t remember what I was fighting for.
I woke up everyday not knowing what I was in for. More often than not I would wake up sick and in excruciating pain, stuck indoors until it was time for bed, only to wake up to do it again the next day. Everything hurt. My family was still trying to understand what I was going through and they couldn’t keep up with my needs. It was heartbreaking on nights where I would try to go out and have fun, only to be let down by my body. I was starting to cancel on my friends constantly. Why didn’t they hate me yet? I knew they would soon. I didn’t understand why my boyfriend still liked me either. There was no way he’d be able to put up with this for years to come. My body was changing in terrible ways, I couldn’t figure it out and I didn’t want him to wait around while I tried. I’m not sexy anymore, I sleep too much, my hormones make me break out, I lost weight, I gained weight, I cry everyday, I can’t take long walks, my pain medication makes me stupid, he watches me puke, he knows when I don’t poop, and I can only leave the house a quarter of the time he does. He has to think of ways to tell people why I’m not around. He has to stay home more. He has to have less fun. I loved my boyfriend so much, so why would I put him through this? I loved my friends so much, so why would I drive them to hate me? My family was important to me too, and I was putting them through hell. Fuck, I couldn’t even treat my dog the way she deserved anymore. Surely Ryan would walk her more often if he was the only one taking care of her. Without all of them in my life, I have nothing. I knew I’d never have the career I want if I couldn’t even make it to work everyday. I couldn’t even focus on fun art projects. I would never amount to anything. I would never contribute to society or even contribute to the lives of people I love. They will all be so much better off without me, I should die. I should die.
Turns out, none of that was true. Well, some of it is. I’m sick, I cancel a lot, my boyfriend has to stay home more, whatever. It sucks. A lot of it. There was a part I left out of the equation, and it was the good part. The biggest part. My life is full of so much good and I let myself become completely blinded by the bad. My family loves me almost too much, and they will forever keep finding ways to understand me and help me, and I still find ways to do the same for them. My real friends have and will stick it out through anything, and I know they need me too. My boyfriend and I have now been together for nine years and I truly believe we are more in love than ever. I feel like it was a gift to be able to watch his bravery and ability to be there for me in my time of need and adjust himself to this new, hopefully temporary lifestyle. It is a beautiful thing to be able to see your loved ones go above and beyond for you, and I cannot express that enough. I don’t think I would ever be able to love them this much, sometimes it feels like my heart could explode. Also, my dog still love me. More than anyone, actually. It turns out she really loves naps too.
Sometimes it doesn’t work out this way, and sometimes loved ones don’t come around. Sometimes relationships don’t work out. It was a huge struggle for all of them, and we still fight to work things out. I still have to voice my needs, and they have to voice theirs for me. It was the hardest transition in my life. As much as I need them, I know I could have gotten through it on my own and I know you can too if you don’t have anyone. I’ll tell you a little secret I’ve learned on this journey; we are super humans. It feels
to be able to get over the worst time of your life and make it out alive. And to be able to CONTINUE going through a shitty time in your life, and to turn it into something good. I WILL have a career, I don’t care how long it takes me or how hard it is. I WILL express myself creatively in every way that I can. I am an artist, and that part of me is never going to go away. I can accomplish things from my couch, and I’ll get off of it someday. I am funny, I am cool, I is kind, I is smart, I is important.
When I was listening to a podcast during the last month of my last job, a comedian was talking about when he was previously depressed and suicidal. He said something so simple that would forever change my life.
“When you want to kill yourself you’re sad and you want to make it go away. When you kill yourself the sadness doesn’t just go away, you end up giving it to everyone you love.”
My God, it’s so true. I am so important to everyone I love. I love them so much, so why would I ever take a chance at ruining their lives just to escape mine when it gets bad? Not a chance. They’ve been there for me, and now I will always be there for them.